Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Walking WIth Dinosaurs

I am a bit of a dinosaur. I've only just started blogging and still resist the lure of Facebook and Twitter. Similarly, I held out against digital photography for a long time and, even after I had purchased my first DSLR, I continued to be faithful to my much loved Mamiya ProTL. I only bought the DSLR because I was about to embark on a significant commission and I felt it would be good to have the comfort of certainty that I had some pictures in the proverbial bag.

Despite my continuing love of film, I never really engaged in the 'film vs digital' debate. By the time I had bought that first DSLR, I had accepted the inevitability of film's decline but I believed (and still do) that the two mediums can and will co-exist. However, looking back over this year, I realise that, for me, film is largely a thing of the past. For various reasons, I have done little in the way of photography in 2010 but what little I have done has been with a DSLR. The convenience digital imaging offers has proved to be the decisive factor.

I still think there is a quality about a medium format (or larger) transparency which you don't get with a digital file (I'm not talking scientifically) and I just love the way my Mamiya handles and the satisfying clunk of the shutter - but I've not made an exposure with it since January. I'm sure I will still continue to use it occasionally but it is no longer a permanent resident in my camera bag with the Nikon a mere interloper.

Despite this shocking (to me at least) revelation, I am still regarded a dinosaur. I try to remain true to my photographic roots; my aim is to get it right 'in camera' rather than rely on Photoshop to 'fix' things later and I still make relatively few exposures. I don't have any argument with those who like to experiment with software but my pleasure comes from making the photograph 'in the field' and I can think of few things worse than spending even more of my life in front of a computer screen. I also believe that the disciplined, more considered approach required when using film is more likely to yield better results than I would achieve if I were to abandon it. That said, there is no arguing that digital imaging has provided me with the opportunity to experiment a little more and that can't be a bad thing.

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