Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Analogue and Digital

Firstly, I am by no means a professional photographer; in fact I have quite limited amount of experience compared to most people in the field. However I do have a huge (and I hate to say the word) passion (sorry) for photography and in some ways I think that matters more. You can oppose that opinion after you read the waffle I am about to spew.

I of course see the benefits of digital photography, only a fool would write it off as a medium and to stick only to analogue processes. Having a memory card smaller than a 35mm roll of film that can take hundreds of photos is clearly one of the most compelling arguments for digital. Not only that but the quality is fantastic and editing the photos is clean, simple and extremely enjoyable as well as artistically liberating with such programs as Photoshop or Lightroom.

However I still love analogue and I think it is extremely important that it is supported, especially by large photography suppliers. Seeing shops like Boots only having about 20 rolls of film on one dusty  shelf in some forgotten corner is really disappointing, but thank John Herschel they still offer developing services... even if they are a bit rubbish at it. All I can recommend is that you support companies like ‘The Impossible Project’ (http://the-impossible-project.com/) who recently look over after the cessation of Polaroid’s instant film production.

I must admit that I haven’t spent time in a darkroom since I was at college (several years ago now) and I really do miss it, being so involved in the creation of each photo is such a joy and although with digital you are still involved (more so if you take into consideration post processing) actually using your hands to do what your digital camera would be doing in milliseconds is an irreplaceable experience that all photographers should go through, and it is a set of skills that should be preserved.

The main reason I don’t want to see analogue photography lose any more ground is that almost every photograph taken with film; be it 35mm, 120, instant or whatever it just seems to have more meaning. Perhaps it is the fact that with an analogue photo you have something tangible. Something you can touch, a memory of a moment that you can physically hold onto. But it is more than that; a print of a digital photo should draw out the same emotions and connections as a negative or Polaroid, but to me it doesn’t and I am sure others feel the same.

For some reason dust, dirt, scratches, grain, light leaks, odd focus and unintended exposure all add to the character of an analogue photo. However if these traits were applied to a digital photo it wouldn’t have the same effect, and in most cases you would do your best to remove these ‘flaws’ in your post process.

Digital has its place, in my opinion it is brilliant and it is only getting better, convenience and quality are why it has taken over. Whether you are shooting a magazine editorial or a wedding, getting perfect images can only be a good thing. I am not saying perfection can’t be achieved with analogue, quite the opposite in fact, the character and emotion that comes with it can’t properly be replaced by new technologies.

The digital camera is probably shooting the analogue one with a flash gun... get it? Har har har.

As a side note I am also all for word processors but I still use a typewriter on occasion and I never go anywhere without my fountain pen. I use digital because it is fantastic but as long as I can use analogue as well I will.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

New camera!

I didn't even bother doing one of these about my 5D.. even though that was amazing to get, the camera I got in the post yesterday trumps it because film cameras are better and medium format cameras are doubly better! :D I took the photos of this new camera with the 5D though so it is still getting used hehe.

I woke up on Friday to the sound of the postman at the door. Ironically my Dad, who is also a post man answered the door to retrieve the package... they probably knew each other actually. Anyway I went downstairs heaved the huge box back to my room and thus begat a Christmas style unpacking!

The box was filled with screwed up bits of what I presume was a Chinese newspaper, I of course put some aside to make an origami bird. of which I seem to be slightly obsessed with (refer to previous photoshoots for the evidence of that lol).

Sitting amongst the paper were manuals, filters, film, a speed grip, cartage, a prism and of course the camera itself! I finally got my hands on the medium format camera I have been eyeing up for many months, the Bronica ETRsi! And I have to say that it looks brilliant. I haven't used it yet but I plan to on my next shoot which will be some time next week. :)

The highlight of it so far is how amazingly bright the viewfinder is when using the waist level finder. And because I didn't want to waste the film that I have on some silly around the house type stuff I though I would set up the camera on a small tripod and then set up my other camera, the 5D over it looking down into the viewfinder in order to take some photos through the Bronica.

Several weeks ago I bought a prop for a shoot that I still haven't sorted out yet, it has been sitting in my room all this time doing nothing so I thought I would use it on this little test. So I donned my rabbit head (don't worry that is the prop, I don't always wear an animals head while shooting) and set to work!

Below is a little gif animation of poor Mister Rabbit looking all stressed and upset. It's quite a big file so you might want to give it a moment to get going.

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and add me on Flickr for more updates. And while you are at it have a look at www.tomsimmonds.com. :D

One last photo! A bit less depressing, thumbs up!