Repeat Offender

hangin0

I realized I had over 100 posts that were created and never posted. They cover a RANGE of topics, they are of varying age. This is one of these posts.

I was asked to write a post about switching from film to digital This request made me look back on when, how and why I made this move, and back on all the strange things that happened since then. I admit this is a strange look at the photography world, but the post is true, so that’s all the reason I need. This topic, even after all these years, seems to really get people going. What I want to make clear is I don’t care. I really don’t. I actually think what you are about to read is really funny because it was really funny at the time.

Now I use mostly film, but I love things like about digital. Digital photography is a powerful, fun tool and the “how” doesn’t interest me that much. It’s all about creating. Just go do it. Don’t ask permission. Just go. If you have something to say it will show in your work. Creating unique and recognizable content is not easy, even with the latest technology. Great work takes time, thought and focus. Digital gave a voice to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who otherwise might not have ever engaged with their visual side. Good luck, keep pressing.

Over a year ago I shot what was potentially my last commercial photography assignment. Photography has taken on a new direction for me, and working for other people, in essence shooting other people’s images, is no longer what I want to do. (Save the comments about “I shoot my own images,” I’ve heard it all before.)
During this last shoot, which was very enjoyable, a strange thing happened. This thing was not strange for me but it certainly was for those around me. I shot film, all black and white film to be exact.
Around me were four other photographers, all shooting digital(Two because I asked them to). I clunked around with my Leica and Hasselblad, waist level finder and all, looking at the world with my head pointed at the ground. I worked slowly and in constant reminder mode, urging myself to forget everything I knew, everything I’d learned about “being a photographer.” I tried to work free of expectation, free of the poison of industry trends, popular themes and especially free of what the masses were doing.
The clients were young, relaxed and accommodating, as were their friends. I once spent a fair amount of time studying anthropology, so for me to be able to spend time with this group, hearing their conversations, listening to their music, learning from their style was a great thing. Clunk, clunk, clunk I began to connect with the event and with the people.
Not long after beginning the shoot I was approached by a gregarious, young guy in his early 20’s who said, “Oh man, I really love your cameras.” We chatted while I worked, and then he made the realization I was not only using old cameras, but I was using film. “That is incredible,” he said. “Film is so much more interesting.” “Digital is okay because sometimes I want to see the images right away, but film looks better and is more interesting because you can’t see the images.”
Believe it or not folks, this happens to me ALL THE TIME, and this event was no different. All though the day, and into the night, people approached and offered their support of film, the “old ways” and the casual, visual nonchalance of working in digital. I would guess that I’ve head this same sentiment during every single event I photographed since that fateful day in about 2001(or2002, can’t remember exactly) when I switched back to film from my beloved digital. Yes, you read that correctly, when I SWITCHED FROM DIGITAL BACK TO FILM. I was an early adopter of digital. Yes me, the same guy who has been labeled “anti-technology, a luddite, backwards, stupid, behind the times,” and the guy once told he was “going the wrong way on the highway.” Me. Same guy.
Brace yourself, I was using digital, potentially long before you were.
Now, I had an advantage. I had just been released from serving four years with the Eastman Kodak Company. Ha, get it? Released from a four-year stint………Kidding, Kodak was a blast actually, and taught me a tremendous amount about the industry. I just knew I wanted to be a photographer again so I left.
What gave me an advantage was that Kodak had been a major part of the first high-end cameras to land in the professional market, namely the DCS 520 and 560. These were $15,000 to $30,000 dollar beauties that gave us a first look at what was possible with a decent file. So when Canon came out with the D30…I was ready to go. Plus my wife worked for Canon. Wink, wink.
Within a few short months I was standing on a golf course in Flagstaff Arizona, shooting a “destination wedding” and the groom gathered his groomsmen, looked at me and said, “Check this out, this guy is super-high-tech, and he’s not shooting ANY film.” I did manage to fire off a few 4×5 Polaroids during that event (foreshadowing?) but for the most part he was right on the money. I was booking jobs because I was fully digital.
And then, a short while later, it all changed. First of all, I grew tired of spending my life in front of the computer. Coming from the documentary world, the idea of turning over my post production and edit to someone else was so counter to how I viewed my work that it was never even a remote possibility. Turning over the post, to me, seemed like blasphemy, a sign that the photographer was either completely unattached to their work, or was shooting the exact same pictures every time. Neither described my methods. I began to feel like I wanted to hold my Leica again, something small, light and void of the electronic umbilical cord.
Other things changed as well. Digital had become more of a mainstream part our lives and clients began to view photography in a very different way. Speed and quantity became the driving force while quality of images fell down the scale. Photography went from a historical, permanent record to temporary, disposable and free. Our collective attention span began to crack and peel.
It was over for me, almost before it really began.
Now let me back up. When I originally made the “jump to light speed,” my move was NOT met with positive feedback from the industry, especially the wedding industry. Does this sound familiar? I was called “unprofessional” and was flat out told by “experts,” “digital will not work for wedding photography.” No people, I’m not making this up.
Three years down the road, oh how the world had changed. Just as I was realizing digital might not be my future, the masses had discovered it in full force. Like an army, high on technology, not only were many of these folks steaming full ahead toward all things digital, they were simultaneously trying to condemn anything related to analog photography. It was, and still is, STRANGE.
Get ready for it…wait for it….I did a panel at a tradeshow and was called, “The most unprofessional photographer I’ve ever seen” by a 20-something marketer turned photographer who said that by me working alone, and shooting the dreaded film, I was committing an act of digital treason.
THE EXACT SAME PEOPLE who told me digital would not work for weddings were now telling me, “YOU WILL GO OUT OF BUSINESS IF YOU DON’T SHOOT DIGITAL.”
This transition, for me, proved just how many insecure people packed the photo-ranks. I began to hear countless discussions, COUNTLESS, about technology, and what I began to hear less and less about was the actual imagery being created. Entire marketing campaigns sprang from the lamest of lame premises…”I could have never done this before, but now with my Zupperflex 5000 I can blend margaritas and shoot countless images without even knowing I’m doing it.” Believe it or not, after all these years, I STILL see this campaign being used. Suddenly, photography became about the TOOL. Lame.
The wedding bubble began to build, the ranks filled with those adopting the “Spray and Pray” methodology of the terminally unskilled.(Harsh, but again…true.) By the way, whoever coined “Spray and Pray,” nice work, it fits perfectly.
I went to yet another industry tradeshow and heard a speaker say, “I shot 10,000 images at a wedding, by myself,” and the crowd burst into spontaneous applause. I’m not entirely sure but I think, at that precise moment, a rainbow formed over the stage with a band of unicorns riding the wave. I knew at that VERY moment my future was not long for this industry, although I do love unicorns.
So coming back to my final shoot. I had to laugh. I kept hearing, “I love your cameras.” “I love film.” One person even went as far as to say, “The other stuff doesn’t matter, I only want to see the film.” I only wanted to see good pics, regardless of how they were made.
But my friends, this story gets even stranger. Now in 2013, all these years later, well hasn’t film just become the belle of the ball. Many of these SAME people condemning it for years suddenly realized there was a marketing angle to film, and now it’s okay. In fact, WE ALL SHOULD BE USING IT. Come again. Did I hear that correctly? Dollars will do that to people.
So recently I’m back in the desert, poolside, dreaming up all the ultra-relevant and world shaping blog posts I can do, and my wife finds herself in a conversation with someone who happens to be an event planner. A very nice person, who also does wedding planning. She throws out a list of names of good photographers, all of whom are very familiar to me. She says a name, and I mentally say, “Yep, good choice.” All of them……wait for it…..wait for it…..FILM SHOOTERS. No, I’m not making this up. And then she drops this one.
“Some of these photographers now don’t even shoot film, they are just doing digital with color washes.” The same thing that FIVE years ago was all anyone was doing. Now, it’s not enough. Anyone can do it. It has no soul. There is no style behind it. It’s all button pushing.
So there I am, the castigated one, listening as the world creaks on its axis and comes FULL CIRCLE.
Now, it’s official. Film is okay again.
There is a moral of the story here folks. The only voice that matters, the only direction that matters… is YOURS. Not mine, not the industry voice, or the marketing voice. You can copy cat your way into this business, have ZERO to say and make a perfectly good living. But is that being a photographer?
I’ll let you decide.
For me, it’s simple. Film slows me down, forces me to think and doesn’t distract me by providing the image instantly. I don’t think seeing an image right away is helpful in the learning process. I don’t believe shooting as many images as possible is a good thing. I think digital has nearly destroyed our ability to edit. Film has cut my computer time by 80%. Film doesn’t require the perpetual upgrade, software, hardware, firmware, and it provides a feeling of permanence that doesn’t’ require a cloud of unknown electronic promises.
In short, film fits my lifestyle and philosophy. I’m a better photographer using it, and ultimately that is all that matters.

Keep searching. Keep asking questions. Use whatever you want. There is no reason not to, no matter what anyone says.

56 responses to “Repeat Offender”

  1. Mark Olwick says:

    Great post, Dan. It’s all about the final print, regardless of the tool.

    I can’t believe this post was buried in your “to post’ list! If the otehrs are like this, we’re in for a real treat.

    Mark

  2. bob soltys says:

    Another great post, Dan.

    Bob

  3. Neil Holmes says:

    Hi Daniel, wow thats quite a post and I find myself agreeing with most of it. Photography has changed so much in the digital age, to a great extent its eating itself.

    I really admire your philosophy and the direction you are taking.

    Cheers Neil

  4. LionelB says:

    Even those you didn’t publish drew some ideas together. Not everything has to be shown. I have been thinking about the nostalgia thing. It is born out of insecurity and several steps removed from reality. Like other manifestations of our insecurity it also sells. The fads for Classical or chinoiserie in the 18th Century were about emulation and inspiration, not a hankering for the past as such. The Sixties brought about the destruction of everything prior, in a way that war had not. Very liberating socially but at a very high price in terms of the imposition of a featureless, uncaring corporate uniformity. It is as if we were growing in a garden and were dug up and moved into a pot. Nostalgia today is not about amusement but about a profound sense of pain at all we have lost.

    • Smogranch says:

      Lionel,
      Not sure what to say to this. Other than…I need to read it again. Too bad you don’t put much thought into these…………………………..

    • LionelB says:

      I suppose part of what I mean is whether we could have had the desegregation bit without the clone shopping mall bit ? Plus is nostalgia still just a fun thing or am I right that it is nowadays about anxiety ?

    • Smogranch says:

      Lionel,
      I think nostalgia is still fun. Just think of it as memory.

  5. Sean says:

    Creative people are generally speaking supposed to do things with their hands. Opening and loading a roll of film feels far better than the digital alternatives.

    That alone is now good enough for me.

  6. John VIcory says:

    Great post, Daniel.
    There are so many negatives about being a photographer these days; so many ‘industries’ that suck the creative life out of me. I definitely needed to hear this. Thank you.

  7. Jeff says:

    Bravo, Dan! Though I own a Dslr specialty shop in Toronto, I was a photojournalist who shot film most of my life. It is no secret to many of my customers that I shoot and process my own b&w film mostly from my Leica M6 and M7, but also from some older Canon, Nikon and Pentax cameras. I do shoot digital too but at least 1/3 to 1/2 of my personal work is still film. Sure, we can all make a digital image look like Tri-x, but there is nothing like real Tri-x! And the negs provide free storage for life with no backups! Liberating!

    • Smogranch says:

      Jeff,
      If I could write “ARCHIVE” in 72 point font I would. I don’t know a SINGLE photographer who has a long term solution for digital storage. I do know countless photographers with 20, 30, 40, 50 plus harddrives tethered and running like some crazy house of cards. I dont’ even know a single photo library or archive that has a long term solution, and I’ve asked! I would even go so far as to say that many digital photographers are angry when I bring this up. I know this because I’ve been called a lot of names for even questioning the idea, and a few photographers have called me arrogant for even thinking I should have an archive.
      And for the past five years I’ve been hearing, “Oh, don’t worry, it’s all gonna be in the cloud.” Please. Please. Please. Really? Try uploading 50 gigs, 500 gigs, 10 terabytes to the cloud. This isn’t a real solution, not yet, and in most cases the FIRST thing you have to agree to when you use a cloud is the terms which clearly state, “Hey, we are not responsible for your content.”

      We are living in a state of pure technological intoxication. It’s great stuff, but we NEED to be honest with realities.

    • Hi Dan. Yeah, that is so true. We are the generation that takes the most photo’s but printthe least… almost none. We are the generation where convenience and material cost savings trumps everything. For so many, sharing every mundane detail of our lives as quickly as possible with as many ‘followers’ as possible is more important than really connecting one to one with someone we care about. Digital photography can lead us to great images but convenience and speed of seeing the results ( plus shooting at any ISO known to man) can be for some the main draw. I remember when photography was the super cool magic trick that only some of us magicians could perform well, and we were paid to do this.. Wow, am I ever starting to sound old.. 😉 I am 48 by the way.. Well regarding image storage, nothing beats film IMO. I have Drobo’s and other redundant storage systems including off-site backup, but one day when I am gone my family will have 150,000 or more DNG’s, NEF’s and CRW’s to wade through.. Not sure that they will.. Or, they can find pages of preserved negatives that they ( hopefully) can still get printed, or scan into their digital camera of the day. Film is physical, it is something you can hold. An artifact, left behind. I guess Vivian Maier would never have been discovered had digital been the way people made images back in her time. Now…if I can only find a way to scan Tri-x or Delta 100 negs faster and with almost zero dust! That I have yet to solve.. That is the fly in the ointment..Cheers!

    • Smogranch says:

      Jeff,
      Well said. Ah yes, the joys of scanning. Lab scans these days are insanely good. Otherwise, the key, as you know….clean negatives.

  8. Chris Fuller says:

    So what you are saying is that we should use film now, right? Just kidding. Great post.

  9. Filip Bunkens says:

    When I started out as a photographer 7 years ago, it was all digital. But 3 years ago, I discovered the feel of shooting film, it’s just a way better feeling. Now I shoot a mix of film and digital, every tool has its merits and particlular uses.
    When the turn around has to be short I choose digital and if I have time I’m going film. Here in Belgium, most other photographers still think I’m crazy for going with film for commercial assignments.
    You just can’t get the same emotion from people when you shoot digital and show them the results, it’s a commodity. While film is something unique. It’s never the same and never wrong.

    • Smogranch says:

      Filip,
      Occasionally, I will run into a photographer friend who says, “Oh man, I don’t miss film at all.” The vast majority miss it greatly, and the way their work was viewed during the time when film was king. I hear A LOT of complaints now about who images are made, how they are delivered, how they are changed in post production and how short their lifespan is, yet the industry is still telling everyone, “You gotta buy the latest and greatest.”
      There is a TREMENDOUS amount of confusion surrounding this issue when it comes to commercial photography. MOst people have given up hope and just say “well, we HAVE to shoot digital now.” I’m always amazed at how many photographers just go along with the plan. There are also a lot of young people working in the industry now, and they don’t really know film at all. They just think “Oh, it’s gonna cost a lot more.” That is simply false, and in many ways, if you talk to digital photographers who do commercial, digital is FAR more expensive. This confuses people even more.

  10. Bartek Witek says:

    Another great post Daniel. Looking forward to read what else you kept hiding 😉
    Bartek

  11. Awesome insight and story amigo.
    There’s something deeply ironical about shooting a digital image on my Fuji then using Nik Silver FX to simulate Tri-X – which is what I do now to my digital files. But then the Fujis are handy for commercial jobs – and our magic documentaries are hard to shoot on film.
    As for archiving – a nightmare. I have everything multiple copies on multiple drives stored at multiple places in Copenhagen. Secure enough, sure but updating these archives is a pain and there’s no long term option.
    Just the fact that I could spend a lot less time on the computer, would not have to carry trucks of hard drives and chargers, really has me wanting to travel with nothing but the M6. Well, M6 and a light sabre.

  12. AK FOTO says:

    I often think about what I call the “Digital Treamill,” I say jump off because it will take you nowhere. Who wants to update and upgrade endlessly all the while worrying about digital archiving when with film, I have already been doing it for 20+ yrs.
    Focusing on your work is the essential element. Don’t get distracted, build on your body of work. Yeah, yeah I know it all sounds cliche’.

    • Smogranch says:

      AK,
      In this case, it’s not a cliche, it’s a fact. I just ran into a young guy working for the city of Santa Fe. He has photographs pinned up in his office. I asked about them and he said he wanted to be a photographer. I said, “Call me, I’ll help you.” His boss said, “you are going to take him away by offering him an exotic life.” I said, “Nope, I’m gonna be honest with him and exotic might not ever come up in the conversation.”

  13. Tom says:

    It only makes sense that the type of tools (cameras) that one uses have an effect on how the photographs are taken and how the photographic thought process works. I’m not sure that there is so much evil in digital if one understands what it’s good for and not good for. Everybody has a different goal and thus a need for different tools. I have a digital SLR, a Leica, a 4×5 view camera and a medium format panoramic camera. I love them all for specific tasks. They all have weaknesses and strengths. I think it’s more important to figure out what technology supports your vision as opposed to getting all bent on what technology/tool you should use before you know what you want to do with it.

    • Smogranch says:

      Tom,
      The problem is you are smart and thinking logically. That will ONLY get you in trouble. The crazy thing is that over the past fifteen years the industry has developed a lot of “line in the sand” people. I actually have a number of friends who are this way. It’s either or. The minute they went digital all things analog were dead and they were VEHEMENT with anyone that came along there was NO other way than digital. I’ve never understood this but I’m confronted with it regularly.

    • Tom says:

      Yes I think I know what you mean. It’s like they have joined a new religion as extreme converts. No logic should enter into the discussion. But the lack of technical understanding out there can be pretty surprising. From my perspective there are sooo many great cameras out there of all types, why do people think there is only one path to a destination?

    • Smogranch says:

      Tom,
      Logic = evil.

      I think it’s all about insecurity. If everyone is doing this it must be great….right?

    • Tom says:

      Yes perhaps logic = evil. It’s a sad state of affairs. There are so many great opportunities (artistically and technically) for cross pollination now that never existed before.
      Insecurity also reigns supreme and in many ways it drives the sales industry. This isn’t any different that many other things where the promise of new equipment is better results regardless of a persons method. Most people won’t get any different results with a Canon 5D than they will with a new 5D mkIII. Is that heresy?

    • Smogranch says:

      Tom,
      I”m sorry, did you say something. I was online looking at the Mark IV……kidding.
      Most people would be fine with an AE-1 and 50mm, but that reality isn’t ever going to happen. So, people keep up the hunt.

    • Tom says:

      FUNNY! omg you nailed that one hard!

      FYI some of the greatest medium format film cameras are available for a excellent price and many of them are a pleasure to use. I have a 5D MKII and the images I took with my Rolleiflex kicked the 5D to the curb. That shocks many people but it’s the case. Also the Mamiya 6, smokin’ . There were also some great fuji’s.
      YES there is a quality digital equivalent to these gems, it’s called a Hasselblad H4D-40 and its $18,000 plus tax. Add in the depreciation for 2 years use and it becomes a very expensive experience.
      I guess this debate will rage on. For my part I’ll try and see the best possibilities of both.
      Now perhaps you can get on to the next discussion on zoom lenses. I think these have done more to ruin peoples progress than any digital camera body could.

    • Smogranch says:

      Tom,

      Me no likey the zooms. I totally agree. If you have to use them preset to a certain focal length and move yourself. They breed laziness.

  14. James says:

    I really enjoy your blog, Daniel. Thanks for your thoughts and more importantly, your perspective. Quite refreshing.

  15. Simone Paoletti says:

    Great post Daniel, always following you with interest.

    I noticed that in both your digital and film ages you made use of top quality equipment ! What a pity seeing where Kodak is standing now ! (and Leica too – as far as I was told – few years ago was not on a good track – but fortunately this has changed).

    I agree with Tom’s comment, one should use the tool appropriate to the result, style, work-of-art he/she is aiming to. The problem is the “general conception” created by the closed loop between mass-consumption, industry and marketing, which eventually could kill entire portions of creativity, knowledge, culture. And unfortunately this is not something confined to photography.

    Taking apart the different approaches to photography (the different style of shooting) between digital and film, I’m still trying to find the border between digital and film in itself. In other words, assuming to shoot digital with a film approach (for example with an M9 you can easily mimic a film-like attitude) or vice versa (I remember seeing, as a child, some automatized reflex which would shoot entire rolls in few seconds): where is the difference ? In the time spent at the computer screen rather than in the darkroom, for sure (one point). The analogue versus the digital look of the final picture (as pointed out by FBJ it looks ironic to mimic the analogue look: the real film will always be more “analogue” and “accurate” than a program emulating it). My feeling is also that currently digital equipment is either too much expensive or lower quality than analogue equipment – I’m talking about the fundamentals: mechanical structure, ease of manual operation, accuracy of manual focus: you won’t get them with cheaper cameras.

    As regards the archiving, I think for both digital and film the print is your archive. A film negative won’t be reproduced the same way each time, so this is not really the archive for your “image”. Also film negatives won’t protect from fire, earthquakes and thieves. If you don’t fear these chances, you also don’t need to replicate digital files in too many locations: few redundant copies of the real shots you decide worth keeping is what it takes.

    • Smogranch says:

      Simone,
      I think you shoot digital as digital and film as film. I’ve never really understood buying state of the art gear and then using it to mimic a fifty year old emulsion. Digital is HYPER sharp, textureless, and capable of working in almost no light. Enjoy it, use that to your advantage. Celebrate it for what it is.

      97% of all digital files are never printed, so the idea of printing your archive isn’t really realistic for most people. Most “civilians” will have NOTHING left ten, fifteen years down the road, perhaps much sooner. I know this because I spent so long photographing families. However, the idea of preserving family histories is also disappearing, being replaced by the need to instantly share every detail of everyday on things like Facebook.

      If someone steals my negatives I’d be flattered. And yes, natural disaster is a real issue, but daily digital archive disaster is much more likely.

    • Tom says:

      I agree, shoot digital when it makes sense and use it for it’s strengths. The same holds true for film. It also has strengths. Different makes of cameras have specific strengths and weaknesses. I don’t think there is a perfect system yet. It shouldn’t be like a religion where you have one god or we kill you. People make a single choice (technology/equipment) and defend it like it’s life or death. I often tell people I love my Canon 5D mkII for what I do with it but compared to my Horseman view camera it’s a fun toy with OK lenses. It confuses people. How can that be? People like simple answers like choice A is best. It’s never that simple, how could it be?

    • Smogranch says:

      Tom,
      I think people want to feel like they are doing the “right” thing. So, they do what everyone else is doing or what the industry tells them.

  16. Paul says:

    A really great post Daniel. If any of the other 100 posts are as good as this one then I would love to read them.

    I think your last line “Keep searching. Keep asking questions. Use whatever you want. There is no reason not to, no matter what anyone says” says it all and basically everyone should “do their own thing”.

    Too much time is wasted on everything other than making photographs.

    Looking forward to reading more of these

  17. Mike says:

    A very thought provoking article Daniel, and very timely for me. I miss film and have returned twice, only to be thwarted by the scanning process.
    If I had a darkroom then o.k. I could make my own prints and be happy but if I want to share with the wider world I need to scan my film, which is slow and very time consuming in having to remove dust or artefacts from the scan (film is an optical medium i.e. it is made to be printed in a darkroom, so scanning is not ideal).
    Also, the film industry (shops that sell film, developing tanks, enlargers etc.) has almost entirely disappeared. If I want film I have to buy online; although this is becoming the case for many things as high street shopping becomes a thing of the past.
    Having said the above, I’m seriously thinking about cancelling my M240 order and buying an MP. The archiving of digital is a worry: it’s all ones and zeros.

    Thanks agin for the article,

    Mike.

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Mike,

      Most good labs can make high-res scans for you at time of process. They will upload to server and you download to desktop. Scans are perfect, spotted and color corrected. You spend ZERO time in front of the computer. Also, you can get an amazing scanned for 2k, which will last years. I have 12 rolls to process today. The reality is there are MAYBE 6-8 images that really need to be scanned, so I’m looking at about an hour of scanning. In terms of supplies, just call Freestyle in LA. They have everything you need and then some. Easy as pie.

    • Smogranch says:

      Mike,

      I have no idea what an M240 is. Sounds like a grenade launcher.

    • Mike says:

      Daniel, that is so refreshing to here: it’s the new digital Leica M.

      L.A. is a little to far from England but, as you say, a good lab can provide the scans. I’ve looked and they only seem to provide jpegs. I’d like to get DNG (raw) but I don’t suppose that is possible. I’m not a prolific shooter (I work on long-term essays and certainly don’t spray and pray) but ordering process and (large) contact prints may be the way forward. That way I will have the option to either home-scan the keepers and / or have traditional prints made. In the past I used to use a photo society darkroom to process and print. Maybe I can still find one.

      Thanks for the reply,

      Mike.

    • Smogranch says:

      Mike,

      Ah, okay, got it. New M. Still sounds like a grenade launcher!

      Don’t know if you can get DNG, doubtful, but Tiffs are probably doable. I get everything scanned, then make Imacon scans of the keepers. In three years of shooting on current project, I THINK i have three or four images. Sad but true.

  18. Mike says:

    Daniel, three years; three or four images: I understand completely.
    If you follow the link to my website and look at the Blackpool essay, the last five photographs are fairly recent and digital but the rest are from a ten-year period; all film (mainly Kodachrome) and many taken with a 50mm lens. I could probably cut the essay down to about twenty favourites.

    Mike.

  19. Mike says:

    Daniel, I keep coming back to this post: are your lab scans JPEG or TIFFs? I have no experience of JPEGS as I equate the format, probably unfairly, as inferior to “real” RAW files. I know that JPEGS can be degraded by adjustments unless I use “Save As” (thereby keeping the original intact) but since I’m using Lightroom to make any adjustments the problem is academic?
    Did I just answer my own question?

    Mike.

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Mike,
      They are JPG’s. And you are correct. If you open a JPG, work on it, then save it you can degrade it, but I’ve been using JPG’s for a variety of uses for years and have learned to work with them. I never touch the original scan, leaving it “straight” then work from Save As creating four different versions of each file, at different sizes for different uses. I do all this with actions to save time.

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