Film Photography Saved By Technology

from the it-can-do-that-too dept

There's no doubt that digital technology has devastated the traditional photographic film industry, but purists may still have technology to thank for helping to keep alive their interests. The internet is helping film users find equipment, collaborate on projects, and discuss their craft. One couple even raised money over the web to finance a production facility for an old kind of film, which Kodak had stopped making. Most of the time, technology is discussed in terms of what it's replacing, but often it's vital to preservation as well. Consider how cheap archiving enables the storage and distribution of old art forms. The example of the film enthusiasts is also a good one to look at for people interested in online social networking. It's not always about creating flashy platforms with expectations of exponential growth; a lot of value can come simply be putting disparate people with shared interests in touch with each other.
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  • identicon
    DittoBox, 11 May 2006 @ 1:57pm

    Wow...

    A positive story! This great.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Is there anything it can't do?, 11 May 2006 @ 2:06pm

    Technology

    mmmm, technology.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dan Moutal, 11 May 2006 @ 3:20pm

    I still use film but...

    I still use film, but I am egerly looking for the day where digital is finally able to reproduce the amazing colours I get from Fuji Velivia.

    Don't bother arguing with me on wheather digital is better than film. The colours you get from film or digital are completely a personal preference, none is better than the other, nut i prefer velvia.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Scruffy Ken, 11 May 2006 @ 3:45pm

      Re: I still use film but...

      See, you still think in film terms. The colours you get from Velvia 50 (warmth in the orange ranges, etc.) can be reproduced EXACTLY with digital saturation. The difference is that once you shoot with Velvia, you can't get the "True Color" back.

      I know you said "dont bother", but I had to anyway.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      film fan, 3 Jun 2006 @ 10:54pm

      Re: I still use film but...

      but... but... what? when you abandon film do you think it willl simply wait for you to return. like a patient concubine?. no when your done with it it is done. the mass migration is all consumer driven. sure it was fun to have instant images ... did polaroid not revolutionize a certain aspect of photograohy. i remember in 1962 using a polaroid land camera to check my exposure settings for use with 35mm and 4x5. 1 mega pixel is one million lines of res. so newer d cameras are up to about 20 mp ish(2006) you would have to quadruple that to get only half of the potential film creates..riddle me this would rather a neg to hold up to the light to check its attributes , or would your rather trying to look through your memory stick wondering why you ever changed from such a RELIABLE medium... talk to me in 30 years when digital is from the devil and everybody cries what happened to film!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Your mom, 11 May 2006 @ 3:40pm

    /[ki]{2}s+[y m]{4}as+

    Let the best product win, nut i prefer digital :0

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Your mom, 11 May 2006 @ 3:41pm

    /[ki]{2}s+[y m]{4}as+/

    Let the best product win, nut i prefer digital :0

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Denfro Licious, 11 May 2006 @ 4:29pm

    Splice

    But how do you splice and dice...? Sure digital is point-and-click... but film you get to use scissors!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tashi, 11 May 2006 @ 9:24pm

    back in the day

    There is still something to be said for being in a smelly, chemical filled darkroom fighting with roll of film to get it on the spool. Taking the photo wasn't just art, but the process of devloping it was an art too. Now you just dump it off a card into a pc and photoshop. Technology is great but I'm still nostalgic for film and analog.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jeremiah, 12 May 2006 @ 12:17am

    Hey look!

    Hey look! Over there! Is that an eight-track???

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      brian, 3 Jun 2006 @ 11:02pm

      Re: Hey look!

      magnetic tape is still the preferred medium in certain applications. your reference itself is dated. its not that cds are better than vinyl. its just a consumer driven industry... so lets do some simple 'rough' math... 6 billion people on the planet 60 million have an idea how film photography works only a small % of that # knows and apreciates the medium, the rest are crying about under exposure and lack of results through inferior knowledge and shoddy practices. yet didgital comes out and all of a sudden even your cousin is ansell adams.
      just think what you have, digital dependant junk
      my film however works and can be developed even in a power outage... top that

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    reden, 12 May 2006 @ 12:22am

    comments

    I really think this is a purist versus techie agrument. While the traditional way of film developing has been elevated into art form and pursued only by (what people think of as) hard core fundamentalist, it doesnt come as a surprise that technology has allowed those without the cash to invest in a dark room or those without talent (and patience) to catch up. Hopefully technology becomes so good that it complements dark room principles, to be appreciated by purists as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Puritanical, 12 May 2006 @ 3:16am

    Film vs Digital? Kewl!

    For a number of things, digital certainly has a clear advantage. But there is something about taking a shot with some low speed ultra-fine grain black & white film that hasn't yet been captured on digital, especially an available light night shot that has to be tickled out without losing that fine grain. As the pixel count increases, the possibility of matching shots like that are approached but they're not there yet.

    Fine grain portrait work is the same, though I'm not a studio type (I hate studio work!) and I have no real idea what's happening in that realm.

    Of course, there's also taking color slides (we do remember slides, right?) of the night sky using something of the order of an ASA 400 film then pushing it to around 3200 to bring out details that would otherwise be missed. This would be kind of like taking one pixel on a many megapixel camera that barely can detect there was something there and bringing it up in true color. Possible? Probably, but with film it's easy. Just push it 'til it screams for mercy in processing. Withg digital, you're also dealing with a noise floor that doesn't exist in film.

    Just my $.0195 worth ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      brian, 3 Jun 2006 @ 11:13pm

      Re: Film vs Digital? Kewl!

      thank you! you seem to be approaching this from the right angle... there are comparisons and sure even now in 2006 digi is kicking royal but. but if we are not careful committed and united film will dissapear (through capitalist consumerism) canon has already announced it is staying production and r&d of new film bodies...CANON. no film. and yes i remember slide film kodak kodachrome mmmmmm.... velvias rich blacks... ilfords infinate grain! i am not a purist i do like b&w but i like the fact that i can develop my own film fumble through printing and actually get results. other than enlargement i have no power issues i can shoot a roll and expose the negs without power... without hydro to run my enlarger i can still use a negative to illustrate my composition, digital however no power no product

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      brian, 3 Jun 2006 @ 11:21pm

      Re: Film vs Digital? Kewl!

      thank you! you seem to be approaching this from the right angle... there are comparisons and sure even now in 2006 digi is kicking royal but. but if we are not careful committed and united film will dissapear (through capitalist consumerism) canon has already announced it is staying production and r&d of new film bodies...CANON. no film. and yes i remember slide film kodak kodachrome mmmmmm.... velvias rich blacks... ilfords infinate grain! i am not a purist i do like b&w but i like the fact that i can develop my own film fumble through printing and actually get results. other than enlargement i have no power issues i can shoot a roll and expose the negs without power... without hydro to run my enlarger i can still use a negative to illustrate my composition, digital however no power no product

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sidney Cammeresi, 12 May 2006 @ 8:10am

    Kodak discontinued paper, not film

    Kodak's discontinued Azo was a paper, not a film, RTFA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2006 @ 11:55am

    yeah yeah yeah

    Few professional photographers developed or even printed their work. Their time was much too valuable to be sitting in a darkroom watching a ticking clock. Digital has allowed photographers to have such control over their work that even a hobbyist with OCD would appreciate. It is possible to recreate the same wonders of AZO paper in a digital darkroom, only you have more control over what you're doing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tora1188, 12 May 2006 @ 1:19pm

    Cant P-Shop do that?

    Isn't there some 3rd party photoshop xtension or action that someone has already released to recreate AZO paper automatically?

    I don't know for sure. So i could be wrong....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    charlie meecham, 13 May 2006 @ 12:13pm

    photography - the end?

    I'm still hand printing photos for photographers and artists in the UK. I love the process and it saddens me that the industry has been taken over so quickly by the digital while there are so many problems to still sort out (a durable storage system for one). But time is clearly not on my side, it seems that the professional film processors are giving up and the range of colour products that I use such as Ilfochrome are becoming increasingly restricted. What to do? Do I take out a bank loan and fill a freezer with film and paper? Perhaps things are not quite that bad yet. Perhaps in the US things are not quite so extreme yet but over here the ground has become very shaky. I suppose people like me have always been reliant on the larger amateur and commercial industries to do the R & D and fund the products for the smaller more experimental cultural industries to 'play' with. This will always be the way. But the sense of material and the satisfaction of being physically and mentally involved in making a print is quite special to the silver based process.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jul 2006 @ 8:01pm

    bla

    bla

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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