A Very Different Creative Act

It’s no secret that I’m a confirmed digital photographer, who on occasion shoots film.

Processing today’s image got me thinking about the whole digital vs. analogue thing, not about which is better or more relevant, but about the differences. I make no distinction as to which is the better medium, each has ardent followers, whereas I’m rather ambivalent about it all. However, today’s picture gave me pause because it seems to me that it is a striking example of monochrome analogue photography. Ignore the grain and warm toning and look at the smoothness with which highlights blend with the mid tones. And the blacks seem to have a depth I rarely see in digital images. Also, the image is not sharp at all, yet the focus is perfect, and finally, it looks like old technology, because it is. This last dated technology look I think is the main difference, it’s subtle and difficult to define because Photoshop users such as myself can do wonders with a digital image, but more often than not even well worked pictures look like someone has done wonders with them in post processing.

I will admit it could only be nostalgia tugging at the heartstrings, and yes, I will endeavor to create a digital image that looks like film, but I expect most of the heavy lifting will need to be done in camera if it’s to be done at all. This expectation stems from a past when I only used B&W film. Like so many others at the time I trained myself to see the world viewed through the camera’s viewfinder in the same tonal range of black and whites as the film stock and it showed in the final result.

I now think in colour and digital post-processing, it’s a very different creative act.

The link below might be of interest to some

http://petapixel.com/2016/01/19/i-built-myself-a-16×20-inch-camera-in-10-hours/

Canon EOS5, 50mm, Fomapan 200asa film, Rodinol developer.

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