Analogue Photography Today

This week we will discuss the relevance of analogue photography in today’s society. I am not talking about digitally scanned negatives. I believe scanning negatives is a fad, used by photographers in an attempt to give their imagery more “significance”. If you want digital files, why not simply use a digital camera? The same visual effects can be achieved. I am talking about physical darkroom prints.

Many say that analogue prints are loosing their impact because of the sheer wealth of digital imagery in society today. However, I would argue that this reduction in quantity has increased their impact. The peculiarity of seeing an image, with a physical connection to what it depicts, and a tangible presence in your hands, has increased analogue photography’s influence, and therefore relevance in todays society.

A deeper look at this idea coming soon…

2 thoughts on “Analogue Photography Today

  1. Hi Jamie,

    If you want digital files, why not simply use a digital camera? The same visual effects can be achieved.

    In my case, the main reason for shooting on film is not the aesthetics but the process (!) itself. I slow down, consider my frame and the light; then I set up my tripod and take my shot. All this gives me time to engage with my subject; unlike the digital snip-snap process. Then there’s an element of waiting for your images to come back; it’s this space between the process of image-making and receiving resulting imagery that is necessary for many. And as a result, the pictures become more valuable and meaningful.

    Also, however hard I have tried to make my digitals look more aesthetically in sync with my analog photos – I have always failed.

    Like

    1. Good Evening Kadri,

      I do appreciate this. In fact it is the only plausible use of scanning I can appreciate.

      However, I would argue that if digital cameras were used for the projects which you want to reproduce infinitely, it would strengthen other analogue works, providing they remain solely analogue. The correct tool for the correct job is more potent, or efficient, than several tools merged into one. By blurring the line between analogue and digital, I would say the advantages of both are being blunted.

      I have had the predicament before whereby I wanted to use 35mm – my favourite photographic medium – but I needed digital files. Instead of scanning, I decided to use a DSLR, which I may not have found as instinctive, but it was the correct tool for the job. I believe that adjustment (on behalf of the photographer) is often needed, so they do not compromise their own work.

      For example if a photograph is scanned, it takes away from the uniqueness of the print (if that photograph it is subseuently made into a tangible, material print.) As it is no longer a quantifiably limited object – it may be produced infinitely.

      Like

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