Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Film is not dead...really
When I decided to produce my next exhibition without the use of my digital camera systems I didn't think much of it. I knew it would be more work, cleaning up my darkroom,buying new chemicals and paper and buying more film.
Film is kind of like record albums, we remember what it is and how good the quality was but CDs and downloads are much easier.
The quality and the characteristic of film and real silver paper is unmatched by digital technology. The subtle tonality I can get with film is so beautiful especially with skin tones. So when the offer of another show came up I jumped at the chance to shoot it on film, go back to my roots.
Then came the process of buying my supplies. Kodak just discontinued the film I liked to use even though they have a wonderful film still available it is in shorter rolls so that just means more money in processing and chemicals.
Then there is the chemicals. There is a wonderful camera store in NYC that has what I need but they can't ship it since 9/11. Not sure why, didn't know terrorist were making bombs out of photography developer. And then there is the photo paper, for once the paper I use is still being made. Maybe becasue they are not a US company but I can still get what I need.
So what does someone who wants to be true to his art do? I mean, there is no question that film and silver paper printing is superior to digital so why hasn't some niche company kept up with film production? Why has Kodak basically abandoned the artist?
And one more interesting fact, I am going to have to teach the models actually how to hold a pose. You see film is a bit slower, I can't bang off 20 to 30 shots in a row and catch the model as she moves around. I am actually going to have to pose the and teach them how to work with a film camera. The pace is slower and much more deliberate. In a 90 minute shoot I used to take 300 digital images, now I'll probably shoot 30 to 40 shots.
As my wife has told me, this is what I used to do so why should it be so difficult, right?
So we shall see what transpires. I am excited and slightly stressed and I hope come August 14th there are actually prints on the gallery wall.