The world of photography has changed drastically over the last century and the history of how the process of photography has evolved is a fascinating one. Today’s era of the instant digital picture has come a long way from daguerreotypes, films and negatives.
While many people continue to use film cameras, most are now opting for digital cameras. Why would you ever want to restrict yourself to taking 36 pictures at a time, spend hours in the darkroom or having to send your film to a store and then wait five days to see if someone had their eyes closes,when digital cameras offer a much cheaper and quicker alternative?
After all, with a digital camera or camera phone you can snap a picture and share it with the world in a matter of seconds. Literally. This is a huge plus for people whose lives revolve around social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
So what does this mean for the future of film photography? Can the advent of the digital age possibly mean the end of the film era?
No. Contrary to mainstream belief film cameras still have a lot to offer to serious photographers who see photography as an art and who have the skill and talent to bring out something special in their photographs.
Avid film users believe you can get a certain type of quality and depth in photographs taken using film that is lacking in digital ones, especially when it comes to black and white pictures, large format landscape pictures or if you’re looking to fiddle around with effects such as shutter speed.
For creative and artistic photographers, there is also something magical about spending time in a darkroom developing photographs and creating a tangible connection with your art, which again is lost in a digital image.
However, if you’re just looking to capture fun, special moments and memories with friends, family and travels, then a compact digital camera is the way to go.
The good news is that through the process of negative photo scanning you can enjoya hybrid photography experience of both digital and film photographs. Using a commercial scanner you can now send your old photographs and negatives away to be scanned and returned to you in digital format.
So, where does film go from here?
Well let’s put it this way: even though there are online newspapers and magazines, people still read and look forward to receiving their hard copy versions in the mail or on their doorstep.
Even though most communication is exchanged via instant message or emails, people still take pleasure in writing and receiving letters.
Even if FM radio has pretty much taken over, AM radio is still around.
Even though almost everyone who has Internet has a Skype account, they will still pick up the phone to make their calls.
Digital is to film what e-books are to real books. E-books may be cheaper and you might get it faster but there will be times when you still want the feel of a real book in your hands.
If we can learn anything from history, it’s that no matter how fast technology evolves, bringing us cooler versions and products, the non-digital versions will always have a special quality about them that technology will never be able to emulate.