Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dante Stella on the Transition from Film to Digital

A Different Spin, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f1.5 Lens
iso 640, f4, 1/180 sec
Dante Stella recently wrote an interesting piece about the world's transition from film to digital photography.
(Click Here) to read it on The Machine Planet.
In the post, Dante refers to the loss of the analog world's science and research - volumes of data on the specifics of light interacting with various components and chemicals, instructions to allow the home enthusiast to develop their own film (with potential for poisoning themselves with color developing). One of his strongest points is that while there is some maintenance level production of film going on, we've lost any hint of further development, of creation, that companies like Kodak were so good at back in the day.
Dante also mentions how even those of us who still shoot film mostly use a hybrid analog/digital process. I certainly do. My negatives are never printed in an enlarger any more (and if they were, most processors now use laser printing anyway). I scan them, and from there it's completely digital.
I found the piece very insightful, and successful at not covering the same old ground and arguments about film versus digital.
Dante's piece ends with a quote:
"Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga com’è, bisogna che tutto cambi."
Using the best digital technology at hand (Google Translate), I found that this means:
"If we want to keep it this way, everything must change."
I find that pretty appropriate. I would not have stood a chance at translating it without digital technology.