I've been a
shutterbug for a long time. I remember looking at my dad's Contaflex
when I was little and peering through his Kodakchrome slides at those
tiny images imprinted on the celluloid. My first camera was a Canon
110ED - a fancy 110 film camera that was later stolen. I replaced it
with a Canon AE-1, one of the popular 35mm film cameras of the golden
age of film. I still have that camera and it still works. But I shoot
mostly digital today.
The dawn of
the digital camera for me was in the early 1990's. My job at the
time allowed me to play with some of the latest toys and one of
them was a freshly minted digital camera. I think it was a Casio.
It produced an image with a whopping 640x480 (VGA) resolution. To
get images printed, I sent my image files to Seatle Film Works.
An entire camera's worth of pictures fit on a single 1.44MB floppy.
Over the years,
I've traded in one camera for another, one brand for another.
Ebay is wonderful for such things! It's been great to see the
technology improve dramatically in digital imaging yet at the
same time, it's sad to see the dwindling use of film.
For me, film
offers a different way of picture taking. I'm not one to praise
the grain or special mythical property of film. No, for me the
most useful feature of film is that it forces me to take the time
to compose and control the exposure for each shot. Digital imaging
offers a near endless supply of memory and for some reason, I'm
just not as careful on a per-shot basis as I am with film.
imaging has so many advantages. For me, the most useful is color
consistency from print to print, re-print to re-print. Film has
too many variables almost all of which are outside my control as
an average user (professionals have more control in their own labs).
But I haven't given up on film nor on those old cameras - many are
mechanical works of art that will outlive any electronic camera. So
I shoot both - film and digital - because at the end of the day, a
camera is just a tool. Good tools are always better than bad ones
but knowing how to make the most of the tool is what's important.
And having an eye for the picture, that's something no amount of
electronics can replace.
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