It seems that in today’s world, the trend is towards film photography. That is, dissatisfied photographers who want to become more artistic seek film as a means of becoming more unique, “artsy”.
But in fact, I think ultimately film photography is more of a crutch. I see digital photography at superior to film photography, having shot film photography for a great period of time. why? My thoughts:
One of the best ways to improve your photography is to iterate. That is, to shoot a lot, and to quickly learn adapt and evolve from your photographic process. that is, shooting a lot, reviewing your photos a lot, and self critiquing your photos a lot. This is a means of learning from your past mistakes, and learning how to improve moving forward.
The big benefit of film photography is that allows you to sit on your photos, and let them marinate for a very long time. Often sitting on your photos for a long period time helps you get better insight on whether the photos are good or not.
But if the goal is efficiency, that is, to improve your photography at a faster rate, then digital is king.
The obvious one is the economic one. That is, digital photography is 1 trillion times cheaper than film photography. shooting film is as expensive as driving a hummer, in California with gas over four dollars a gallon. Shooting digital is like driving a Tesla.
3. Digital aesthetics has finally arrived
In the year 2021 and beyond, digital photography and digital aesthetics has finally arrived. That is, the engineers finally figured out how to make beautiful digital photography aesthetics. For example, on my Ricoh GR 3 digital camera, the high contrast black-and-white and high contrast film simulation looks fantastic.
4. Greater optionality
The bane of all of our existence as photographers is trying to find more photographic opportunities.
The great thing with digital photography, is especially the high ISO capabilities. That is, the ability to shoot when it is very very dark, or night time. The big crutch of film photography is that it is very hard or difficult to shoot a night, unless you shoot with a flash or shoot pushing your film to 1600 and beyond.
5. You will shoot more
It is also my theory that we are happiest in photography while we are shooting. Not necessarily when reviewing our photos. for example, if you give kids a camera, they love to shoot photos the most. They actually don’t care to look at the photos as much. For example, my niece Amelia when she was four years old, she would just run around with my camera shooting lots of photos and having a blast. But after she was done taking photos, just gave me back my camera, without asking to review the photos. Then she just resume to playing.
So simply put, digital photography will make you a happier and more productive photographer.
6. All photography is good
Anything that gets you shooting is good. Digital, film, iPhone, etc. All photography is good. Just shoot!