Summer Storm on the Current River,
©1980, 2008 Jeane Vogel Photography, Cibachrome print
I got a shipment of Polaroid sepia film yesterday. It’s rare and when I found it, I jumped at the chance to use it again. I have no idea what I will do with it or where it will take me. It will wait until it knows what it wants to be.
I also found some 120 medium format Infrared film. That’s even rarer. Grabbed that too. I absolutely know what I’m going to do with that.
I’m a little sick of the arguing, but is there really a difference between film and digital? Most people can’t tell the difference in the final product unless the photographer over-saturates the colors or over-sharpens the image. Why do they do that? It’s awful!
But a talented photographer, one who has mastered both film and digital, and works everyday to master it just a little more — the images from that artist don’t show the materials or the equipment. You just see the art.
“Purists” claim they can see the difference. Sometimes, just for fun, I challenge them. They can’t tell the difference, not if the image is processed properly. It’s arrogance and a sense of nostalgia that drives their purism, I think. These are the “my camera can beat up your camera” folks who think that best camera and the best lens and the best technique and the best Photoshop plug-in will create their perfect image. Or they tell me that film is just superior and nothing will replace it. Are they trying to hang on to the “good old days?” Do they think that their brand of photography is best? Don’t they realize that film was dismissed as “not pure photography” when it replaced coated glass plates?
We say it all the time. It’s not the equipment. It’s the vision. I’ll say this out loud too: I am very tired of self-proclaimed purists’ superior attitude about film. You can drag around a 100-pound view camera and process your own film, but you can still take bad pictures.
So if film and digital are the same, why not just dump film? It’s expensive. It’s time consuming. It’s not very “green.”
Ah, but it’s not the same. The results might look the same under a practiced hand, but part of the creation is the creating.
I want to use everything. Sometimes I use film. Sometimes I use digital. Sometimes I use Polaroid. Sometimes I shoot in black & white and hand-color it. Sometimes I shoot in color and convert to BW.
The point is, it’s all good. Can we stop arguing about it now?