The Photo Walk Went Mostly Digital

Last week’s post about our Denver photo walk was a treat to write and bring you along to where we went, what we saw. I love how photography and words–storytelling–allowed me to bring you the stories of the day. Take you along, in a sense. But though I had film cameras with me, I know me and I am very much a digital photographer when making street photos.

That doesn’t mean I don’t wish I had shot more film. I did shoot three exposures with the Agfa Clack 6×9 camera. And a couple frames with the Nikon S4. But I wish I had made the diner photographs in black and white film. I wish I had the waitress’s portrait on an Ilford HP5 negative.

Here’s the difference. Go back and check out that post. Then see this photo–here’s a portrait made on film.

There’s soul in this portrait. A special sauce cooked in. Something no black and white simulation can achieve. A wonderfully 3D image that feels like you can reach into, it’s so rich. Plus it’s a negative so I can put it into my enlarger and print it for her.

This one is the same idea of another barista, this one made on a digital camera, a Fuji X100. It’s sharp, but lacks the soul of the film photograph (for me).

If you only have a film camera, there’s no choice whether to use film or digital. For me, having options can sometimes get in my way of making the film choice. The ease of digital can sabotage my efforts to document mainly on film. Because for street photography, I know myself, it’s mostly a digital world.

I can’t help but think what I’m missing by not making the commitment to shoot film for street, too.

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