Saturday, October 07, 2006

Future of Film or Is the End Near

When you look at a group of tourist with cameras, it is hard to spot anyone that isn't holding up a 3x5 or smaller camera and looking at the LCD back to frame the image. If they want prints, they take the memory card over to Costco or Walmart and pick up prints later. Or they pop the card in their computer and send Grandmother a picture of little Johnny blowing out the candles on his birthday cake just an hour ago.

Eight years ago I thought that I'd always use film. I couldn't see ever moving to a digital camera for anything other than a few snapshots and certainly never digital output/prints for my work. But cameras have improved dramatically and so have inkjet printers and new papers are appearing faster than you can test them. But there are still a lot of fine art photographers who have a relationship with film and with the processing of film and silver gelatin prints and that relationship is a part of their vision. They want film to continue. And I have always thought that it would. Maybe in smaller facilities, sort of like the small businesses that have sprung up to service the photographers who want to use the older processes like platinum or palladium, but this week an article was brought to my attention in the British Journal of Photography that made me rethink that idea. Film is difficult to make and it is expensive. As film sales continue to fall, the time will come when production will become very expensive and/or cease to exist.

Some of my photography friends have been discussing this issue and my friend Frank wrote about it in his blog, Life with Pitchertaker this morning, October 7, 2006. Frank's reply is at the bottom of the entry.

1 comment:


life just a good