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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Digital Cameras?! Forgetaboutit!! Why Film Can Be Better than Digital. Gasp!

A friend of mine showed me this video late in the am while conversing online. He kept cracking up on how he saw this commercial air in the wee hours on NBA TV haha So I took a look at it and while I was laughing, the video has some good points. With that being said, I will say that in some occasions, 35mm film photography is much easier and more practical.

Since this post was originally just to highlight this video, I'll give reasons as to why "regular" film photography can actually be better than digital photography:

1. Shoot for Keeps
Face it: when's the last time you actually held a photograph in your hand? I know you have a digital camera and I know you post pictures to your Facebook and even email them to friends and family...but when's the last time you actually felt a photograph? Shooting 35mm film photography is the easiest way to get them in your hand. You don't need to download your memory card to your computer, go through them, upload to a printing service and then have it shipped. Just drop off the roll of film to Walgreens or Target and by the time you're done shopping or running your errands, your roll of film is done!

2. Share Your Photos
The video did a good job in illustrating the ease of sharing your photos: you simply give them to your friends and family. It's also called human interaction. In the day of digital, everything is easy since you can send information in an instant. I admit, I love it. But what I also love [and now miss] is the actual interaction of humans! I use to play video games at friend's houses... now more often is playing online. I actually had a penpal but now email is just easier. So having a picture you can send to a friend or family in mail once in awhile is truly a needle in a haystack which makes it even more special. So take time and share your photos by actually giving a photograph and not a file.

3. Travel Light without Having Your Camera Insight
I purposely rhymed..I know...but you bought your digital for $200-400 for your pocket digital camera and now you're going on to a trip. Well you did buy that camera for photography purposes but maybe you're double thinking about bringing it to an area that it can possibly be damaged or even stolen. This is where the film camera comes to play: it's lo-fi so it's not going to be a thief's wanted item and because of its relatively low price, you wouldn't mind if you damaged the camera. And God forbid it gets stolen, it only cost you a couple of $20 bucks. Bonus! Once you get your prints, put them in actual album :gasp!: in which you can keep of all your travels. When guests come in, it'll be great conversation fodder!

4. Film Hones Your Skills
The great part about digital photography is you can take more than 300 shots in one digital memory card. The worse part about digital photography is that you don't need more than 300 shots...especially if it's all taken during one event. Depending on your roll of film, you can take anywhere between 27-36 shots in one roll. Meaning, you better make sure you make every shot count! If you're shooting with film, you're practically force to take better pictures! You don't 5 shots of close up shots of your shoes or a particular place--one shot is good enough. I've taken a film camera when I traveled and it definitely tells a story much better than going through hundreds of digital photos.

The upsides of film is that it trains you take better pictures and become a better storyteller.

5. Film Has the Element of Surprise!
Once you're done with your roll, take it to wherever you get it developed (nowadays, a developed roll runs for about $8-9.. it's gotten up over the years =/) but while it is getting developed, relax, shop around, read a book--do something! When you get it back, you can relive the moments you had. I know instant is nice and all--digital photography has allowed us to make life move faster by capturing images and sending it immediately. But with film photography, that roll of film you have is your time capsule. Once you drop off that roll and you get the pictures, it immediately sends you back in time as you hold the photographs and go through each one.

Bonus! 35mm Photography Can Be Fun!
If you're wanting a simple point and shoot film camera that can enable cool effects without having to work with them in Photoshop, check out the camera on Lomography. Yes they are pricey but do some research [check out B&H Photo & Video or eBay] and I'm sure you can get a good price.

I actually own 2 cameras from Lomography and it definitely makes shooting photography fun--the SuperSampler and ActionSampler. Another lo-fi camera that's one of my favorites is the simple Vivitar Slim & Wide.

Here's links to samples of those cameras via Flickr:
SuperSample samples
ActionSampler samples
Slim & Wide samples

Since I'll be going to the Philippines for the majority of September, I will most likely bring one 35mm camera to make life much simpler.

Hope this inspired to actually consider film again! Happy [35mm] shooting yall!

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