Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Flirting with film

Ed Verosky at About Photography has a gentle tilt towards shooting film, here he describes the experience in a reflective way

“It’s not uncommon to hear photographers talk about digital as something they really appreciate for its efficiencies.  But when you bring film into the conversation, sometimes it’s like mentioning an old flame to someone stuck in a marriage of convenience.  Some photographers just love film, even though they know they have to spend most of their lives with digital now.

Compared to digital photography, film can take on the allure of novelty, the tactile senses, and authenticity”.……..more

I am less convinced by the need to return to film, I spent 40 years of my life shooting, developing and printing film, black and white and colour, and everything in-between, yes there is an in-between. I think the appeal of film is the reduced number of decisions you have to make by comparison with digital and the need not to learn more stuff. But I love learning new stuff, digital saved me from a life of having been there, seen it, done it. I also love not smelling of fixer and having stained clothes. When I speak to young photography students and am told that their tutors insist they start off by learning about black and white film I wonder if the tutors are just too lazy to fully engage with digital, in the end for me the image is everything getting there is a journey and digital offers more opportunities to leave the highway and to explore. Having said all of that the majority of the best pictures ever taken were shot on black and white film, here are some

Irving Penn

Alfred Steiglitz

Richard Avedon

We run a Black and White Digital course starting 13th June, details are here

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