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Will film make a comeback?

...I certainly hope so!



I have been a photography buff for many years. It all started when Santa Claus gave me a Kodak Instamatic camera for Christmas when I was quite young.

While in High School I took photography classes and was one of the staff photographers for the yearbook. I desperately wanted a nice SLR so I worked at a gas station across the street from the school to earn enough money to buy my first good camera, a Nikon Nikkormat FTN. Depending on what I am doing I'll either shoot with my Nikon F2AS (or Nikon F5), my Mamiya RB67 medium format camera or with a digital camera. My current digital camera is a Nikon D90 single lens reflex.

Although digital has all but replaced film photography I question the longevity of digital files whether they be in RAW format or anything else. Files fragment, get corrupted, hard drives and SSD drives fail, data can be lost, etc. CDs and DVDs don't last forever either. Even if you back up your files religiously (that in itself is a pain), you can still get wiped out.  Film can get damaged or destroyed too though.

However, film doesn't  seem to suffer the "electronic" drawbacks. Film is forever provided you take care of the negatives and slides. For redundancy, you can also scan the negatives and use/store/archive them digitally.

The big advantage of film, that I see, is that 20 or 50 years from now you can use that future technology to scan and print the negatives. You are not strapped to the technology of today. Who can say we will still be using jpeg's, png's or even RAW by then? At any rate, there is no denying that digital is permanently here to stay.

Black & White Photography

I have avidly pursue black & white photography since I was a young teenager. Simply put, B&W photography, at the time, was the simplest and cheapest way in to photography as a hobby. It was easy to learn, although takes a lifetime to master, and one could set up a rudementary darkroom in a broom closet if need be...which is what I did at home in my basement.

I have loved B&W photographs ever since and always seem to turn back to them for special occassions. With the coming of the digital age, B&W photography seems to have been relegated to the Recycle Bin for the more convenient digital cameras.

Every once in a while you come across a B&W photograph, but not often. More often than not it was taken in grayscale digitally or was a digital color photograph that was pulled down to gray-scale in a software application. When that's done, I think we lose much of the true brilliance of B&W photographs.

Black and white film, in the hands of a master, has no equal either in the studio world or the outdoors. B&W tends to capture tonal qualities, light, textures, movement and the mood in a much more dramatic fashion. One photographer I found recently is Jan Grarup. His photographs capture these essences better than most. He has a very distinctive style and looking at his photographs, each one brings you in to the moment and makes you feel like you were there. He gets close to his subjects; maybe even too close as they evoke a lot of emotion. Check out Jan Grarup's photographs; they are truly intoxicating.

The late Ansel Adams is another photographer that I hold in great esteem. For those fortunate enough to have attended his classes, were truly taught by one of, if not the finest photographer in modern times. I have read each of his books cover-to-cover numerous times. It is not the same as seeing him in person. It can't be. Some things just cannot be taught by books alone. But they will always remain an inspiration for me.