Duck wrote:The first thing I notice is that the article 'interviews' a single wedding photographer whose 'gimmick' is offering film based images as part of his wedding package. This obviously is not an impartial opinion or a unbiased overview of a coming trend. It actually comes across as a soft sell for his services.
Unfortunately, film has been demoted to "artistic" status, a quaint reminder of long ago technology our parents saw as an everyday thing. Sadly the millennial's desires to "going retro" has further pushed film as that 'hipster' thing to do. Nothing like taking something as ubiquitous as shooting film and stuffing it into a narrow, almost negative, category. Capitalizing on the fact a wedding can be shot on film is actually a brilliant idea. Specially since all the cellphone photographers can never compete against that.
There are several quotes from the photographer made about using film that are rather absurd and definitely made as a selling point to the uninitiated.
"Film just looks better. The colors are much more authentic and real, and the image has a more grounded look to it. Also, the cool factor of the grain that you get from film is hard to replicate with a computer (believe me, I've tried!)."
I know digital photographers who purposely give their images a 'retro film look' because that is what they cut their teeth on back in the day. Heck, there are tons of 'retro' filters and Photoshop actions to replicate just about any type of film. Besides, most people could care less. The same goes about the "cool factor" of image grain. I thought that grain comment was rather cute. I almost laughed if it wasn't so ridiculous.
The other comment I thought was also ridiculous was this one;
"Instead of rapid firing to get 15 similar digital images, with film I wait for the perfect moment and 'click,' I've got it. By being forced to slow down, I believe the images that are created are truer to the moment."
This statement is pure propaganda. Any professional photographer (unless they subscribe to the 'spray and pray' philosophy), shooting film or digital, is about actively seeking that true moment and the number of frames required to capture that moment does not correlate to the media being used. If it takes 3 shots to get a garter toss it takes 3 shots, period. It's not as if shooting with film one would say, "hmm, I better not waste three frames on a garter toss. I'll just use one." My feeling is that 15 to one ratio he mentions comes from someone who's never really shot a wedding on film. Yes, shooting digital has freed us to be able to take additional images (just in case) but they are not because shooting on film you would otherwise somehow not get the shot.
As for returning to film? Absolutely! As a self indulgent act of reminding me of 'simpler times', and because I can. Not because it's better on some anachronistic level, but because I enjoy it. I recently bought an old Graflex Speed Graphic Pacemaker that's several years older than me. Again, not because I need it or because it has some awesome powers my digital camera doesn't, but because I know how to use it and it makes me happy. Will it replace my digital cameras in the studio or in the field? Absolutely not. Specially for any client work. Heck, I even have my old Canon AE-1 Program cameras, lenses and all, should I want them. Right now, larger formats have more appeal to me than 35mm. 4x5 will fill that desire for now.
Using film and printing from film is now a status thing. We understand how difficult that task is because we all know that the Fotomats are all gone and photographers shooting film today are processing and printing these things in small batches by hand. It's relegated to the 'art scene' on the same level as painters and sculptors creating art by hand. That's a good thing.
Duck, you make the points that caused me to make the original post. "... colors more authentic and real, image has a more grounded look to it. Also, the cool factor of the grain that you get from film..." Say whaaaaaaaaaaa...? And indeed, Mister Decisive Moment always knows exactly when to trip his shutter for that perfect once-in-a-lifetime shot. I've shot about 800 weddings in my career, every single one on film, so I think I have the moxie to say "bushwah." I will however admit that I prided myself on a finely developed sense of timing owing to shooting all my weddings with Hasselblads with 12-exposure backs (I always feared light leaks with 220). I had a "pistol belt" with clips for 3 spare backs plus my Quantum battery, but even so I had to be very mindful of each exposure. The guy I bought my studio from shot all his weddings with Crown Graphics and film holders no kidding!
Incidentally, my beloved Speed Graphic is a Pacemaker. I bought it when I started school. The school had shelves full of them but having been through generations of students many were in sorry shape with bent rails, missing infinity stops, broken rangefinders and so on. I had always wanted one anyway because my dad was a war correspondent for Acme Newspictures. His favorite camera was an Anniversary model. I would have preferred one like it but the Pacemaker was what I found.