Foreword to all my non-Catalan or Spanish speaking friends:
This will be an English resume of my blog texts. Please by kind with me about my grammar skills, and never doubt in suggesting any correction for the mistakes you may find.
For people who, like me, have been taking pictures using film since more than thirty years, it’s amazing that other people are surprised that film still exists.
“- Can you still buy film?” It’s a usual question, even with people which is in the photography world.
What’s surprises me is that, usually, they want to know about the advantage of using film.
And the best is that there’s no advantage at all: there’s not a question about advantages.
We tend to binary thinking: “If this option is good, then that other is bad” something that, most of the times, is absurd.
Nobody thinks that the invention of the pen would mean the end of aquarelle, for example. That then would be the idea when we talk about film or digital. Two different ways to get a similar result.
Anyway, nobody doubts about the goodness of digital (me included) but why so many people doubt about film?
First thing is understanding that, from a technical point of view, the photographic moment is the same, no matter film or digital.
For people not used to shoot film, the first disturbing thing is the fact that you can’t instantly check what you’ve done, something that, at the end is better for the creative process: you need to concentrate in what you are doing and there’s a moment when, in your mind, red letters saying “Got it!” appears and, more than that, not being able to instantly check means that you always think about what is going to come, not what it already happened.
In the same terms, having some limitations about the production (quantity) because of the amount of shots you can do, forces you to think much more about what are you doing. Shooting more do not guarantee you to get better results. Never.
Money is usually another problem. Obviously, if you can’t, you can’t, but most of the times is just a question of priorities: I prefer a roll of film rather than a drink.
Shooting with film also allows me to use those special cameras I’m in love with. A mechanical instrument will always have something magic.
And, finally, darkroom is one more of the good thing of film. A place where, in addition to sight, touch and smell come to the show and help to set an special relation between the photographer and the print. And I’m not talking about nostalgia.
“When all tapes will be erased, when reproducing digital support won’t be possible, maybe someone will find a piece of film and will hold it in backlaight”
” (“A whore’s profession” David Mamet)