The news was announced last week, January 6th, that Kodak is reviving the Ektachrome line of 35mm film. A cheer could be heard going up, from the throats of those who relished the film in its heyday up until production ceased in 2012. Such an announcement was bound to have excited those who still love film photography and those who are just picking it up, in the same way that many music lovers are rediscovering the delights of vinyl records. The news also prompted a spate of commentary on social media. Reactions ranged from glee at the return of some fine old-school tech to puzzlement and disdain at the idea of bringing back something that clearly appeared to be a tech dinosaur.
Reaction here at Oncatography was more to the glee side. Digital photography is the way of the now and the future, but film is fun. Film brings with it a slowness and fuzziness that digital photography does not have (unless you let the filters do the thinking for you). So what if the person next to you has a camera phone, and can keep shooting if you have to stop and reload? So what if they can post to social media instantly, while you have to wait on film to come back? Quantity and speed are nice in this age of high volume demand and low duration attention spans. They have their place. But...
Digital and speed are not the only arbiters of success or superiority of image. Having a phone camera or digital camera does not make one a photographer, necessarily, it just means that one can take as many pictures as one likes...just like everyone else. And crap that is shared on Facebook or other platforms is still that: crap. Which most of what gets posted seems to be.
Digital does many things well. It revolutionized photography similar to the way that computer-assisted drafting disrupted hand drafting in architecture, engineering and manufacturing. I know because I cut my professional teeth in architecture learning to draw by hand, which taught me so much about learning to build buildings. Film photography functioned in a similar fashion as I learned to "make" photographs. These days, I use digital equipment for most of my professional endeavors; I have to, as it is the nature of the business. But I have noticed that long periods of shooting digitally tend to engender in me a laziness of eye and mind. This is something that generally does not happen when I shoot with film. Not only do the cameras I use require a deeper engagement with process, the inherent unknowns around the output of the film has a "duende", a spirit, that gets flattened by the relentless efficiency of digital.
Will film turn around and replace digital? Of course not. The fuzziness and mystery of film does not have broad enough appeal to the cultural appetite for image consumption that surrounds us. Film is worth preserving and nurturing, though, if only for those of us who do not concern ourselves overly much with what and how fast the person next to us is posting on Facebook. A touch Luddite, I suppose, but there you have it.
Here endeth my sermon 'against the dying of the light.
Author's note: a shorter version of this first appeared as a 'reply' to a Facebook comment, January 10, 2017.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, cats and dogs, your attention, please!
I am thrilled to announce a new addition to the nascent digital studio that is Oncatography! If you will kindly turn your eyes to the Tabs above, just below the header, you will see some changes.
I have added a Galleries tab, to announce my very first online offering of selected pictures for your browsing (and perhaps, purchasing) pleasure. Also, the former Contact tab is now Contact/Prints, with some additional information regarding prints and pricing, if you should desire to purchase a print or prints.
The Gallery is in the fledgling stage, things are just starting to get off the ground here, so please browse a bit and let me know what you think. I will be expanding the selections in the near future, with announcements when that occurs. Who knows, I may slip some in there when I think no one is looking, so please check back. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated!
Happy Friday, one and all! I am so very pleased to let you know that a print of mine has been selected for display in today's issue of Indie Ink. Please do lay some eyes upon it (click on the II button below) and while you are there, pretty please check out the archives in writing and art, and drop some comment luv on the mighty fine folks who have contributed. C'est bon, c'est tout!
Ladies and gentlemen, I am so pleased to announce that one of my photographs , "Fortune Upon The House", will be featured in the Monday, July 19th edition of Indie Ink! Home to some mighty fine writing and art, we would all be please to have you visit, browse and be amazed.
Please do browse their archives. Think of it as a digital archaeological expedition. There is much good stuff to be found, so start digging! Please take a moment to read their About tab, too. A worthy mission they have embarked upon, I think you'll agree.
Three blocks down, turn left on Cemetery Lane. There on the right, just past the white clapboard church. The drone of crickets and chirp of birds caressing the ear...conversation with spirits on a high summer evening.
Oh, Photoshop, what have ye done? Now I can finally watercolor! Sort of.
The image on the left is from the actual photo I took. The image on the right is one that I "watercolored" via Photoshop Elements. At this size the difference is hard to see, but if you click on them, the zoom will show you what I mean.
I always wanted to watercolor, never had the time or patience. And now? I still can't paint with watercolors, but I can pretend I did so.