Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kodachrome - on the Mourning of the Loss of Film

An artist friend posted a question about film vs digital on her blog, and this was my reply:


I have two nephews who are incredible photographers both, and who bemoan the loss of film. I have a feeling that they will be buying and freezing (or otherwise preserving) film and using it for a long time.

The amount of information captured, and the continuous-vs-discrete thing just makes film totally own digital. I find this so emblematic of what is wrong with the world that I started to write a song about it. We have done what is necessary to allow EVERYONE to be a "pretty good" photographer, while disallowing the best of the best to produce their optimal work. Or, if not "disallowed", then at least "discouraged".

Along those same lines, one of my nephews got a gig as a photographer in Africa for several months on the strength of a "Frankenstein" camera he built with a modern digital body and a coveted 1968 Minolta lens.

Why use a lens created in 1968? Because back then, they didn't know how to make the lenses perfect, and there was some natural distortion to the shape of the lens which makes stunningly beautiful shapes in the out-of-focus portions of short depth-of-field photographs. Now, manufacturers know how to make the lenses perfect, and something has been loss.

The world is crazy. I miss film.
 This song now appears to have been prophetic!