Essay about Film in a Digital Era

Essay about Film in a Digital Era

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It's strange, after being such an enthusiastic early adopter of digital cameras, I've found myself returning the the very first film camera I ever used. It was long before digital had caught on that I was lucky enough to own one of the first consumer grade digital cameras available. Although, it was a little out of date when it was given to me by a relative, I couldn't afford a digital camera at the time new or old. Not a lot of people bought them at the time, even if they could. I remember someone stopping me, asking "where's the viewfinder?" They were thinking it was some kind of dangerous device until I showed them pictures via the LCD screen. Others acted like I was playing with a toy, a novelty, something that couldn't be taken seriously by professionals. Despite early camera models' questionable quality, I found it endlessly useful. I took a lot of pictures for my "blog" (which wasn't even a word yet), and since monitors at the time defaulted to a lower resolution, I didn't need that many pixels to get by. I was willing to trade the inconvenience of having to get film developed for the lower resolution, terrible light sensors, and slow shutter speeds.

Nowadays, digital cameras finally improved enough to conquer its film counterparts. It's gotten to the point where you can't even get 35MM developed at your local Wal-Mart anymore, so why dare use a film camera in this exclusively digital era? One good reason to "go analogue" is that high-end professional film equipment is now being offloaded on eBay for cheap. If you want to do more than document your night out partying, you can take professional looking, artistic photos and without having to spend thousands on equipment.


I actually went and bought a lot off e...

... middle of paper ...

...gital companions and post the results on Facebook, Flickr, etc. It's unfortunate that the best equipment for scanning in negatives has disappeared from most photo labs, so you'll likely have to settle for older equipment and sadly lower megapixels. But, if you like a photo or set of photos enough, you can send them off to be scanned professionally (or buy a really good negative scanner if you're serious about it). For me, the best place to get this done is Walgreens, but it's uncertain how long this loophole will last.

In Conclusion

If you don't come out a better photographer than before, you will at least learn something from the experience. Instead of taking hundreds of terrible shots, you'll understand how to make better shots the first time around. With the shots you do take with film, they will have an added je ne sais quoi that you won't find with digital.

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