Shoot on Silver is the campaign that will always stick to this site. Film and alternative techniques are relatively strong these days, especially considering the near complete take over of the photographic world by digital. How traditional imaging will continue in the years ahead remains to be seen. There was a quick downturn when digital started to take hold, but all signs would lead one to believe that the worst is perhaps over.
There is also a strong bond between traditional imaging and pinhole photography. Pinhole is particularly well suited for many alternative techniques. It is a great challenge, yet a rewarding one, when one makes a camera, then sensitizes his own materials, then shoots with it, and ultimately creates a final image, all without reservations, all with pride and meaning.
Digital has spoiled photographers beyond recognition. Even many of the old traditionalists have given in and instead of using new recording medium to their advantage, they’ve succumbed to new way of shooting. Along the way publications, books, magazines, web sites, not to mention equipment manufacturers, saw a gold mine in new, obscured, yet effective ways of draining everyone’s pockets with ever “better” gear, software, advice etc.
Looking at the young aspiring photographers, it seemed unthinkable just a decade ago, that the learning process would base itself on quick & dirty bits of intermittent thrusts of “superior” advice, often not capable of holding water. Instant gratification that digital has brought along became a standard everyone seems to be after. Discussion groups, magazines and (of course) manufacturers) are the indicators of where this is headed.
Looking back at the history of photography and the great many images it produced, how was that ever possible, if we were to believe the current trends? What do they mean I need to upgrade? To accomplish what, I had not before?
I read a post one day and the comment was:
I’m limited by my equipment, but I can’t afford to upgrade yet
Looking at the photographs I thought to myself: what in the world are you talking about?
How about going back to basics, how about spending some time on understanding composition, image visual integrity, play with light, shape and shadow?
And the trends. Here is something of yet another digital phenomenon. All magazines and majority of books have one thing in common: trends. If your image doesn’t comply, you just don’t know. Landscapes must be flashy, of striking contrast and always look surreal.
How bad digital is? I say not bad at all. However, we owe it to ourselves to control its impact on our photography. Those of us who had enjoyed the medium in the days prior have the advantage of remembering of what it felt like going through the routine. And we can continue with old routine while even completely switching to digital recording.
The old thought process is important, it needs to be brought back to the front pages.
Along the same lines, one thing bothers me quite a bit. There is a definite animosity between analog and digital crowds, but strangely enough the analog people seem to scream louder against digital, and I mean in a more disrespectful way. I don’t know why that is, but I hardly see upset comments from digital side against analog. Perhaps it has to do with digital covering a wider spectrum of our society, many of whom never knew analog to begin with. Analogers seem to feel cheated or abandoned. Case in point is the recent kickstarter campaign to fund the New55 instant film project. I won’t comment on that just yet, let’s see what happens when January 2015 comes. However, some of the supporters came across like having a vendetta type attitudes towards digital, or better to say a hurray kind sens of fulfillment.
The SoS logo contains a small “dfd”. It stands for Don’t Forget Digital. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being strictly a digital photographer. As there isn’t with being a traditional one. We can say, we now have the best of both worlds: the instant feedback digital affords and the intentionally slow old routine. Shouldn’t we cherish our silver gods for bringing it all to us?