RIP Digital Photography (2000-2022)

I have a bold statement to make, but hear me out. It’s a conclusion that comes as a result of this post from July 30.

With the majority of people (perhaps not you if you are a photographer) no longer using dedicated digital cameras, point and shoot cameras, bridge cameras nor DSLRs, and exclusively now only using phones, digital photography is officially dead and the only real photographers left are those that are using film. Why do I jump to that conclusion? Because the film photographers are the only ones using actual photographic techniques, not just letting computer programmers create their images.

Now if a film photographer also uses a digital SLR, certainly they’re still making photographs, same with other professionals, even professionals only using digital cameras, but regarding the populace, digital photography is dead.

Nails in the coffin. In the ground. Stone cold dead!

The ones that are doing the work I want to see nowadays, they’re the film shooters.

Kodak posted these two photos on its Instagram. Why would anyone choose to use film for celebrity photographs? Because film is still viable. It takes a skill set, technique. Working with film changes the way the subject responds to the camera–they give the photographer more time as it’s perceived as more special–not to mention the ability to achieve different planes of focus with the large format camera.

There’s no look being made by some processor, the result of computing the file to make it the way the programmers have decided it would be most agreeable to the most people. It’s a photographer using light and shadow, composition and experience with the response of the film to make an image.

Many people on television and film sets have said there’s a difference about the way the cast and crew approach the project when there’s a Panavision 35mm film camera on set versus a Sony Digicam. There’s more respect that what they’re shooting is more important since they’re shooting on film.

The best TV shows have always been shot on film–Cheers, Seinfeld, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, 30 Rock, Sex and the City, The Sopranos. They wanted that look for their shows. Film feels different on set, looks different on screen and is determined to be worth whatever the cost.

I can’t think of a more worthless item than a digital Canon or Nikon point and shoot camera for sale at a shop that sells used electronics. Those will never sell. Now there’s talk that Canon and Nikon are both going to end their DSLR lines. And while their mirrorless cameras might be tremendously good, they will only be bought by prosumers and pros. The populace won’t be using them. Not most people.

Real cameras, you kidding? They’ve got their phones.

Phone snapshots live (2007- ), but that’s not photography. Not to me. I’ll stick with actual photographers, and if they’re working with film, I’m expecting a bit more from them.

I just am. Like those TV shows that spend the little bit extra because film is worth it.

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