The photograph itself doesn't interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.

~Henri Cartier Bresson

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Reasons to stick with silver

The following is gathered

Very few arts ever die. There are still people making daguerreotypes, just as there are still gesso painters and sculptors in bronze.

A different look. Film images look different from digital, just as watercolours look different from oils. Choose whichever you prefer. We are in no doubt.

Better quality, cheaper. Depending on whom you believe, a 35mm transparency equates to anything from 12 to 30+ megapixels, with the smart money on 18-20 megapixels. Bigger formats deliver even more.

Proven archival keeping. There are constant stories of caches of old prints or glass plates turning up, often from a century or more ago.

No special equipment needed to examine negatives or prints. Compare this with digital images where you need a computer and a compatible reader and compatible software.

Easier to store, file and find. We find it a lot quicker (and more enjoyable) to check 500 slides in hanging files than we do to load a CD into a computer and view a few dozen images, then change CDs and view another few dozen, then...
No need for periodical 'back-ups'. A boon for those with better things to do with their lives than pander to the unsavoury needs of computers.

An enormous reservoir of first-class cameras. Are people going to junk their Leicas, Alpas and Gandolfis? Hardly.

Pleasure. It's enjoyable to take pictures with a first-class piece of engineering that is designed to last for decades, and then to make pictures that exercise your technical and aesthetic skills in the real world, instead of in front of a computer.
Tradition. Many of the greatest pictures ever made were taken with film cameras. The fact that there may have been no alternative at the time is somewhat beside the point: many want to follow in the footsteps of the great photographers of the past. 'Alternative' processes such as Argyrotypes hark back to point 2, above, but also deserve mention here.

1 comment:

Nightfly said...

That's right Dick. Film has an aesthetic feel you cannot get from digital. I love the diference, I can't help it. It's in my blood.

Yea, film....