#hipster

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Craig
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#1
You'll have to excuse this post as it's a bit of a self indulgent one I suppose, but one I feel I want to share somewhere with people who may understand. I don't know what exactly has triggered this, but I have recently become more self-reflective. I've given a lot of thought to what I am spending my time doing, and trying to think about why I do what I do.

Since I got myself a Canon DSLR 4 years or so ago to take on holiday, I've been falling more and more into the hole of upgrading my gear. I won't bore you with it all as it's a story that anyone who has this hobby has probably experienced, and so to cut a long story short I've come to realise that the gear upgrade path is me chasing something that is never satisfied. Using digital leaves me feeling cold, when I'd look at my pictures I'd often find that I'd be looking at dynamic range and sharpness, not what I've taken a photo of. Going out and taking landscape photos was my main aim with much of this upgrading of gear, but even then I was finding myself in beautiful surroundings but feeling stressed trying to find a composition rather than enjoying myself. I'd take pictures on days out, process them but then not feel any connection with them and not bother printing them, so they just fill up a hard drive.

Personally, I get a very different feeling using a film camera. I take it on days out with my wife and it doesn't get in the way, I enjoy the day and capture memories of it, rather than the day being about me taking pictures. The process of using something analogue is a joy for me. Home developing and scanning is so massively rewarding. Seems I'm going through something similar to what Gaz and Carl have done recently too.

TL;DR

I wasn't taking pictures for me when using digital cameras, the medium you use shouldn't get in the way, but it seems like it has been for me. All my digital gear is for sale here and elsewhere, and I've just ordered myself a Nikon F3 which is something I've been after for a long time now, I'll pair it with a lens or two and enjoy using it.

Not sure I'll own a digital camera again, it just doesn't do it for me anymore.

:film:
 
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Gareth (Not Gary!)
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#2
"it left me cold", a sentence I have said many times when referring to looking back at my digital images and often whilst shooting them. I went through exactly the same. Looking at them and judging the qualities of the camera and making sure boxes were ticked as to what was 'correct'.

The F3 is a beautiful camera. One of the ones I said if I saw the titanium version at the right price, I would buy. I did, I shot a roll through it to check it worked and haven't used it since. Don't think that shooting film will stop you buying gear though. The thing I find with film cameras is, they are all different and mostly beautiful things compared to all the modern stuff. Honestly, I wish I could have just one camera. Tried it recently. Sold a few and the came to a standstill (see my post about MF compared to 35mm).

I am comfortable with what I own now and it's only a fraction compared to some people. The most important thing is shooting, making images you love, not because of the technical aspects but because of the light, the composition, the moments, the memories.
 

simon ess

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#3
I don't give a flying f*** whether it's film or digital frankly.

I sometimes just need to say something visually. Black and white film suits my personality but I'm perfectly happy to express something with a digital device.

Expressing a preference for film gear over digital gear is still a discussion about gear.

Just take photos.
 
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#4
Personally, I get a very different feeling using a film camera. I take it on days out with my wife and it doesn't get in the way, I enjoy the day and capture memories of it, rather than the day being about me taking pictures.
To be honest, it sounds as though film is new to you and you're projecting onto it. There was nothing to stop you shooting like this with digital.
 
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Gareth (Not Gary!)
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#5
I don't give a flying f*** whether it's film or digital frankly.

I sometimes just need to say something visually. Black and white film suits my personality but I'm perfectly happy to express something with a digital device.

Expressing a preference for film gear over digital gear is still a discussion about gear.

Just take photos.
Whilst I agree with it being how you want to portray your own images and choosing the right thing for the given situation, I don't agree that it's about the gear. For me, it's about the medium rather than the gear. Similar to someone choosing oil paints over watercolours perhaps? I dunno, but I definitely don't connect with digital cameras any more, nor do they let me make the photos I want to. It's really hard to describe this in writing, I find as I have tried several times and much easier in a real conversation. Whilst you're happy to express something digitally, it's not the same for everyone, that's for sure.
 
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#6
Whilst I agree with it being how you want to portray your own images and choosing the right thing for the given situation, I don't agree that it's about the gear. For me, it's about the medium rather than the gear. Similar to someone choosing oil paints over watercolours perhaps? I dunno, but I definitely don't connect with digital cameras any more, nor do they let me make the photos I want to. It's really hard to describe this in writing, I find as I have tried several times and much easier in a real conversation. Whilst you're happy to express something digitally, it's not the same for everyone, that's for sure.
Haven't you just contradicted yourself there ?
What photos do digital cameras not let you take that film cameras do ?
 
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Gareth (Not Gary!)
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#7
Haven't you just contradicted yourself there ?
What photos do digital cameras not let you take that film cameras do ?
I hope I haven’t. Like I say, it’s easier to talk about this stuff I find. They don’t let me take shots on film which is how I prefer to take photos. It’s not the case for everyone and there are merits to both. It is, like most photography and art, subjective.
 
OP
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Craigus
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Craig
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#8
"it left me cold", a sentence I have said many times when referring to looking back at my digital images and often whilst shooting them. I went through exactly the same. Looking at them and judging the qualities of the camera and making sure boxes were ticked as to what was 'correct'.

The F3 is a beautiful camera. One of the ones I said if I saw the titanium version at the right price, I would buy. I did, I shot a roll through it to check it worked and haven't used it since. Don't think that shooting film will stop you buying gear though. The thing I find with film cameras is, they are all different and mostly beautiful things compared to all the modern stuff. Honestly, I wish I could have just one camera. Tried it recently. Sold a few and the came to a standstill (see my post about MF compared to 35mm).

I am comfortable with what I own now and it's only a fraction compared to some people. The most important thing is shooting, making images you love, not because of the technical aspects but because of the light, the composition, the moments, the memories.
I don't doubt I'll still want more gear, but the reasons are becoming different. Using the cameras is still a part of the enjoyment I get out of it, and certainly the extra steps involved with developing and handling the film I find very enjoyable.

I don't give a flying f*** whether it's film or digital frankly.

I sometimes just need to say something visually. Black and white film suits my personality but I'm perfectly happy to express something with a digital device.

Expressing a preference for film gear over digital gear is still a discussion about gear.

Just take photos.
To be honest, it sounds as though film is new to you and you're projecting onto it. There was nothing to stop you shooting like this with digital.
Both fair comments I suppose if you look at my situation in a purely logical way, but how we all derive enjoyment from something is not always logical, and that is what it's about for me, enjoyment. As Gaz said above I find it hard to express exactly what it is. But the bottom line is that I'm enjoying my photography a lot more now than I ever have been.
 
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Andy
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#10
I’m a massive fan of Star Wars, I love so many elements of it that I just want to devour it at every opportunity in a multitude of different forms. I love the films, I read the novels, spend time talking about it online on Facebook groups etc.

I think of photography in the same way, just because some things cross over doesn’t mean you can’t prefer one to the other. I read the SW novels of the actual films which go into more detail, more back story and are generally more rounded, they’re telling the same story via different mediums. Sometimes I want to spend a week reading one book, savouring every word; sometimes I want to sit down for 2 hours and watch the film. Both excellent but different experiences :D Same as I use digital and film cameras! If you’re happier reading the books then crack on I say!

My two pence :)
 
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#11
For me, it's about the medium rather than the gear. Similar to someone choosing oil paints over watercolours perhaps?
Speaking as an occasional painter, it's maybe not about the medium in and of itself, but how it's used and the character of the end result. The handling and techniques used in oil painting are very different from watercolour, and the rendering of the images is substantially different. Compared to watercolour, oils can also be very time-consuming, or need to be done in stages with a lot of drying time in between. For a painter, it's about how you like to work, and what sort of image you want to create. To put it another way, it's not just about the final result, especially for amateurs who do it as a hobby. While I do paint to get a painting, it's not simply a mechanical process that I go through to make an idea into a tangible thing. I like farting about with paints, planning the image, and seeing it come into existence. The process is a big part of it.

Even more so with musicians who write their own material. If it was all about the final result (eg, the recording of a piece) the whole playing-an-instrument thing would just be some mechanical action that you go through. For most musicians, however, it's the playing that makes it all worthwhile - the process of creating, being in the moment, expressing the creative ideas in real time as they come to you.

I don't see much difference with photography (given that one is an amateur or 'art' photographer). The rendering of the images between film and digital might be less distinct than with oil and watercolour paints, but the overall feel and process can be very different. For me, I like using manual mechanical cameras, choosing which film to use, reloading (a little time-out), dealing with exposure from a film perspective, getting lost in the chemical aspects of processing. Digital is different, and it just doesn't appeal to me for anything other than record shots (usually build diary stuff of other projects), and that's purely for convenience and speed of turnaround.

Neither is more or less valid than the other - as a pastime, it's very much about how you feel when actually doing it.
 
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#13
I don't see much difference with photography (given that one is an amateur or 'art' photographer). The rendering of the images between film and digital might be less distinct than with oil and watercolour paints, but the overall feel and process can be very different. For me, I like using manual mechanical cameras, choosing which film to use, reloading (a little time-out), dealing with exposure from a film perspective, getting lost in the chemical aspects of processing. Digital is different, and it just doesn't appeal to me for anything other than record shots (usually build diary stuff of other projects), and that's purely for convenience and speed of turnaround.
Absolutely, and that's the best reason to use film.

However I think some people get a bit too caught up in that and start assigning more value to a photo shot on film rather than digital, because of the craft.
 
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#14
...and start assigning more value to a photo shot on film rather than digital, because of the craft.
...or possibly because they think it gives them bragging rights? To me the only thing that matters is whether the published image is of interest to the viewer (be it on a wall or a screen or a piece of paper).
 
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Peter
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#15
However I think some people get a bit too caught up in that and start assigning more value to a photo shot on film rather than digital, because of the craft.
I can see a difference between photos shot on Acros and photos shot on my Fuji XT-2 Acros-simulation mode.
To me the only thing that matters is whether the published image is of interest to the viewer (be it on a wall or a screen or a piece of paper).
For some of us the pleasure comes from making the image, but that's because it's a hobby and not something we have to rely on.
 
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Craigus
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Craig
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#16
Absolutely, and that's the best reason to use film.

However I think some people get a bit too caught up in that and start assigning more value to a photo shot on film rather than digital, because of the craft.
But as hobbyists, our photos have zero value. The only value found in them is that which is assigned to it by the people viewing it as you say. I don't share my photography on social media often at all, so the majority of the time the only person assigning value is me and occasionally family members and I feel it is perfectly reasonable and logical to assign more value to it because it was shot on film.

That is really the whole point of this thread, not taking pictures on amazing cameras to impress others, but for personal enjoyment.
 
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#17
But as hobbyists, our photos have zero value. The only value found in them is that which is assigned to it by the people viewing it as you say. I don't share my photography on social media often at all, so the majority of the time the only person assigning value is me and occasionally family members and I feel it is perfectly reasonable and logical to assign more value to it because it was shot on film.

That is really the whole point of this thread, not taking pictures on amazing cameras to impress others, but for personal enjoyment.
I don't think that's something exclusive to shooting film ?

I personally found I was getting into a dead end with my photography by assigning too much value to photos in B&W and/or shot on film that where otherwise dull. In some ways it was holding me back and it's been quite refreshing to challenge myself with digital and colour as a palette cleanser.
 
OP
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Craigus
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Craig
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#18
I don't think that's something exclusive to shooting film ?
I think we are going around in circles, but I quite agree with what you're saying, but for me the enjoyment comes form using film, the cameras, the process, the results and the challenges.

I personally found I was getting into a dead end with my photography by assigning too much value to photos in B&W and/or shot on film that where otherwise dull. In some ways it was holding me back and it's been quite refreshing to challenge myself with digital and colour as a palette cleanser.
Glad you're finding enjoyment in it again, which is the whole point of doing this for most of us, however we get that enjoyment.
 
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Gareth (Not Gary!)
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#19
Speaking as an occasional painter, it's maybe not about the medium in and of itself, but how it's used and the character of the end result. The handling and techniques used in oil painting are very different from watercolour, and the rendering of the images is substantially different. Compared to watercolour, oils can also be very time-consuming, or need to be done in stages with a lot of drying time in between. For a painter, it's about how you like to work, and what sort of image you want to create. To put it another way, it's not just about the final result, especially for amateurs who do it as a hobby. While I do paint to get a painting, it's not simply a mechanical process that I go through to make an idea into a tangible thing. I like farting about with paints, planning the image, and seeing it come into existence. The process is a big part of it.

Even more so with musicians who write their own material. If it was all about the final result (eg, the recording of a piece) the whole playing-an-instrument thing would just be some mechanical action that you go through. For most musicians, however, it's the playing that makes it all worthwhile - the process of creating, being in the moment, expressing the creative ideas in real time as they come to you.

I don't see much difference with photography (given that one is an amateur or 'art' photographer). The rendering of the images between film and digital might be less distinct than with oil and watercolour paints, but the overall feel and process can be very different. For me, I like using manual mechanical cameras, choosing which film to use, reloading (a little time-out), dealing with exposure from a film perspective, getting lost in the chemical aspects of processing. Digital is different, and it just doesn't appeal to me for anything other than record shots (usually build diary stuff of other projects), and that's purely for convenience and speed of turnaround.

Neither is more or less valid than the other - as a pastime, it's very much about how you feel when actually doing it.
I think essentially we agree on the ideas. You have just put it better than I can often manage in words. Your last sentence about digital and record shots would also apply to me, but now I have no need for record shots any more, hence dropping digital altogether.
 
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