6 Reasons Why Film Photography Should Not Be Extinct

October 04, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

 Film photography

With the emergence of digital photography, and especially with the recent bankruptcy of Kodak, it seems as if society today is ready to say goodbye to film photography. After all, digital photography is much more powerful, and you can definitely save a lot of time just copying your photos to the computer as opposed to scanning them one by one. But believe it or not, there are still a lot of nature and wedding photographers who will testify that film photography still has its own advantages over digital photography. It is much like comparing writing via pen and paper versus a word document, or reading an actual book versus an e-book. I don’t think it is possible to completely rule out film photography, much like it is impossible to rule out pen and paper, and print books from the face of the earth. Here are six reasons why:

1. Film photography encourages you to be more careful with your shots.

A digital camera offers instant changes in settings like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc., and lets you make decisions like these at the touch of your finger. It also allows you to test your shots at different settings before finding the perfect one. With film photography, unless you have an unlimited supply of film, you don’t have the luxury of being able to take multiple shots until you get the perfect one. This will motivate you to be careful with each and every shot, and to really get down to business and study the different elements of photography and take them to heart. With film photography, you won’t get used to pulling the “I can always fix it later in Photoshop” card; you will be pushed to take the perfect shot each and every time.

2. Film cameras don’t require batteries.

I’m sure digital photographers have been through the excruciating pain of going to a shoot with all the equipment prepared, only to find out that either they don’t have a battery for the camera, or their battery power is running low. Frustrating, isn’t it? Well, with film photography, you won’t have to experience this pain, though you might, if you left your film at home.

3. Film photography offers a different kind of quality that digital photography doesn’t have.

Note that I didn’t say ‘better’ or ‘worse,’ just different, because it still boils down to preference. Photos taken by film capture more color and look more vibrant than photos taken digitally. This difference is most obvious in landscape photos. If you want to achieve the same effect with a digital camera, or even a DLSR, you would have to use Photoshop. Note the difference in these photos:

Flim-vs-digital-raw
"Straight Out Of The Camera" (SOOC)
image credit: www.slrlounge.com
film-vs-digital-pro
Taken with film - Kodak 35mm Professional Portra Color Film (ISO 160)
image credit: www.slrlounge.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another comparison is seen below:

digital vs. film
The photo on the left was taken with a digital camera, while the one on the right was taken with a film camera.

4. Film cameras are much, much cheaper than digital cameras.

Yes, lomography camera prices may be blown out of proportion, but even those kinds of cameras cost far, far less than a DLSR. And even if you regularly have to buy rolls of film compared to the virtually unlimited number of shots you can take with a digital camera, the cost would still be incomparable to the cost of a digital camera, plus a memory card, plus batteries.

5. You don’t risk losing all your photos at once with film.

With digital photography come these holes and shortcomings in the digital world. A virus, or even a wrong click, can delete your truckload of photos all at once, and you would lose all your hard work at the literal blink of an eye. As for film photography, the worst that could happen is that you carelessly misplace your roll of film, but after you find it, the photos are still very much intact.

6. The nature of film photography lets you become more focused on shooting.

What do I mean by this? With digital photography, there are many distractions you find on your camera—the LCD screen, the battery, the software, having to sync it with your laptop, and much more. With film photography, on the other hand, all you have are the bare essentials—exactly what you need to shoot. With the latter setup, your mind would be cleared of any unnecessary issues or potential issues, and you would just be immersed in the beauty of what you are shooting.

As you can see, film and digital photography actually complement each other in many aspects and suit different kinds of needs. It’s not a matter of which one is better than the other, but which one each photographer prefers. That’s why even though film photography has significantly declined in sales since digital photography came along, it still won’t be totally ruled out from the phase of the earth.


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