I know, I know, the film vs. digital debate has been done 1,000 too many times. However, I’m not going to write about which one is better as they both have their place. Rather, I’m going to write about why I prefer film to digital…
In three short words… it’s the process.
First, I get to choose a film stock which is dependant upon the look I’m going for. Yes, digital can emulate film, somewhat, but not exactly. Next, I have to get a correct exposure for each shot I take. Each frame made costs money. When money is associated with something the owner/user sees that something as having value. In my opinion each photo taken on film feels more valuable than a bunch of 1’s and 0’s written on a memory card. Each actual image recorded on film is tangible. After the film is used its up to me to get that film developed whether I choose to send it to a lab or do it on my own. There is a continued care that has to be taken with the tangible pictures going from camera to reel, to inside of a tank, to developer, to stop bath, to fixer, to wash, to being dried, and scanned. Finally comes the part which digital shooters are familiar with… post processing, or editing as most refer to it. Some film shooting purists may disagree with the last step but I like to get rid of any dust spots that may be on my negatives. I will also tweak exposure and/or contrast in lightroom but that’s all the editing I’ll do with film. I generally spend 3 minutes per photo, 5 minutes max, in lightroom and photoshop.
I also love knowing I have something to go back to if any of my hard drives fail. Yes, there is enough cloud, but I’m not going to put my hopes in something I can’t see (other than God) over something that been a tried and true method for decades upon decades.
The pictures are tangible and I love the organic feeling process of developing film. This, for me, is why I prefer film over digital.