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Photos of film's demise

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gmrza:
While film doesn't really occupy front of mind for many of us any more, this is an interesting view into the last days of the film industry:

http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2012/11/robert-burley-disappearance-of-darkness/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Personally, I only started my migration to digital just over 12 years ago, so I still have boxes full of negatives packed away.

It also makes me think of the fond memories of slide shows, which formed the central event of many get-togethers with friends when I was a child. - My father still has an entire cupboard full of slides, covering a period from the early 1960s to the late 1990s.

What is also interesting is to see a generation growing up who have never known film.  One thing I do hope to show my children when they are a little older is how my wife and I used to take photos before the arrival of digital photography.

sandymandy:
I still hope there will be film available in the future too :( Im mostly using digital but film is nice also sometimes and more exciting and produces less snapshots. I dont care what kind of crappy cheap walmart film will be available as long as there IS one :)

p.s.

i dont think having ONLY digital will be a big difference. Its 95% like that already anyway. Plus i also print out A LOT of my digital photos and sticker them on my wall :) I know a lot of people who print out their mobile shots too...

distant.star:

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Interesting -- I came to the forum to start a thread linking to this. Great minds, etc....

While film is pleasantly nostalgic for those of us who were borne along on that stream for many years, I don't miss it. The film stuff I now do from time to time just confirms it for me. This slide show also reminds me of all the complications involved -- look at some of those "dark rooms."

My fear with digital is longevity. I've communicated with several restorers, archivists, etc. who universally say the only genuinely reliable long-term storage medium we have is paper. All digital storage formats degrade far more quickly than paper.

Maybe it's just me. I think most people don't care about the longevity. For me, there are few things more fascinating than looking at pictures from 80 or 100 years ago. A while back I resurrected my old prints and negatives from 40-50 years ago and was amazed. This raggedy old man was once a quite handsome young man in a military uniform! Without that picture, I would not have known. Will young people be able to look back 50 years from now at digital images s they make today?

mws:
I think there will always be some sort of film available. Maybe nothing resembling the emulsions we have now, but something. The invention of cameras didn't kill painters, I don't think digital will kill film. I'm not going to start a film vs digital flame war, but for the vast majority of users and tasks, the cost/convenience of digital wins.

Film is fun for a hobby and for artistic reasons, just as people still do every sort of imaginable alt process. I

DigitalDivide:
I too hope that film will continue to be available for many years to come.  I only just made the switch to digital early this year with my "serious" camera (although I've had digital PS cameras for a while).  So the experience of film is still very fresh in my mind.  I must really miss it apparently, since I've bought two antique film cameras in the last few months.  Both are 6x7 medium format, which in my opinion represents the pinicle of (relatively) portable film cameras, and they are so cheap now that even most professionals have moved over to digital.

My family also has very recent experience of my slide shows, something I think digital has yet to fully replace.  With an old but decent projector I can display huge high resolution images in my living room, whereas with digital I am currently limited to a 27 inch monitor which cost several times the slide projector's price yet is tiny by comparison.  Affordable digital projectors just don't have the required resolution from what I've seen.  My teenage daughter is unusual therefore in having seen film in action, and indeed has used it herself extensively.  Although she now has a T3i, she is still interested in film and is planning to take one of the few darkroom photography classes still available.

I waited this long to make the switch partly because it took me a while to accept that digital was really a viable replacement for film in terms of IQ and resolution, and partly because I didn't want a crop body; the 5DII price finally dropped to the point where I considered it affordable.  I'm very happy with the 5DII and will continue to use it as my main camera, but I also plan to haul out one of the film cameras from time to time when I feel like doing something different.  Especially with large medium format cameras, photography becomes a slower and more reflective art for me.  Rather than pointing the camera at anything that catches my eye, I have to really think about the image I'm trying to capture.  I know there is nothing stopping me from doing this with my DSLR too, but the film setups inherently impose more discipline.  This makes them unsuited to sports and wildlife subjects, but I think of it as an advantage for landscapes.

Film is still readily available even in 120 roll format, although the range of choices is shrinking.  At any sign of that changing I will likely order a large bulk shipment and freeze it for my future needs.  But my hope is that it will remain available to those who appreciate its qualities.  I expect the price will climb as the volume drops, and the most likely outcome to me is that high quality film will continue while any cheap stuff that remains (Wallmart film as sandymandy mentioned) will be discontinued.  Low-end digital is so inexpensive now that there really is no need even for the cheapest disposable cams, and film will be produced in low quantities to satisy conoseurs and weirdos like me... :D

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