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Digital and Film Photography at a Glance in the 21st Century Essay

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There is a growing debate in the world of photography today. We no longer live in the days of dark rooms, messy chemicals, and rolls of film. Technology has expanded our horizons of what we view as photography today. The growing debate is focused between two separate groups: the traditionalists, and those that subscribe to progression. Digital Photography versus film is at its peak of controversy. There are those that want to continue the time honored tradition and artistic integrity of film photography, and yet a growing group of artists that embrace the future and technology with digital photography.

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I, personally, can relate to both sides of the argument, and mean to provide a unbiased view of each. By establishing both the positive and negative attributes of film and digital photography, the ultimate decision is up to the reader to choose where their alliance lays. The tried and true method of film photography still carries many benefits. The overall photo quality is still best when using film. This is especially true when it comes to larger sized, up to and including wall-sized prints. This all breaks down to the photo’s resolution. Resolution can be altered with film in the development process.

A standard resolution for 35mm films is 24 megapixels. A megapixel refers to one million pixels, but this can be altered and scanned to higher resolutions with high-grained film. Film cameras are also beneficial to the wallet. A high definition film camera is still much cheaper than its digital analog. Film cameras are also less likely to depreciate, because of market standards and the lack of new film technology, film cameras seem to keep, or grow in value. A camera that utilizes film also expands the photographer’s repertoire of tools such as lenses, filters, time lapses, and overexposure. (Unknown) ]

Digital photography is not without its own advantages. When using a digital camera the great advantage is that you have an LCD screen, and can assess framing and focus. Digital cameras additionally provide a “histogram” display that guarantee you a much higher percentage of well exposed. This is a great help when shooting. No longer are the days when you have to develop your images before reviewing them. You are able, through the use of a digital camera, to see the final image immediately after it is shot. These images are then stored on an electronic storage device mmediately that actually require much less care than negative film.

The ability to have a finished image in such short time cuts down on the cost and time of developing each individual image. [ (Maercado) ] Though the cost of a film camera is cheaper in comparison to its digital neighbor, the cost is vastly outweighed by the necessary funds needed to develop film. Access to a darkroom, and chemicals necessary in development of film, make this a hefty downside to its use. This is especially true when dealing with the fact that every image must be developed first before its final product is seen. This can penetrate quite deeply monetarily.

A darkroom, and the constant replenishment of chemicals, can cost upwards of hundreds of dollars. This does not include starting costs of building the darkroom. Film negatives can also degrade over time if they are not properly stored, making long-term access to film images erratic. [ (10Ap) ] Digital photography is not without its own drawbacks. Given the ever expanding and continuous progression of the digital market, a camera can become obsolete almost immediately after purchase. This is not even mentioning that the cost of a digital camera with the same quality found in a film camera can cost almost double.

This initial cost may also include the necessary software needed to editing and development of images. Most of the software needed is complicated and can be only purchased at a hefty sum. Staying ahead of market trends, and technology as a whole, depends upon an ever increasing need to be technologically savvy. Though you not only have to be knowledgeable in photography, you must also have an increased knowledge of computers, and technological advancement. The software, as with the cameras themselves, advances at rapid speed. This means that one must be constantly learning, and re-evaluating their education. (King and Timacheff) ]

The pro’s and con’s of the two different aspects of photography seem to be pretty evenly weighed. The ultimate decision between the two mediums is really left up to the artists themselves. It seems to be a matter of taste over substance. Each have costs attributing to negative outcomes, but have positive results either way. Resolution, image quality, and upkeep can be circumvented with either digital or film. What sets a photographer apart from their peers is the artistic eye, and the ability to find and capture beauty with whatever is at hand.

References

http://www.dlcphotography.net/Digital vs Film.htm

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-some-benefits-of-using-film-cameras.htm

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/the-advantages-to-film-cameras-over-digital-camera.html

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