Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's now officially over

The last place on the planet to develop Kodachrome film—Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas—will process its last roll today. Goodbye Kodachrome.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Film vs. Digital

I'm fairly devoted to film and shoot with film almost exclusively. That said, I've always been kind of uncomfortable with the position that there is something about film photography inherently superior to digital. Very often, that argument sounds to me most like the painters of the late-19th and early-20th centuries who claimed that photography wasn't art because it was made by a machine that anyone could operate. In other words, it's an argument that sounds defensive and retrograde.

Art lies more in the intentions of the maker than in the technical difficulties of the medium. I still mostly use film because it slows me down and makes me more awkward in a way that's good for the type of photography I do. I feel there are advantages in the way that film responds to light—especially when working in black & white. I also like working within a square format and unfortunately there are still no affordable square-format digital cameras. But I still scan my film, post-process with Photoshop and print digitally. I haven't gotten my hands wet to make a print in many years, and I don't intend to ever again. Like it or not, digital is here to stay, and to take the position that there is something more virtuous, more aesthetically pure, and more essentially artistic about film strikes me as just plain silly.

© Joseph Gerhard. All rights reserved.