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  1.  (8646.1)
    So most of the photographers here have probably noted the death of Kodachrome . I've never considered film photography to be endangered and it may still may not be, but this news doesn't lend itself to that theory.

    What do the photographers here in WC see in regards to this news? What is the status of film with digital becoming so dominant a format?
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      CommentAuthorSlick
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2010
     (8646.2)
    After using film since the mid seventies and digital since the ninieties I have no desire to go back
  2.  (8646.3)
    Digital will consume everything - eventually your soul, loved ones and the life forces of unborn children.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2010
     (8646.4)
    I have a relative who is a Big Name Photographer.

    He has no desire to even touch a digital camera. He has a dark room in his basement. He has a refrigerator with a several years supply of B&W film. (He's kind of iffy about color film too.)

    I suspect that there will always be enough flim photographers to support a boutique market in the stuff, at least for another generation.

    But it could well be that film and film processing services disappear from drug stores, souvenir shops, and the like within a decade.
  3.  (8646.5)
    I suspect that there will always be enough flim photographers to support a boutique market in the stuff, at least for another generation.


    I've always felt the art would keep it alive, but there are a few practical reasons I'd imagine. The biggest I'm aware of is night time photography. I've not seen a digital yet that really does this well, although my exposure (no pun intended) to the latest digital technology is probably limited compared to others.
  4.  (8646.6)
    Film will eventually become an expensive specialty product for artists who have money and like to experiment with odd materials and techniques. It will always be around in the same way rabbit-skin gesso, encaustic paints and stone carving will. But otherwise it just no longer has the convenience that once made it so useful and powerful, unlike, say oil paint, which will probably never die due to the convenience of being able to use it with cheap solvents.
  5.  (8646.7)
    yep- it will still be around. welcome to being considered on the same level as the weird guy who complains about musics availibility on vinyl. the backlash is already starting, theres a few punk kids i know who went back to doing everything on film to get the fucked up graininess
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      CommentAuthorrickiep00h
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2010
     (8646.8)
    This reminds me of the guy at our downtown art fair this year that was proudly strutting around with his 4x3 billows camera and crowing about how all his prints were handmade in a darkroom from real negatives. But they were NO BETTER than the guy right around the corner with Photoshop and a high-end Nikon.

    I can appreciate the ass-busting people do for their art, but if they're going to make it a selling point, they better be damn good at every point in the process, not just turning out a pedestrian print that a high schooler could do in a darkroom.

    Now, that said, I like the medium pretty well. I like B&W film shots, though I prefer to process them on the computer. I like the way certain films saturate, and I actually like the fact that you can't white balance film. But it all comes down to usage of tools. I'm not really a fan of permanently taking tools out of the toolbox, but if I can do something and achieve similar (or identical) effects with something easier, why bother with something that takes more time and effort? Call me lazy, but I'd rather spend more time making more art.
  6.  (8646.9)
    The market seems to be working its way to a small, stable niche. C-41 films probably have another decade of commercial viability, although we will probably see the variety of c-41 films cut down to just two or three (probably 200, 800, and B&W). US chain pharmacies aren't buying processing machines for every new location they build, but they are buying a few, and don't seem to be getting rid of the ones they have, which means they expect to still have enough business to recoup the cost. As long as there are grandparents who want to take pictures of the family, but who either can't or don't want to learn how to work computers, C-41 is safe. Non-C-41 B&W films like kodak tmax and tx are probably safer for even longer, with their simpler chemistry and lower unit cost giving them a better chance of surviving at lower production levels, and their strong following among professionals ensuring a more stable demands than the dwindling number of instamatic-wielding, non tech savvy parents.
  7.  (8646.10)
    But they were NO BETTER than the guy right around the corner with Photoshop and a high-end Nikon.

    Only the absolute best photographers are still getting better results with film. The only work I’ve seen in the last few years that made it seem worthwhile was on display at National Geographic’s headquarters in DC. But there are also some people who went digital and really need to go back—Annie Leibovitz isn’t so great at Photoshop!
  8.  (8646.11)
    I think after a while there will be some kind of left-handed backlash to "pure digital", as no one can truly tell if a digital shot is truly what was shot at the moment the aperture snapped (unless one uses one's data card only once and then archives it), because of the freedom to "tweak" that Photoshop et al provides - what film can provide that digital can not is a hardcopy of the original light reflecting off the subject - the negative is hard to manipulate, all in all, so proving what the original image really is can be fundamentally easier than a digital shot.

    Remember that the next time you see a pic of a shark leaping out of the water to bite a helicopter....
  9.  (8646.12)
    Hey, I see sharks jumping out of the water to bite helicopters all the time....

    That being said, doesn't RAW digital format preserve what was originally shot, to some degree? My PS teacher said something about that before.
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      CommentAuthorrickiep00h
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2010
     (8646.13)
    @KitsuneCaligari - If you think a final print is exactly what was captured by film, you're sorely mistaken. Dodge, burn, crops, comps, and airbrushing were all mainstays of print photography for decades. A lot of Ansel Adams' famous shots were modified in the darkroom in some way. It's just that its easier to spot shitty Photoshop work because of the dearth of shitty Photoshop operators and the ease of disseminating that work. A good Photoshop artist, just like a good darkroom artist, will leave little trace of their post work. (Unless, of course, they want to do something obviously outrageous.)

    @Roo - Basically, yes. It basically retains the "raw" image data like exposure and color balance without any of the post-processing a camera does to turn an image into a JPEG. It's as close to a digital negative as you can get. (The only stupid part is how there's still technically no standardized RAW format. Stupid proprietary vendors...)
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2010
     (8646.14)
    I may have said this before, but: Only people who have actually shot a roll of Kodachrome in the last year (or five years, or ten, or ever) should be allowed to eulogize it.

    Film in general isn't dead, but it ain't getting better. It 's got very good survivability, though - The very last redoubt of film will be, I imagine, a worldwide syndicate of film nuts connected by the internet making, shooting, and developing their own film (there's at least one guy in the Midwest who's ginned up a machine to apply emulsion to film stock - after that, it's just chemistry). Notice that there are people out there shooting daguerreotypes and tintypes - technologies that have been out of date for 150 years!

    But really, "film vs. digital" is just another gearhead argument. Some of those debates are interesting in their own way, but none of them are as interesting as, you know, taking pictures.
  10.  (8646.15)
    @rickiep00h - Yes, I'm more than familiar with darkroom techniques. I think my point was the negative can't really be manipulated, so when the image comes into question, there is a hardcopy there on the film, as opposed to a digital file on a datacard....
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      CommentAuthorrickiep00h
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2010
     (8646.16)
    @KitsuneCaligari - Well that, too, is debatable. You can certainly modify a negative. Not to the same extent, perhaps, but it's certainly doable. Just because something is more difficult to fiddle with doesn't mean it's impossible, and I generally don't trust film photography to be any more of a genuine representation than digital.

    Anyway, I'm probably poking at this more than I ought to, so I'll just leave it be.
  11.  (8646.17)
    @256

    But really, "film vs. digital" is just another gearhead argument. Some of those debates are interesting in their own way, but none of them are as interesting as, you know, taking pictures.


    I would like to agree with that but can't because there are obvious pluses and negatives between the two. Sure, I love digital gives me the ability to shoot multiple shots to up the ante on getting the right one. I borrowed a friend's analog to shoot some things though and there's just less of a casual nature you have to take in shooting photos. You have to pay a lot more attention. And there's this melding quality analog pictures have that still is unmatched by digital, I think. It is a bit more an art, I feel.
    • CommentAuthorALE
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2010
     (8646.18)
    Basically, yes. It basically retains the "raw" image data like exposure and color balance without any of the post-processing a camera does to turn an image into a JPEG. It's as close to a digital negative as you can get. (The only stupid part is how there's still technically no standardized RAW format. Stupid proprietary vendors...)

    DNG FTW.

    Film isn't going anywhere anytime soon. 256 touched upon something that has actually been kicking around in my head for a while now; it's going to evolve into a DIY/boutique thing the way vinyl has. Dedicated aficionados "rolling their own" and creating a community/movement around it, which I think will be rather awesome. Between that and Holga/plastic camera lovers like myself film still has a place in the order of things.
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      CommentAuthorstaticgirl
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2010
     (8646.19)
    I'm digital now but I remember hating Kodachrome because of this yellow tinge to everything. I preferred Agfa for its brilliant blues. this is 20 years ago mind.
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      CommentAuthorFredG
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2010
     (8646.20)
    Simon and Garfunkel singing Photoshop just wouldn't be the same.

    Look at photos I took 40 years ago and what I take now there is a certain satisfaction missing. There was a sense of anticipation using film and a weight to what you were doing, each shot cost money so I thought things out more. Getting a roll back and having that one really good shot plus a quirky one or two was a bit of a high. Now I shoot 100s without even thinking of cost and the thrill of getting that one perfect shot isn't the same, still there, but not as much. I also miss those oddball photos that you never expected. I can make odd stuff in photoshop all day long but the thrill of discovering one is duller.

    Enough old guy ranting I'm going to dig my SLR out of retirement and go look for a shot worthy of $1.94 frame of film (plus processing).