Analog people in a digital world – why do some still shoot the old ways?
Although analogue photography, particularly film, seemed to die off in the early 2000s as the world started to switch to digital, it’s seen something of a resurgence. For some people, it didn’t stop, though, and the analogue process has remained a constant in their lives an in their work.
This video from Exploredinary, made in 2017 for the Dallas Observer, but only recently published to YouTube, tells the tale of four artists who still use those old techniques including Tintypes, Cyanotypes and custom Polaroid cameras.
- Frank Lopez – Tintypes
- Shamsy Roomiani – Cyanotypes
- Photographique – Photo Restoration
- Don Puckett – Custom Polaroid Camera
While there are times when digital offers undisputed advantages over film and other analogue techniques, sometimes the old ways let you realise your vision in the most suitable way. And for those featured in the video, it certainly seems to be their preferred way. It’s an interesting insight into their logic and thought process behind why they work the way they do.
I quit shooting any kind of analogue in 2002 when I got my first pair of Nikon D100 DSLRs. A decade later, I started shooting film again and I’m glad I did. It’s a very different kind of photography and definitely helps me create what I see in my head sometimes with a lot less work and effort than trying to manipulate a digital file.
How about you? Have you stuck with analogue through the digital era? Did you leave and come back? Or have you jumped into it after beginning with digital?
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.