Final thoughts about Analog vs Digital

Hello there!

Long time no see! It has been a long time since I wrote a blog post. Many things have been happening and I haven't created the time to write anything. I don't really know where to begin although I have a specific topic to talk about. Recently a member of the Film Shooters Collective asked how other members motivate themselves to keep shooting film. He had recently bought a Sony A7II and was very happy with it. He was a bit worried that we wouldn't shoot as much film as he used too. So I responded after several others who commented:

"..well it's a good question as Philip said. My mind has gone somewhat crazy thinking about this. I wrote a blog post about this.. not sure it might help, but the main thing is we all love to photograph. How we do it is less important than why we do it. What I found is that, for me, there isn't any ONE way to do it.. from time to time I will shift from analog to digital.. but once I go back to digital I miss analog.. 90% of the time I still shoot film but once in a while it's also nice to shoot some megapixels just to get it out of your system. You can read some of my short thoughts about it.. my blog is a bit of a mess but start here and then continue to newer posts."

Several days after this I had a discussion with my girlfriend about buying a Sony A7 for "scanning" my negatives. She has always been questioning my priorities within photography. Not in a bad way but with the best of interest for me and my photography. From time to time I get a bit depressed and tell her I spend too much money on gear and too little on photographic trips, workshops and developing my photographic expression or  speech.  She tries do guide me into spending the money on developing my photography and not  on photographic gear. She often looks up workshops and other activities and tries to make me realise that gear is not what I need. She is great! :)

Ricoh GR1,  Tri-x.

Ricoh GR1,  Tri-x.

© 2015 Photography by Joel Foo

Anyway we were talking today about what my priorities are or in what way a Sony A7 would make me a better photographer. I told her that it wouldn't, it's just another tool for my photography. It's something I need because my Pakon is failing me and my Epson V750 is crappy at scanning 35mm negatives. Then I tried to motivate my intentions and told her that I also could use the A7 as a camera and not just for scanning. I don't really remember how the discussion went on from here, but I came to realise something important.

It seems so obvious, but it took too long for me too realise it. Photography for me is not just one thing, it has two separate individual aspects! Photography, for me, is about capturing a moment in time to remember or tell a story, or capture/share something beautiful. It is an expression of my senses. But photography for me is also the experience shooting and processing the photo.  I have actually already said all of this in previous  posts but I hadn't really experienced the final step in my mind until now. 

Fujifilm X100

Fujifilm X100

© 2015 Photography by Joel Foo

As I said in an older post digital is great for learning not only the basics of photography but observing how I take photos and why. Analysing my photos helps me understand and develop my skills easier and faster. The main goal here is to develop my photographic sense and expression. Whereas shooting on film is all about the experience shooting and processing the photo. It is everything from metering the light, setting up you exposure, pressing the shutter release, developing the film, developing the negatives and finally doing a print. The digital and analog aspects of my photography are two separate things. Most of the time my photography has been focusing on the analog experience and less on the development of my photographic sense or speech. (can't find the exact words to describe it).  

At the end of the day it is as I told my film shooting friend on The Film Shooters Collective, "How we do it is less important than why we do it." Meaning we all love to photograph, that is the reason we do it. Wether it is analog or digital is not important for the image itself. I am only talking about the content that is being photographed and not the aesthetics of it.  Digital and analog are two ways of expressing the same world. Almost like telling the same story in two different languages or telling a story by writing a book vs. making a movie. Digital and analog will have their place within my photography at least at the stage of photography I am at now. I hope to develop my photographic expression with digital and develop my analog photography skills so that one day they will meet and exist  as one.  

 

Thanks for reading!