Film or Digital? (Yawn)

by     /    November 29, 2006   

You often hear debates among photographers about which technology is better: film or digital. These arguments often get quite heated, with each side trying to prove how the resolving power of thrie medium out does the other, or how their workflow is more efficient. *Yawn.* While they are intellectually interesting, in a geeky sort of way, the artist in me finds comparisons of the technical merits of film vs digital to be rather pointless. The remind me of the rambling philosophy arguments we used to have in college when we thought we were being clever. (Arguments which usually ended with one side shouting the denouement “..but isn’t everything relative?” to general mutters of affirmation.)

Hairs are being split, and split again, in the attempt to prove something which is irrelevant to the art of photography. To me, the most important aspect of a tool is its ability to enable you to create your art. Whether you shoot fine art, weddings, or sports, the most important aspect of a camera (and its technology) is its transparency to your vision. Some find that in film and manual camera. For me, I have been making art on a computer since the 70s, so using a digital camera and darkroom feels as natural as breathing. The goal for every photographer is to find your tool, the one that snaps over your eye like a pair of glasses and lets you see things as you always thought they should be. If that’s an overpriced mega-digital camera, great. If that’s a pinhole camera made out of an old cardboard box, great.

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