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.
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.