Why is Film Still Popular?


So this is REALLY cool and makes us so grateful! One of our community members contacted us with the following note and subsequent blog post:


"The Film Roll is inspiring me, and I wrote a quick piece for you to use on your blog. I see a lot of photographers that just aren’t computer people, and are held back because of it. They should really be film photographers. We still need both."

Words & image by photographer, teacher and master printmaker Rich Seiling:

Video may have killed the radio star, but in the twenty something years since digital cameras went mainstream, they still haven’t killed film. Sure, film is not as big as it used to be, but even though we have a camera in our pocket 24/7 thanks to smartphones, film manufacturers are selling film as fast as they can make it. 

Film and digital photography are very different. Digital photography locks your photos away on flash drives with technology few really understand, and requires sitting in front of a computer to view them. 

Analog is tactile. You can pull out your negatives or a box of prints and hold them, reorder them, organize, and enjoy them. You can still find boxes of prints one hundred years old in attics of old houses. Will you be able to do the same with flash drives one hundred years from now?

Digital requires more time in front of a computer. If you stare at a computer all day for work, yet more screen time is not a source of relaxation and refreshment. Analog is slow food. It requires time, patience, it rewards those qualities from making photos to processing your film, to printing in the darkroom. All the steps are tactile and don’t require the same abstractions digital photography does. It is picking up a guitar and enjoying the sounds that come out of it instead of programming notes into Garageband. There is something rewarding about seeing wet film after processing and the magic of light turned to silver. Analog is about enjoying the process as much as it is about achieving a result. It has different reward mechanisms. 

Every time you load a roll of film, it is filled with potential. Every time you process the film, there is the anticipation of seeing the process work.The tactile responses are different just like putting a vinyl record on a turntable is different than pressing play on Spotify.

Digital is neither better or worse, just different. It is up to you to figure out what gives you the enjoyment you seek from photography, and lets you express yourself. Vive la différence!


Learn more about Rich Seiling on his website: https://www.richseiling.com/


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