Digital vs Film #2

It looks like Digital vs Film is going to be an ongoing topic on this blog - this is Digital vs Film post #2. I was listening to a podcast this morning. It was on film photography. The panelists made a couple of comments that started me to thinking.

One said that, in his experience, baby boomers are either all digital or all film. On the other hand, younger people embrace both. He said that if a baby boomer worked with film before the digital age, he came kicking and screaming into using digital, or she still uses film. They tend to remain in one camp or the other.

I am a baby boomer and worked heavily in film up until 2004 or so, when I got my first digital camera. I embraced digital and it is now my go-to medium. I find that you can do much more with digital than you can film, and the quality of digital is definitely equal to film. However, I enjoy using film. I still have a darkroom. I love the smell of the chemicals and I love the process. I still love the look of film. So, even though I’m a baby boomer, I have interest in both digital and film.

Another of the panelists said that film makes you a better photographer. He said that if you only have 36 shots on a roll of film, you will work harder to make them count. I would push back on that. I remember when I got my first serious film camera, I received the advice to run as much film through the camera as I could afford. The idea was that the more photos you take, the faster you learn. I think that’s true. Digital allows you to take more photos, plus you get the instant feedback of seeing what you’re getting. I will often start shooting a subject and realize that if I move a little to the right, or if I focus on a different element, I will have a better shot. Often, my best photo is the last one I take, because I have used the feedback to improve my shot. When you are shooting film, often after you process the roll, you realize that if you had moved a little bit the shot would be better. It’s too late then. So I think digital makes you a better photographer because you can learn from it as you go.