Film photography - as it's shared online now

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by RaymondC, Dec 31, 2019.

  1. With Kodak planning to increase the prices. I went on Instagram to search for various film images. Trix400 has like over 280,000 images. Color slide film only 2,000. I have always thought BW is way popular in this digital time we are in now. BW images also seems to be more seriously done to me, whereas color slide film a number of them are kinda walk about photography, few done with sunsets and sunrises which a bit surprised me b/c color slide film was used a lot in that regard at least in the film days. Maybe they used a lot more digital with that ......

  2. Although Instagram is the most popular photo sharing platform at the moment, I doubt it gives a reliable impression of the current popularity and utilisation of the different analogue film techniques. After all the platform is mostly about rapidly sharing moments, a domain where digital photography excels.
    With +14M #filmisnotdead tags, many instagram users obviously want to make a statement regarding the use of film, but I wouldn't trust this to be an reliable indicator of anything to make conclusions from.
    I personally rarely share photography originating from the analogue process online, I find it cumbersome and not particularly rewarding. I mostly reserve this for my own and close friends' enjoyment.

    Just my random thoughts.
    tholte likes this.
  3. There may be an inadvertent truth here. A BW image often seems to be more serious which is why so many choose it. But, look beyond the color or b/w and I tend to find neither one a reliable indicator of more “serious” photography. As dazzling as good b/w work has the potential to be, it’s unfortunately quite often used/abused as a kind of “art gloss” to what are otherwise uninspired or mundane pics.
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  4. I too suspect that the search engine is not picking everything up.The "instagram" family of users is too young and too arty for color film. :)

    Any "serious" color work, at all, from the late 1930s to roughly 2004 is likely going to be color slide film.
  5. Sorry but (as probably stated before): Hybrid photography looks like a desperate thing to do to me (or is at least not a natural choice). Depending on what somebody fancies to do(!) not "deliver" available choices look a little bit different. Yes, one can do digital BW; just grab that Monochrom or Achromatic Phaseone. - Oops, price tag?
    Color digitals are cheaper. So BW film photography might be alive for 3 reasons:
    • BW-digital doesn't provide that much tonality
    • Digital BW cameras are among the less affordable toys
    • BW film processing is DIY friendly and followed by a creative interpretation process.
    Slides? What do you gain (compared to a diogital start)?
    E6 at home? Cost? Purpose?
    Yeah, but in your own words:
    Dunno, 2 weeks of vacation = 20x36frames of film, so what? Do you have a faint idea how long it would take clumsy me to print 480 somewhat presentable 4x6"s? - I'd ponder fainting, imagining that chore! And if we weed the results out to 360 images; how is a victimized audience supposed to enjoy viewing them more? - Slides!

    Yes, there was that "real thing" too; LF photography, where color film costs at least 3 sheets of BW and slides were planned as a pre-press medium.
    Yeah? - I'd just blame workflows. I can imagine mailordering slide processing with scans to CD. Even strictly film thinking, I'd mount every frame into Hamafix, project them all and weed them out; i.e. trash the very worst (the mentioned frames are reuasable). - BW, I might shoot exactly the same but lack the stamina to print Attempting to print, I might notice (during a 3rd test strip) that something doesn't print well. So what? - I'd print something else.
    What would I end sharing online? - Most likely the best of the stuff I printed. What could I share online with lab scanned slides? - Everything & the kitchen sink.

    Thinking about desaturated digital: What ends uploaded that way? - I'd say: "A promising image that appeared worth the hassle to go through desaturation and adjustments". What percentage of an average shooter's RAWs might be that quality level?
  6. Today it makes sense that B&W is more popular than color. With B&W people can process and print at home while it's possible (I did that for many years) but it's a lot more difficult to deal with color.
    Moving On likes this.
  7. Regarding a social media platform being an accurate barometer for whats happening in the realm of film photography, I think that in fact, one may get pretty solid idea of just how alive film photography is, from seeing posts on both Instagram AND on Facebook.

    With the increase in the convenience of scans (scanning both at home and from film labs when having film developed), sharing one's work on social media is easier than ever before. Work flow is streamlined, as one may tweak scans (if so desired) in any number of desktop and mobile apps and programs, as easily as with any other digital file, & both these social media platforms allow basic drag & drop file adding, so fewer people need a URL from a host site.

    Tons of people are posting their work on instagram. Yes, some of them still have websites: I'd guess that many or most of these people are professional photographers? One could scroll and hunt film photography on instagram all day and all night. The sheer variety of work being posted there boggles the mind. Some photography, of course, is better than some others- but that may or may not be up to the viewer to decide. Yes, certain people have more followers and get more *likes* than others. I think it possible to buy followers and perhaps to artificially inflate one's *likes*? who knows for sure (not I) but it's certain that if you post to instagram, vast numbers of people are seeing your photos

    On facebook, there are many, many analog and film photography groups. Divide them among camera brands, film brands, formats or camera types (large, medium format, 35mm etc), types within brands, expired film, black & white, equipment sales groups and pages, darkroom and photography chat groups...on and on- it, too, is seemingly endless. One thing on facebook however: there's a fair amount of crossover; some people are members of various groups so they may be cross posting from group to group. There's a lot more commentary and interaction among and between people as well. And lately, many folks who are posting photos and images on facebook also provide a link to their instagram feed.

    One other thing since Kodak & TriX were mentioned specifically; there's an Instagram TriX project; One camera, one film: somebody who created this is sending a vintage 35mm Nikon film camera around the world to assorted photographers (who apply and are chosen by the admins) to shoot a roll of TriX for the project. Pretty darn cool if you ask me.

    400TX Project (@400txproject) • Instagram photos and videos

    The primary difference of course between facebook and instagram being that you can access the former from any platform, be it mobile or desktop, laptop, tablet, etc- whereas the latter is strictly mobile. I believe it possible to have an app that will allow one to post to instagram from a nonmotile device? Not 100% certain of that tho.

    All in all, it's fair, I believe, to say that vast numbers of people shooting film (and everything else for that matter) are posting their work on Facebook & Instagram. If there's a flaw of any sort in the system, it's that one cannot grasp the number of people shooting film because there is SO much out there that it is simply impossible to see it all.
  8. One man’s flaw is another man’s feature. ;)
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  9. Yes I'm with some Facebook groups also. Again few people shoot slides. Most of it is bw and then color negs.

    From what I seen after scrolling down 20 Instagram pages. Color slides I didn't see one national park landscape or sunset cityscape. With bw they weren't just walking around many were half body portraiture and head shots etc and there were also street shots. I would thought surely at least some slides would have been a family camping vacation. Or just the local beach or fishing wharf. As one sees online with color digital.
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  10. Slide film is more expensive to buy and more complex/expensive to process. It's also requires more precision in exposure settings and is relatively slow. I don't know that there is any 400 ISO slide film available that is actually new.

    If the end product is an image to be shared on-line, is there any real reason to choose slide film? Still, I would have expected pictures taken with slide film would have been more "serious" as well.

    What might be happening in some cases is that the E6 images that show up on Instagram are more the result of experimentation than people who are dedicated slide film shooters. Take me for example. I find C-41 pretty easy to process at home. In some ways easier than B&W. E-6 sounds more complicated but not THAT much more. Seems like just another couple of steps. So, I consider myself to be "E-6 curious".

    There's a few slide film rolls I've picked up along with some other film purchases I've made. They're expired and sitting in my fridge, - including a roll that I shot two years ago. I've been tempted to get a couple of new rolls along with an E-6 processing kit just to try it out. The thing is I'm pretty anti-Facebook and I've only posted a few images to Instagram (Nikonos Project). If I were to try shooting slide film, I'd want to get an old slide projector and see them on a big screen.
  11. I notice Flickr is not mentioned. Is it because they charge now? I like Flickr because the other 95% of Facebook stuff is left out. I have not looked to seriously at Instagram, but I really do not like view photographic images on small contrasty mobile screens.
  12. Funny enough, I got into a "debate" with someone not too long ago who tried to claim that Instagram was the high water mark for current trends in photography because of volume. My argument was that the sheer number of photos shared is not any indication of quality. I digress, though.

    For me at least, I don't shoot sunsets on slide film because they're difficult. The light changes fast, and in many case they're one of the situations where you really need grads and I have my own love-hate relationship with them.

    On the other hand, just as a general comment that I sometimes run into with my own photography-a good photo still needs strong composition, but in many cases I've found that I can fall into a trap of trying to "wow" with color on slide film on what might otherwise be a mundane photo.
    Ricochetrider and samstevens like this.
  13. I am a saturation addict maybe that is why I like slides and sunsets but sunrises are more potent. I pretty much have to research my spot, get there set up my camera and tripod and pretty much shoot it within that 15mins.Yep the grads. Thing is thou if you are in a city peak lookout even using a grad, you may find the two split ends - the background and foreground. Within the foreground you are going to have things a bit brighter and a bit darker still like whiter stones and darker stones, or the tree trunk some darker tones and some brighter tones or the building (skyscraper) you'll have brighter rooms with lights on and then you have the outside of the building and the side of the building that is darker. Likewise with the background you may have the area with the sun a bit more brighter to the other parts of the sky. Due to the dynamic range slides renders the image in their own ways.

    I have a Flickr. It's still free up to 1,000 images. I didn't have that many photographs but I did use the free camera upload backup service which I have now deleted and disabled that feature on my phone. I find that with my own township Flickr group, the activity has really dropped off both with photo uploads and discussion topics. We have not had a topic in the last 12 months. Also if you have images you kinda can just rely on your flickr friends or your own friends and give them a URL link b/c you can only share about 30 or so .. photographs into a group. So if you have shot Fuji Velvia or Kodak Tri-X you can't upload more than 30 unless you delist some previous images. Some may disagree feeling it should be your top top images or a portfolio you wanna share. As a more hobbyist more casual more fun sharing platform it isn't that easy ...

    But for me living in NZ. Slides I might do the occasional one but a lot less than before. Here too expensive, even if I import from the USA the labs here charges $20US equiv.. In the past I have exported them to a USA lab and paid post but it's tiresome to send a batch over each 2 years and pay the post.
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  14. Agree that the number of photos shared is not an indication of quality. It may be an indication of trends, though ... especially pop social networking trends ... for whatever they’re worth.
    I tend to avoid shooting sunsets period, because they’re ubiquitous and not creatively challenging to me. I use sunset light more incidentally to illuminate content I find more compelling. I, too, have a love-hate relationship with them in that I love watching sunsets and am bored by a lot of photos of them which often seem cliché and uninspired to me.
    In fact, any kind of attempt to “wow” can be a trap.
    Ricochetrider likes this.

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