Analog vs Digital – part two

I have been thinking about the question of the difference between shooting film vs digital for quite awhile now. I’m not talking about the end result of comparing the same photo taken on a film and a digital camera.

I’m also not talking about the actual cost difference between the 2 formats. You can easily find numerous articles online about the technical and cost comparisons.

Rather I am thinking about the actual process that I go through when shooting them. With digital it’s much easier to spend a great deal of time fiddling with the settings and reviewing the results.

At the moment, the majority of my film photography has been with a lomo camera, the LC-A+. There are few choices for settings. In fact the only things that I can choose is the film, the ISO and for focusing there are 4 different ranges.

Film Street Photography
Walking in Chelsea, New York City, December 2019

So it’s really just a matter of lifting the camera to the eye and framing the shot and pressing the shutter. So technically all I have to do is compose and shoot.

Yet for some reason I find that I take more time when shooting with film even though it doesn’t take more time to shoot. The only added step is advancing the film by winding a few turns.


Even though film does cost more, I don’t find it that expensive or cost prohibitive. When I’m shooting digital or film, I tend to be in a zone where I’m not thinking about anything other than the composition.

When I’m working with people on street photography, we start with getting a good exposure so that we can forget about reviewing photos after every shot.

Alas, with film photography you don’t have the advantage or perhaps disadvantage of previewing the shot you just took. It’s possible that the not knowing what you will capture until the film is developed could be an important element in why it takes more time for me to shoot with film.

If so, it is beyond what I am conscious of when shooting. I think that it’s definitely a good exercise as a photographer to shoot both and not feel a necessity to privilege one over the other.

Yes, I’m still working out the differences. Your comments on the subject are always welcome.

Analog vs Digital – part one

I shoot with film and digital cameras. I have never thought that you have to choose one over the other as so many people seem to do these days.

The reality is that they are both valid tools and one does not cancel the other out. There is a definite difference between the results of the two.

Abstract Street Photography
Blue Streak, New York City, January 2020

Perhaps you could say that it’s like the difference between oil and acrylic paints. When a photo is viewed on paper, the difference between film and digital becomes more apparent than when seen on computer.

I make it a practice to make the occasional print of my digital work and to compare what I see on my computer monitor vs what I see on paper.

Can you see the difference between the two? In part two I write about the difference between shooting analog and digital.

A Photograph is a Photograph

For some, photography is about truth. Perhaps I should say Truth with a capital T. They insist that their photos represent reality. As if there’s only one truth for all. And their reality must be shared by all. With that they will state that they don’t process their photos and they rant on about the state of photography. As if some pure state exists. For others it is only real photography if shot with film cameras. As if digital photography is cheating or of lesser value.

Abstract Street Photography
Look Right, New York City, October 2019

While I’m hopeless taking photos with my phone, I don’t deny that it is a valid tool for shooting. It’s just not as substantial in my hands. I think that it’s rather unfortunate how elitist some people who call themselves ‘photographers’ can be about which tool you choose to use.

A photo is a photo is a photo. No matter how you make it. Can we just get over the divisiveness? The important thing is the end result. Period. And of course, art is in the eye of the beholder.

Creative Self-Portraits

As a photographer, I am rarely happy with photos of myself. I prefer to be behind the camera rather than in front of it. Perhaps that is a natural response.

So now that we are in the age of the selfie, I have to wonder if I’m alone in my feeling about having photos of myself? It seems that everywhere I go, people are doing selfies.

Not only are they doing selfies everywhere, but it would also appear that they don’t leave the house without thinking about being in front of a camera.

Is this Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame spinning out of control? And all for the sake of showing the world how fashionable you are on Instagram. Am I missing the point? Very likely.

Double Me, New York City, August 2016

I on the other hand, have quite a few self-portraits that are either shadows or reflections. I especially like abstract self-portraits. It is possible that the viewer may not even be aware that the photo is of me.

If you are aware of a good reason for all these selfies that are going on everywhere, please do enlighten me. In the meantime I will label it narcissism.

Thoughts on Creating

Embracing chance leads to happy accidents. Repetition leads to style and then boredom. Boredom leads to experimentation. The process begins as clumsy missteps and moves into something akin to dance.

I call myself a backward painter. Unlearning grammar. Skirting the edges. Curiosity as currency and camera as paint brush.

Brooklyn Museum Abstract Photography
It Was Never Yours, New York City, August 2019

I Love Photography

It would be easy for me to say that I love photography and leave it at that. But love is a word that always holds a multitude of meanings.

I also love chocolate. But the two are very different and I love them for different reasons and in different ways.

So I write about my love of photography on a regular basis and I am always attempting to be more specific about the how and the why.

Yaw, New York City, January 2019

By writing about photography, I am better able to understand the ways in which photography affects my life.

Because the brain consumes images rapidly and without the need to translate them into words, it is even more important to stop and spend more time looking at and attempting to understand their impact.

Stay tuned for more thoughts on photography. “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

Why Even Take Photos?

I often come across people who want to take the best photo of this thing or that thing. Often it’s to take a photo of something that’s been photographed to death.

Many years ago, I gave up trying to compete with photographers who get paid large sums of money to shoot photos that are used in glossy magazine spreads.

That isn’t my style of photography. My style of photography is to make a photo my own. That is to say to have it reflect the way that I see the world.

Tell Me Something Good, New York City, August 2019

It is of course a common method when you first start shooting to imitate photos that you like. It’s really no different than learning to play a favorite song on guitar and wanting to play it “perfectly”.

But at some point it’s time to leave the imitation behind and find your own style. To create that which makes your work unique. If I wasn’t able to create photos in my own style, why would I even want to?