It might seem like an odd title because film is dead right? Well everyone knows that the rise in digital and decline in analogue has been the single biggest change in photography ever but where does that leave the humble roll of film and the darkroom print?
what remains of analogue? Is it a relic of a bygone era destined to melt away into history like so many fallen photographic processes before? At Photoghost HQ we have seen both sides of the coin; on one hand we still have a thriving film business and see new people in th door every day but on the other hand we see so many photographers with no interest at all in, ‘old’ and, ‘out dated’ ways of taking photos.
The truth is that film fell to only a fraction of its peak but has started to see significant recovery over the last 5 or so years with companies like ilford, lomography and fuji seeing gains take the place of massive losses. Now enthusiasts, educational institutions, fine art photographers and even commercial pros are starting to embrace film again.
Whats more interesting is that many of these enthusiasts are incorporating digital and analogue in ways that might never have been imagined 10 years ago. we’d like to share a couple of the reasons we’re excitable fellows who can’t stop talking about film in true buzzfeed style….. A list.
It’s true that the fall of Kodak was one of the saddest moments in many photographers lives but the company arisen from the ashes is a sleek beast with 2 of the possibly the greatest film ever made gracing its product line. Portra 400 has some of the greatest latitude in a film we have ever seem and can be pushed with some astounding results right upto and past 3200! It uses a modified version of Kodak’s 500t motion picture emulsion which old Kodak spent millions on over the last few decades. Check out this comparison and examples of it pushed here. It’s so awesome we are racking our brains to think of a decent way to offer push processing on C41 specifically for this film. The second is ektar 100. Its the perfect balance to portra with great latitude and punchy colors which we love and between the 2 make a powerful offering in the pro lineup. If you haven’t tried them yet then your missing out.
These guys have developed an enlarger that allows anyone to turn a photo on their phone straight into a darkroom print by simply placing their Iphone in the enlarger. It might sound insane but it’s actually a really clever combination of digital and analogue tech and something that shows how the 2 can be used side by side.
These guys are one of the old guard in film production and have been shut down for years now but we’ve heard through the grape-vine that these old boys are fighting back, buying back the old production facility and juicing up the old machines. They have an amazing story and tell me that although they have experienced a few delays they are moving forward. Once they are fully up and running expect to see some of their stuff in our fridge. We’ll keep you posted!
4. Tin types and glass plates.
We’ve been working with The very talented Damian Dzialoszynski to develop workshops in wet plate and tin type photography. Its something we’re passionate about and are really enjoying setting up and getting to grips with. The chemicals are will arrive soon and details will follow.
This one day symposium as the University of Leicester might look a bit stuffy but its being held on a subject very close to us. Its pretty much the reason I’m writing this post! We’re forever indebted to film. Its given us not only a business and a living but also a passion and it’s probably one of our most talked about topics in the lab; where will the industry go? How will digital and analogue technology co-exist? How do we spread our own enthusiasm for film to those who are yet to be converted? We don’t know the answers any more than the next guy but we’re damn sure we’re going to do our bit to try to shape the remainder of the transition to what ever will come.
If you make it down to Leicester give us your thoughts on the event (as sadly we can’t make it) and if you have any of your own thoughts please get in touch with us on;