Middleton family cameras. Film and digital article.

Middleton family cameras. Film and digital article.

‘There are essentially two sorts of photographer – one the creative and the other technical, one painting with light, capturing those decisive moments; the other documenting, debating the merits of various pieces of equipment and different processes.’ Discuss..

I am a dinosaur (I'm still using a mouse and a PC, ha,ha). No, I'm still using manual film Nikons and prime (fixed element) lenses. I do have a Fuji bridge camera that produces good results, but if I need an image quickly, Jessops will process a film (with scans) inside an hour most days. If the batteries fail on my FM2 or FM3a, I can bring out my trusty Weston lightmeter or bracket shots.

Nowadays I am forced to think more about each shot I take. I treat every shot captured on film as if I was using a medium format or (5 x 4)” camera.

Predictions for the death of black-and-white (b/w) film followed the colour film explosion of the 1970s. It didn’t really happen – to an extent b/w flourished, albeit in specialist labs, despite the dangerous and dirty nature of the process. There is nothing to beat the sight of an image appearing in the dish. But necessity doesn't provide, and businesses, enthuiasts and users had to diversify.

I like the image quality of film, the grain, the depth of field and sharpness control that film affords. Film is harder to buy now, but autofocus and zoom seem hit-and-miss affairs - they don’t produce the same results as film. In 90% of prints, I can tell whether they've been produced on a film or a digital camera. There are other issues - back-compatibility of cameras and lenses, the need to constantly upgrade systems. There are issues with mobile phone technology and its capabilities, further blurring the line between amateur and professional. A new global shutter system (based on sensors alone) threatens to make both shutters and flash units redundant. Electronic image storage is a minefield: under suitable conditions film will last a lifetime, which is more than be claimed for zip drive files, floppy discs and (corrupted) CDs.

Then there’s the cost factor - the initial expense of digital photography is prohibitive, driven by market forces in an industry desperate to survive.
Software can be a big learning curve. No longer do photographers advocate folk process and print their own work. A whole generation of skills have been lost – the three 'T's (texture, timing and temperature) are taught only in evening classes and colleges. In essence a whole industry has disappeared. Kodak are testimony to the decline - their employment figures have plummeted.

Written: May 2012
Ref:
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Middleton family cameras. Film and digital article.

Middleton family cameras. Film and digital article.

‘There are essentially two sorts of photographer – one the creative and the other technical, one painting with light, capturing those decisive moments; the other documenting, debating the merits of various pieces of equipment and different processes.’ Discuss..

I am a dinosaur (I'm still using a mouse and a PC, ha,ha). No, I'm still using manual film Nikons and prime (fixed element) lenses. I do have a Fuji bridge camera that produces good results, but if I need an image quickly, Jessops will process a film (with scans) inside an hour most days. If the batteries fail on my FM2 or FM3a, I can bring out my trusty Weston lightmeter or bracket shots.

Nowadays I am forced to think more about each shot I take. I treat every shot captured on film as if I was using a medium format or (5 x 4)” camera.

Predictions for the death of black-and-white (b/w) film followed the colour film explosion of the 1970s. It didn’t really happen – to an extent b/w flourished, albeit in specialist labs, despite the dangerous and dirty nature of the process. There is nothing to beat the sight of an image appearing in the dish. But necessity doesn't provide, and businesses, enthuiasts and users had to diversify.

I like the image quality of film, the grain, the depth of field and sharpness control that film affords. Film is harder to buy now, but autofocus and zoom seem hit-and-miss affairs - they don’t produce the same results as film. In 90% of prints, I can tell whether they've been produced on a film or a digital camera. There are other issues - back-compatibility of cameras and lenses, the need to constantly upgrade systems. There are issues with mobile phone technology and its capabilities, further blurring the line between amateur and professional. A new global shutter system (based on sensors alone) threatens to make both shutters and flash units redundant. Electronic image storage is a minefield: under suitable conditions film will last a lifetime, which is more than be claimed for zip drive files, floppy discs and (corrupted) CDs.

Then there’s the cost factor - the initial expense of digital photography is prohibitive, driven by market forces in an industry desperate to survive.
Software can be a big learning curve. No longer do photographers advocate folk process and print their own work. A whole generation of skills have been lost – the three 'T's (texture, timing and temperature) are taught only in evening classes and colleges. In essence a whole industry has disappeared. Kodak are testimony to the decline - their employment figures have plummeted.

Written: May 2012
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Photographer: