Analog People in a Digital World: Photographers Explain Why They Still Prefer Analog

Digital photography usurped film photography within the last two decades almost entirely. But there are still film and analog photographers who swear by their process. This mini-documentary explores their reasons.

I grew up with film cameras, but I was still young when the transition to digital began. I was young enough to not really appreciate the change outside of the surface gains we got: ease of use, speed of development, price, and so on. By the time I bought my first camera and started learning about photography, the transition had mostly completed and anyone using film were doing so out of artistic choice rather than any gain in quality.

As is the case with most photographers who have been shooting for a while, my curiosity could be held back no more and I bought a film camera and practiced shooting. The tangible process certainly felt more satisfying and when the photos were returned to me, I had the tinge of excitement to see what I have created. It wasn't difficult to see the appeal and I have taken a film camera on shoots over the years just to get an extra dimension. However, the people in this video are dedicated to the craft, and in many cases, dedicated to the analog craft that is far more difficult and time consuming that just rolls of film.

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4 Comments

Timothy Gasper's picture

Very good article. In addition to the reason Frank Lopez cites....I love it because of its organic feel. The spirit and connection to the subject is truly felt with me and to actually see the final image is a wonder. Thank you.

Pieter Batenburg's picture

I was around 45 when digital cameras were good enough and affordable enough to buy as an amateur. I have no nostalgic feelings about film. It was unpractical at best and really frustrating in some cases.
But if it makes someone happy, so go ahead and choose film.

Ben Coyte's picture

I try to blend the best of both. Of course only the person behind the camera can define what that best is. When I find myself chimp-ing too much and shooting lots of shots of the same thing without really thinking about it, I go back and shoot film for a bit. Film is slow, a pain to deal with and expensive. So I'll put more effort into the shot before i press the shutter because I don't want to spend all day developing the stuff. Plus I eat too much candy whilst waiting for the next agitation. So in a way, the workflow of film sets me up to be more mindful when I shoot digital. Works for me, but I understand why it isn't everyone's cup of tea.

Mike Dochterman's picture

I use both.. I almost always prefer the images from film over digital.. but I shoot digital as a backup (in case I mess up the developing for instance), speed (I can get some images out in an hour for instance) and color (typically do not shoot color film)..it's a good mix for me. I still prefer the film film look to the digital film look though