Film Had Its Advantages

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John
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Film Had Its Advantages

Post by John »

I love digital photography and the immediate way we can all share images on the web. It makes competition entries easier, it makes giving talks easier, it's even better quality in many respects.

Ah, but just recently I was invited to join a new Facebook group (Irlams o'th' Height) which is all about the place I was born and raised. So, having been asked if I had any photos, it was back to the albums. And there are the pictures, many if not most in black and white, good ones, poor ones, rejects. But suddenly there's a new context. The image of a tiny person in front of the buildings is suddenly a good image again, because it shows all the old demolished shops in their prime. And the person in front doesn't intrude...the actual subject matter has reversed because of what we want from the picture.

But even the holiday shots are now special. I've annotated them all, the dates are there, I've even noted what cameras and lenses were used. Wow, there's a lot of history in these.

Now fast forward to the present day and there's barely a print in sight. OK, there's stuff on facebook, ePHOTOzine, etc., by the bucketload, but there are no prints. No albums. Nothing a visitor could pick up out of curiosity. We don't usually wander up to other people's computers, boot them up and have a look to see if there's anything interesting.

There's been huge progress, but in some ways we have lost our way. Very few of our srtistic, wondrous creations will stir even a twitch of interest in 20 years time, even if someone bothers to look at them. Personal, family pictures, local scenes of long lost things, those are the stuff that will be wanted. I wonder where it will be?
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Tracey McGovern
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Re: Film Had Its Advantages

Post by Tracey McGovern »

Hi John

I found your thread interesting. Before I got my first digital camera, I took hundreds of photos on film using cheap and cheerful point and shoot cameras. Each photo was lovingly placed into albums (even the crap ones) which were logged in cronological order, as a result I have over 50 albums adorning my shelves. However, I haven't put a single digital photo in any albums since 2003, that's shocking.

We had family visiting us a few months ago, the kids asked if I had any photos of their dad when he had hair (their dad is my brother in law), I dragged out some of the albums to show them, they were howling laughing at seeing their dad with actual hair on his head and sporting a snazzy tash, it was wonderful looking back at those long forgotten pictures and was made even more pleasant by being able to sit on the couch, passing the albums round rather than sitting in front of a pc screen which just isn't the same experience.

I have been meaning to get my pictures put into photo books, it's something I've been wanting to do for a while, but it's just having the time to do it. I'm going to make a concerted effort to do it or at least make a start in the not too distant future.

Tracey

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Re: Film Had Its Advantages

Post by DaveSouthern »

Hi John,

Long live FILM.


Dave Southern

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Paul Jones
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Re: Film Had Its Advantages

Post by Paul Jones »

Gosh, I honestly can't remember the last time I printed any photos....
The treasured family photo album is sadly dying.

(But I have made 3 Blurb books....)
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Re: Film Had Its Advantages

Post by Walter Brooks »

John just reading the Forum to the whir of my scanner, for on this miserable wet day I have been in my loft scanning my old films; putting negs into sleeves; gathering the enprints into 'p(h)iles' for putting into albums; oh and of course burning images to CDs and saving to external hard drives.
For some of us film never went away and as Mark D would have it, there will always be a way to print a neg!
W 8)
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Re: Film Had Its Advantages

Post by PhilipHowe »

My wife is now obsessed with printing photos out as our kids approach the 18 month mark. I used to carry a digital camera with me everywhere and take photos of any crap I saw. I'm now thinking of getting film camera for this to make me think.

I look at the old photo albums, many with the warning sticker on them in the albums my man had every time I go "home". However, as others have said,the nostalgia isn't actually film, nostalgia in this case is looking at prints. This was the only end product.

It dies make you think.
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Re: Film Had Its Advantages

Post by Brian »

From a slightly different point of view ..

I used to work in Tote Credit in Wigan and in their reception they had a big B&W photo of the top of Wigan (where Lowes used to be looking down towards college) among other people in the photograph, there was this little young boy looking straight at the photographer in shorts and a little victorian flat cap, it always amazed me to think what that boy was thinking, who he was and became, what he thought of the strange man with the box on leg's .. I longed to be able to step into that photo and see the place as it was, look round the slightly recognisable town centre that I knew, yet I didn't in the incarnation that existed at that time. Forward a few years to having a camera and my undying interest in abandoned buildings, architecture and the like, I find a little cafe in Manchester (Metro Cafe just behind Debenhams on High Street) the walls are adorned with huge B&W pictures from Manchester, some in the 1800's some through to the 1930's. The captures of Albert Square before it was pedestrianised and the ghostly figures of the long 1800's exposures, the buildings that have gone or changed beyond recognition. the businesses that no longer exist or how we used to shop (can you imagine these days going buying a 3 piece suit from a rack that hung outside the shop on a busy street even though we now dont have the factories belching out the toxic fumes they did in these pictures ? yet people still bought their clothes this way). Also the little cafe in Southport festooned with old victorian sea side photos of the hay day of the resort, women with their sunday best on, men with pristine suit, tie and straw boater, daughters dressed as if going to church and sons in their little sailor uniforms.

My interest in these are what was, the places I used to play in when I was a child and the amazing pieces of architectural art work that we have lost, I look longingly at an age that was simpler, no t.v., no internet and no mobile phones .. the world a smaller and dingier place yet SOOOO much ahead of us and our simpler ways of looking at the world. There was still adventure to be had in that strange "Alien" world that was just beneath the grime.

Recently I have picked up books, Britains Lost Cities, Lost Victorian Britain, Englands lost houses and the like it forever saddens me to think of the gems we have lost in the way of so called "progress", ok most of what you read about in these books are like The Euston Arch, Glasgow’s St Enoch’s Hotel and not say the sweet shop on the corner where you used to get your toffees on the way home from school but still the same I look back at these photographs with a strong and proud sence of nostalgia.
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Re: Film Had Its Advantages

Post by Walter Brooks »

Philip H writes
... I used to carry a digital camera with me everywhere and take photos of any crap I saw.
That was and still is for digital capture - because you can, without the cost incurred if that was done with film ... that is one advantage of digital over film
... I'm now thinking of getting film camera for this to make me think.
film [and the use of manually configured camera settings] has a tendency to slow the taking process down ... which is one advantage of film over digital, although arguably thinking should be happening whichever way the image is captured

and
the nostalgia isn't actually film, nostalgia in this case is looking at prints. This was the only end product.
the nostalgia for me is the different types of films for different effects; the different types of processes, the excitement of the wait to see if your considered efforts bore fruit ... the end product being the hands on process of learning photography to get to the point of producing a satisfactory print or slide.

Albums can still be put together from enprints, but with the digital driver has followed the industry's consequential need for the add ons - stick your disk in a digital photo frame; a CD/DVD into a player and view photos on TV; upload your images and publish your own book ... great stuff if you want it, but leave nostalgia to those who were there first time round ...

W 8)
“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
― Dorothea Lange

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