Why Use Film?

There's nothing wrong with digital photography. It's an ideal technology for many photographers - it's perfect for newspapers and news organisations, wedding photographers, real estate, catalogue, web pages - in fact digital photography is fine for many applications.


While photography with film has some disadvantages compared to digital photography, it does have three advantages. Firstly, it is slower and more precise. Film is relatively expensive so every frame counts - a photographer using film can't blaze away hoping for a good shot after adjusting it on a computer. The image has to be carefully composed and exposed, and a good composition and a correctly exposed image always trumps an about-right shot even if it's been corrected on the computer.


Secondly, despite the very good resolution of modern digital photography, the technology just doesn't have the exposure latitude of film - especially black and white. Computer software is able to extract detail from highlights and shadows from digital images but still can't show the very fine and subtle tonal differences in the deepest blacks and brightest whites.


Thirdly, there's something about film grain that makes the images a little special. Sure you can use software to try to replicate it, but it just doesn't quite work the same.


There's something different or special about an image taken on film. A viewer may not be able to identify why a photograph looks different - but there's something that attracts their attention. This is what makes an image taken on film a work of art and sets it apart from everybody else's digital shot.


Film is best suited for the bigger assignments like a whole new marketing campaign, the production of a promotional book or art works for office walls. Simple quick photographic assignments like updating a website photo or catalogue photography are better suited to digital photography - basically because of the extra cost, although for many assignments there is no difference in price.


All content and images © Graeme Bowden 2019

email: graeme.bowden@gmail.com          phone: 027 275 1366