Assuming Gary will trim off those responses outside of the bell curve, we can now get down to some photography discussion without fear of the excess emotion that has been so commonplace here. The statement I made about “serious” photographers using slide film is sure to be controversial. I don’t feel overly opinionated nor one bit guilty for having stated something that may lead to active discourse. Who am I to tell people what film to use? No different than most, I guess. I got an opinion, I have expressed it.
Many times I have witnessed this scenario in the Need Help Quick postings: “I’ve tried different scanner settings on this picture and still I get rejections! Please take a look at it at such-and-such URL and let me know what you think.” I take a look at the photo. Nice shot of a plane climbing out over the numbers. Nice light, good framing. Quite a few white spots in the sky though, maybe even on the plane. Is that a rope hanging down from that hangar? No it’s just a long fibre that got stuck in the printing process somewhere. Subject aircraft appears a little blurry, I wonder if it looks that way on the original. Original what? Original negative, that’s what. Most of these problems-and they are very common here, would not exist if the individual had been shooting slide film.
The quality of color print film has increased greatly in recent years. I have used color print film for as long as I have been taking pictures, though it has constituted perhaps only 5% of my color photography. I have more and more good things to say about it actually, as it is really quite good now. Yet if a new photographer asked what film to use in photographing transportation subjects, I would unhesitatingly respond, “Slide film.” That response may be different in a couple of years, who knows, I may yet be heard to utter the words, “print film” when asked that question.
Lets talk digital photography. There are really great digital cameras out there now., I have seen the results here and elsewhere. I have used one that impressed me. Heck, I may get one someday, after all, they will be getting better and at the same time more economical to own. I do have a question about storage of digital images. If you are not one to put these images on a photoCD or other media that has thumbnail prints, isn’t it going to be a huge problem down the road to find a particular image? You know the one I mean, where someone ten years from now says, “Hey, that was a real nice First Generation Concorde shot you took back in ’01, can you make me a print of it?” I ask this question because of an unfortunate experience a friend had. He apartment suffered from a catastrophic fire while he was away. I took his 80,000 slides that were in plastic slide pages out of the ruins to my home. I had to keep the stuff outside in the winter-it smelled that bad. The slide compartments were full of water, which turned to ice. I did my best to evaluate the damage. In the end, he salvaged about 25% of his collection. How would I have even begun to make such an evaluation if the photos were digital images kept on today’s media-CD, floppy, tape-whatever. In the case of a CD, you could clean it and judge if it had warped/melted. Then you could decide whether or not to put in your CD drive. But unless the associated catalog documents also survived, you would have a huge image identification job, wouldn’t you? I’m not saying film survives environmental hazards better than computer media, but it does present us with additional problems.
Well, I’ve used up enough bandwidth for now. Cheers to all.