Deserting Digital

Despite the fact that my film photographs are far from even being deemed “acceptable” and are even less “acceptable” than my digital pictures, I have found that my adventures into the world of film have opened my eyes to a world in which “more high-tech” is not synonymous to “better.” There is so much more versatility to my Minolta, even if there is no LCD screen, no auto-focus mechanism, and much fewer buttons than my point-and-shoot. In fact, the old-fashioned manual-everything aspect of my Minolta is the very reason that I now favor it over my Coolpix.

I know the Coolpix has all the nifty pre-set picture-taking techniques (half of which I have no clue how to use), but all you can do is choose one of those settings and click the shutter. If you want to purposefully overexpose the picture, or do a long exposure, the point-and-shoot is useless! But with the Minolta, you can do everything—anything!—because you are the one in full control of the aperture and shutter speed.

Another problem is that my point-and-shoot has this terrible shutter delay. You press the shutter and the camera doesn’t take the picture until nearly a second later! It makes it really difficult for action shots because you have to anticipate the moment you want to capture a full second before it actually happens! The Minolta, on the other hand, responds beautifully. For example, when I was snapping shots of the deer, I only had to anticipate the moment by a tiny fraction of a second to capture the image. If I was using my point-and-shoot, the deer probably would have turned away before the camera’s shutter clicked.

In addition to all these things, I have this theory that film photographs are somehow more “authentic” than digital. If a film photograph comes out astounding, then you know that the photographer was really quite something. You know that the colors, the composition, and the effects were all done right there at the moment. There are no extraneous color enhancing, error-reducing cropping, and fancy photoshop effects.

So for now, or until I decide that a little post-exposure editing is an excellent option, I’m going to desert my digital and opt for my Minolta instead. In fact, I think I’m going to hold off on the big digital SLR purchase until later. Give me a few more months with the old-school camera. And maybe then, I will be crying out for the diversity of digital photograph editing and learn to appreciate that editing is, in and of itself, an art.

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~ by thechanster on 8:59 am, Tuesday, June 17, 2008.

2 Responses to “Deserting Digital”

  1. There’s a lot of (what’s the best phrase?)snobbery over photography film not digital, B&W not colour, viewfinder not LCD.

    Yes film gives you discipline – you only have a limited number of shots per film.

    Yes B&W makes you think about image composition and not just rely on colours.

    This year I’ve taken 8500 photographs – if I was using film, I wouldn’t have taken a fraction of those, but I wonder how many good shots I would have missed. Now without the limitation of film I take a shot instinctively, if its no good I press the delete button.

    As for shutter delay – yes that can be a problem, but I have a Canon G9 and it hasn’t been a problem. The biggest delay is between taking shots, while the image is saved.

    Thanks for an interesting blog. Looking forward to reading how things pan out over the next couple of months.

  2. I have only recently developed this film-over-digital favoring business. About half a week ago, I was all over digital, bitter at the little nuances of film. So I guess I’m a little photography-bipolar, if you will. Also, I think my current bias towards film is because, unlike you, I have a pretty crappy camera. I have the Nikon Coolpix S200. And most of my bitterness about digital, I think, stems from shutter delay. Maybe when I buy myself a digital SLR, the existence of my Minolta will sink into oblivion. Also, I see what you mean. There’s a lot more freedom with the digital and you don’t have to worry about the expense of film.

    Thanks for your response! I’m always open to different perspectives! =) And I’m curious as to how things will work out, too!

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