Why film should be part of the total experience in photography studies

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Knock yourselves out. This isn't a beginners class but the total experience through a college career.
 
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... didn't they just hash this out in another thread? :tongue:

Film frees you from worrying about everything else, all you have is your shutter speed and your aperture and the focus.
 
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... didn't they just hash this out in another thread? :tongue:

Film frees you from worrying about everything else, all you have is your shutter speed and your aperture and the focus.
It seemed to me people wanted to carry on a discussion about film in a total sense, not limited to just a beginners class so I thought why not have a thread for that since so many feel that passionately about it. :)
 
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1. Because all of us "old folks" had to do it.
2. Ah, the sweet smell of Chemistry.
3. Wife gets mad when you set up the "darkroom" in the bathroom, especially if you only have one.
4. Nothing quite like wasting multiple sheets of paper, gallons of chemistry, just to figure out your darkroom wasn't light tight, oh where did that light streak come from?
5. Saying "Ooops" ( or other suitable words ) when you know you dodged/burned just a wee bit more than planned, leading to #4

In all seriousness, the best reason I can think of is that film, and here I am broadening the scope to the entire "wet" darkroom experience, requires more patience and "up-front" planning than digital. This is the one point that I was surprised the film folks in "that other thread" did not make more clearly, although I don't think this applies at the "beginning class" level at all, but certainly does for the student that wants to learn more, especially as it relates to the evolution to digital, even including terms such as "dodging and burning", which in the digital sense could easily just be termed "make it lighter or darker".
 
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1. Because all of us "old folks" had to do it.
2. Ah, the sweet smell of Chemistry.
3. Wife gets mad when you set up the "darkroom" in the bathroom, especially if you only have one.
4. Nothing quite like wasting multiple sheets of paper, gallons of chemistry, just to figure out your darkroom wasn't light tight, oh where did that light streak come from?
5. Saying "Ooops" ( or other suitable words ) when you know you dodged/burned just a wee bit more than planned, leading to #4

In all seriousness, the best reason I can think of is that film, and here I am broadening the scope to the entire "wet" darkroom experience, requires more patience and "up-front" planning than digital. This is the one point that I was surprised the film folks in "that other thread" did not make more clearly, although I don't think this applies at the "beginning class" level at all, but certainly does for the student that wants to learn more, especially as it relates to the evolution to digital, even including terms such as "dodging and burning", which in the digital sense could easily just be termed "make it lighter or darker".
I agree. When you see something in print it becomes tangible. When you see it develop in front of your eyes it is a different experience than zooming in and out on a monitor. When you have a limited amount of exposures to take, you get more selective in the composition stage before pulling the trigger.

This helps with becoming more critical and selective on ones work as well.
 
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I've had my say in the other thread but to me film might be something I look at one day the same way I started looking at classic bikes after having my licence for a number of years :)
I don't see it being a necessity for a lot of people but maybe it would be important for some lines of photography business
 
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Because you don't want to spend $10 000 on a medium format camera with a digital back, when you can have the camera for $500. Same quality, a bit more hassle, and substatially cheaper (~$7.5 per film).

And that is purely from an economic point of view.
 
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I've thought about buying an F4 and learning film. I realize there are characteristics and lessons in discipline which are probably lost on me having learned on digital alone. One thing I see with some of my dad's old photographs (shot on an OM-1) is how distinctly beautiful film can look, something digital just seems to miss. I think as a specialized hobby film could teach me things I could translate back to digital, and I'd get some neat photos too!
 
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I enjoy the feel and build of alot of old film bodies and manual lenses. The viewfinder in a F2AS is certainly nicer than what we have now, although it has to be.

That said if you were to go back to 1980 and hand a sports shooter a D4 and a 200 f/2 VRII and gave him/her time to learn it they'd probably think you crazy for bothering with the old lenses and bodies.
 
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I've thought about buying an F4 and learning film. I realize there are characteristics and lessons in discipline which are probably lost on me having learned on digital alone. One thing I see with some of my dad's old photographs (shot on an OM-1) is how distinctly beautiful film can look, something digital just seems to miss. I think as a specialized hobby film could teach me things I could translate back to digital, and I'd get some neat photos too!
One big thing to remember in all of this is how the film is processed and then printed. In many ways much less forgiving than digital, in other ways you just don't, because you can't, rush things. I suspect that part of that difference is in the processing, you can certainly see that difference in digital as well.
 
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Because you don't want to spend $10 000 on a medium format camera with a digital back, when you can have the camera for $500. Same quality, a bit more hassle, and substatially cheaper (~$7.5 per film).

And that is purely from an economic point of view.
Interesting, had not thought of this angle. Then again, I can't imagine shooting wildlife with a 4x5 View Camera :biggrin:
 
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One big thing to remember in all of this is how the film is processed and then printed. In many ways much less forgiving than digital, in other ways you just don't, because you can't, rush things. I suspect that part of that difference is in the processing, you can certainly see that difference in digital as well.
someone please correct me if I'm wrong but if you just go to wally world and buy a roll of 400 ASA kodak/fuji film it's actually far more forgiving exposure wise than even the best full frame digitals, especially with highlights.

I actually didn't really start learning exposure until I moved to the D70s. Up until that time I was just shooting what I could afford and what I could get processed (which was 400 kodak gold/fuji whatever it was called) and the highlights were extremely recoverable from the scanned images I got back.

I rarely shot slides because it would take over a month to get them back.
 
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I'm 20 right now, starting my junior year at school and a photography major. Honestly, nothing has made me appreciate the field more than the film classes I've taken. Film itself has taught me more about knowing my camera and settings than anything else could. A good friend of mine who's a photographer for Red Bull told me one time when i asked him how he got into photography and how he got so good in a sense, and he told me that he started on film where he had to know what he was doing otherwise it just plain old wouldn't work.
I personally find nothing more rewarding then taking a photo and seeing it develop in front of your eyes. Plus gotta say, its always fun going to garage sales and finding old cameras and actually being able to use them :biggrin:
 
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Here's my Alma-Mater's BA Curriculum and an excerpt

...Students must complete all CP courses with grades of C or better.
CP 330 Photography II requires the student to provide their own Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera.
CP 332 Photography III requires the student to purchase film, photographic paper and some chemistry. Expected out of pocket
expenses are approximately $500. 35mm manual film cameras are available for check out from the Department.
All Photography Students are required to purchase their own lap-top computer and required software.
See additional sheet for details
-> http://mcma.siu.edu/cp/_common/documents/curricular_guide_photography
 
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someone please correct me if I'm wrong but if you just go to wally world and buy a roll of 400 ASA kodak/fuji film it's actually far more forgiving exposure wise than even the best full frame digitals, especially with highlights.

I actually didn't really start learning exposure until I moved to the D70s. Up until that time I was just shooting what I could afford and what I could get processed (which was 400 kodak gold/fuji whatever it was called) and the highlights were extremely recoverable from the scanned images I got back.

I rarely shot slides because it would take over a month to get them back.
How much of that was the development of the film? And from the scanning process itself? What is, I think, forgotten is that negatives and slides don't just "happen" once the light hits the emulsion. A lot of corrections can be made when prints or scans are created from a negative or slide.

I used to shoot E6 process Ektachrome, prefer the cooler color, and I had places that would process in just a few hours.
 
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I'm 20 right now, starting my junior year at school and a photography major. Honestly, nothing has made me appreciate the field more than the film classes I've taken. Film itself has taught me more about knowing my camera and settings than anything else could. A good friend of mine who's a photographer for Red Bull told me one time when i asked him how he got into photography and how he got so good in a sense, and he told me that he started on film where he had to know what he was doing otherwise it just plain old wouldn't work.
I personally find nothing more rewarding then taking a photo and seeing it develop in front of your eyes. Plus gotta say, its always fun going to garage sales and finding old cameras and actually being able to use them :biggrin:
Can you quantify the difference you find, why film has taught you more? I am more than 3 times your age, so in those old way-back days all we HAD was film :biggrin:

I am just trying to get a handle on what folks your age find so helpful. Is it that you are forced, by the medium itself, to slow down? If so, would not shooting in JPG and not chimping afford you the same experience?

Out of curiosity, are you doing your own development and enlarging as well? I will admit, that is a pretty cool thing to watch, no doubt about it. As to your last point, I'm sure the 20 year olds when you are my age will say the same thing about the lousy old D4 :wink:
 
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How much of that was the development of the film? And from the scanning process itself? What is, I think, forgotten is that negatives and slides don't just "happen" once the light hits the emulsion. A lot of corrections can be made when prints or scans are created from a negative or slide.

I used to shoot E6 process Ektachrome, prefer the cooler color, and I had places that would process in just a few hours.
Wish I could tell you sir. I just dropped the film off a wally world, asked for them to be scanned onto disc and came back in an hour. I worked almost exclusively with c-41 film that could be bought anywhere. I was a real novice back then.

Occasionally I'd shoot fuji sensia 100 as London Drugs sold it in three packs of 36 exposure rolls for just over $12 but they used to have to send it away and it would take a month to get it back. sensia had a nice saturated but not overstated look that I liked.


I found the c-41 that could be bought anywhere to be just too forgiving to be a learning tool. Something like sensia would be a good learning tool but by the time I got it back I couldn't remember what the settings were or anything so I couldn't learn from my mistakes.

Learning on slide film would be pretty educational. Providing you kept track of your settings for every shot and then got the slides back in a timely manor.

I'm not sure of the technicalities but the kodak gold 400/fujifilm 400 films are I think more forgiving exposure wise than my D700. Plus when you did cook a highlight it never gets as butt ugly as cooked highlights on digital do. Just my experience, I was never a big film shooter. I started out on film but when I did get it right then it was more by mistake than anything else.
 
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Can you quantify the difference you find, why film has taught you more? I am more than 3 times your age, so in those old way-back days all we HAD was film :biggrin:

I am just trying to get a handle on what folks your age find so helpful. Is it that you are forced, by the medium itself, to slow down? If so, would not shooting in JPG and not chimping afford you the same experience?

Out of curiosity, are you doing your own development and enlarging as well? I will admit, that is a pretty cool thing to watch, no doubt about it. As to your last point, I'm sure the 20 year olds when you are my age will say the same thing about the lousy old D4 :wink:
Honestly, what I find it to be is just the fact that you HAVE to know your settings, you can't just be shooting and shooting and hoping that it comes out, or turning around and redoing a shot. You've got pretty much one or two chances to take the photo, and if you don't get it than its basically wasting money.
 
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