I recently bought a fantastic digital camera, the Fuji X-Pro2. It’s fast, well-constructed, and works in a way that a camera should work. It looks and feels great. In fact it feels almost like using a Leica film rangefinder. I take more photos with the Fuji than with film cameras and nearly all of them are exposed correctly, in focus, and contain 24 Megapixels of raw data to work with.
Popping a card into a computer and playing with the infinite processing possibilities using Lightroom is fun. I can make technically fantastic images that way; simply and quickly.
And yet, I don’t enjoy shooting digital. I wish I did. Making photographs would be so much easier.
I sometimes poke fun at film photographers claiming that they dislike digital photos because they don’t have the same “soul” as film photos. And yet I have to admit that I agree with them.
The difference is having a negative.
When viewing a scanned film photo on my phone or computer, I know that there’s a film negative in a binder somewhere containing a permanent, physically-rendered image created by light originally reflected off the photo’s subject. For me, having a negative imbues film photos with a sense of realness not found in digital. I don’t care that shooting film is difficult, more expensive, and sometimes a complete pain in the ass. I don’t care that there are fewer “hits” and that sometimes the image is scratched or has dust spots or is grainy.
My film images mean more to me than my digital images That’s why I go through all the trouble of shooting film.