It was around the early 1800’s when we can trace back to the term photography. It came into widespread fame after photo etching was discovered by Nicéphore Niépce.
Looking further back, forms of capturing a scene through imaging have existed before this period. The forefather to the new age photography can be seen in China as the Camera Obscura.
What photography essentially is to capture an image, using a light sensitive medium. Earlier that medium was extensively film, which has transmuted to the modern digital sensor.
Even though digital is the go to medium used for photography today, Film photography can be termed the savior in modern times. Why so, you might ask and rightly so. It is labor intensive, requires extensive knowledge of photography fundamentals and you can’t see the image produced for days.
But the same reasons are why it is our savior. It is a bold perspective to have, but the whole digital v/s film tussle is utterly subjective. Following the same lines, the concept of photography too is entirely how you like it! Digital photography still uses nuances and betters them using what it was given by film. Things might have gotten way simpler after digitisation, but Film is the genesis.
Film in the 20th Century
From the slaying sixties to the nonchalant nineties, film photography was the run of the mill. Generally going for monotone shots early in the years, the commencement of retail color film was a revolution in its sense.
As technology advanced, film followed. With newer, unseen concepts such as the instant camera from polaroid and disposable cameras were becoming more common by the day. As they started getting commercialised, so did the use of them. Tourists and even the average joe now had a film camera to themselves.
Film aficionados started gravitating towards the ever useful 35mm format film cameras. With the SLR cameras being introduced, paired with the 35mm format, there wasn’t much that an enthusiast would be after.
These niceties are still used and are considered to lay the foundations to what we call the modern digital camera. The 35mm being so popular because it is the closest one could get to the focal composition of the human eye. Filmmakers use it too, to give audiences the most ideal vantage point
Modern sensors in digital cameras are based on this particular format, though many are also cropped (smaller than a 35mm frame).
With all the histories out of the equation, let’s see how film soars above digital photography
Film is Photography
It can be said that film and photography are inseparable. In fact there isn’t any other industry where a single format, a single medium has had such an everlasting impact like film has on photography. Though there had been a series of improvements in the processing of film, the rudimentary thoughts remained the same.
Digital has industrially taken over Film photography, but it seems more like convenience over art. Digital lacks the gravitas, film has, the feel and how it makes one feel. Digital is a mirror, film is the character.
Film Encourages Experimentation
Experimenting with digital photography is like replicating a recipe, as compared to the artistic liberties of creating something from scratch, as in film. With digital manipulation, most of all variables can be solved in the head. While producing images from film, there’s a sense of practical and mental labor involved. Not just while taking a photo, but also while developing it, there are so many mediums you can add, subtract, engage a new element in. All of those variables are intangible and can bring forth a sense of something new every time you whip out your camera. It feels like venturing out to new horizons and finding newer solutions for your perfect shot.
Film Forces You to Commit
If you start with film, you stay with film. There is no looking back and no half hearted progression. Film is methodical, film is intense and film pushes you to have time but be quick enough to not lose anything. To factor in all that and still get a successful product, shows your deliverance from a lackadaisical approach towards your art. All of this requires an ironclad commitment from the artist, to stray away from indecision. Film is a holistic process that primes you to be on your toes from start to finish, to stay wholly involved from reeling in your film to developing it. To have that focus and clarity can be hard and you can use delta 8 thc, a cbd derivative to keep you willed in. you could try Budpop’s flowers and roll yourself one, which is an art form in itself.
Film Looks Better
People are shifting towards aesthetics and how they can achieve it with digital photography. Subjectivity is the key to be highlighted and no matter how hard one might try, they can’t seem to stray themselves away from film. There is a sense of ever pleasing aesthetic touch that a film photo can bring out. There’s a reason why many cameras have a ‘film simulation mode’. Even top end photo editing softwares have a myriad of built in ‘film styles’. It is a clear indication to the worth and appraisal of film.
Resolution of Film is Higher Than Most Digital Cameras
Now this is something that new age photographers might find absolutely mind boggling. With mega pixels getting mightier by the day and sensors getting sensitive, everything points to digital being more proficient and heavier. Film is manufactured for a lot of cameras each with a different format. If we are getting into numbers, we surely will go head on.
Film can capture and store more resolution. And if the film stock is larger, well the photon count of the film stock goes up too. Try putting a 120mm negative against a 35mm, full frame digital sensor and you’ll see how film triumphs digital.