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.

Maybe Less Really is More

When I’m not shooting I am typically thinking about photography. Though I don’t do both at the same time. They are two entirely different activities.

I wonder what the value of a photograph is? This is a question that I may never have an absolute answer to. But I think it is an important one to consider.

Before the Digital Age, there seemed to be a sense that a photograph could hold an importance that it rarely holds now. The act of taking a photo almost seemed like magic. As if you could record an image that could be of importance to others.

Just Past Noon, New York City, April 2018

Whether the image is one that is personal and includes friends or family, or that it has social, cultural or artistic significance, it could have a meaning when shared with others.

We now live in a world where it appears that everyone has Attention Deficit Disorder to some degree. We flip through photos at such an alarming rate that they begin to lose their value.

In fact we even go so far as to use the word ‘porn’ when talking about photos of food. Photos that are often designed to make us envious of the meal that someone else enjoyed.

So yes, the unavoidable masses of images that we see everyday have an a way of disrupting the photos that we choose to see as art rather than mass market consumption.

I don’t know how we avoid the mass market images. What I do know is that taking the time to really look at photography by photographers who practice it as an art can provide much satisfaction. You may need to seclude yourself in a gallery or private space to really enjoy photography. And yes, sometimes less really is more.