Long Live Film. Long Live Digital

Thinking about film got me thinking about the old film vs digital debates that have gone on over the last few years. I’ve never seen it as a vs situation.
There are things I like about both formats. With film, I hit a comfort zone. I was good at black and white. I could see in monochrome and that worked for me. I experimented with a few films and found my favourites; the ones that gave me the kind of results I liked. I found a groove and stuck with it. I also liked the fact that I knew my camera would last. I had Nikon F100 with an F80 as backup and they were great cameras. I also had an F301 manual focus camera which I still have. It’s about 25 years old now and still working fine. Can’t imagine saying that about my D90 25 years from now.
Digital feels like starting over for me. Gone is the safety net of knowing how the image will look on a certain type of film. Gone is the skill of using a certain type of film to get a certain type of result. Now I have to deal with colour and white balance and stuff. Yet, with it comes a certain freedom that I’m really enjoying. I can afford to be creative, to experiment, to play and not have to worry about wasting film. I can see instantly if the composition worked, or if I missed something, or something might inspire me to do it differently while looking at the LCD. I may have lost some of the discipline I gained as a film photographer, but that freedom to play has brought a new sense of enjoyment to my photography. (The images used for my blog banner are a great example of this. Just messing around and looking at the patterns on the LCD. Could never have done that with film.)
Plus, with digital photography comes a new set of skills. The skills of the darkroom are now replaced with the skills of the lightroom, and best of all, I don’t have to worry about dust like I used to. (Anyone remember having a perfect print ruined by a spec of dust on the negative?)
I still have a soft spot for film; always will and I hope I can keep dipping into film photography for many more years. But digital has given me a new photographic lease of life and a renewed enthusiasm for the craft. So long live film and long live digital.

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