Photoshelter is an awesome website hosting company, but they also rock at putting together short “guides” to various topics on a really regular basis. Today they released a guide titled Film Photography in a Digital Age and it might be my favorite one yet.
In today’s digital world, there is a certain romanticism surrounding film and analog things. And more than the nostalgia, perhaps there is a human connectedness to the tangibility of film. It is, after all, a thing. A physical thing to hold in one’s hands. A print can sit in a frame without need of power or WiFi, and be viewed with a surreptitious glance. A negative can survive power outages and hard drive crashes. And film moves us away from instantaneous gratification, causing us to move slower and hopefully with more intent. In that respect, an interest in film is relevant to all photographers, and perhaps the community of photographers should ensure its survival.
Consider this guide a tribute to all the companies and people flying the flag of film: Digital natives who have seen the beauty in analog, grizzled veterans who never gave up on silver, and companies who can’t stop tilting at windmills. Perhaps history will look at them as a niche footnote; Luddies in the digital world. Or perhaps, we will remember those who helped save an artform for future generations.
And that’s why I like this guide the most: it’s not so much a “how to” do something (there is an element of that though), but a guide that explains why something matters now more than, perhaps, ever. Photographer, and good friend of mine, Dave Geffin is featured in this particular guide, and offers a really inspirational quote on why film still, and perhaps always will, matter.
It is precisely because of the rapid technological developments that I’m shooting film again. In my humble opinion, our digital cameras can do almost too much, which can hinder us when thinking about how we want to apply an inherently technical tool (the camera) in a creative way (our vision).
Pick up the guide today and prepare to love every word. Film is in a sort of renaissance today, and that’s a glorious thing.