“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
–Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
I have been in the darkroom a lot, lately. To produce one quality image takes a lot of effort! I have literally spent hours on one negative. I really have to commit to my photos. When I shoot film, there is no examining my results on-site. That’s scary, but helpful, because it’s forcing me to learn my settings.
Nevertheless, I still get so confused about what is up, what is down, what is bigger, what is smaller, what is more, what is less! I feel like Alice in Wonderland tumbling down a freaking rabbit hole. (And since this is a photography blog, The amazing Annie Leibovitz…)
I am really beginning to understand the art that can be made of pictures. There is so much that can be done to shape my image, starting with the film I choose and ending with the methods I use to develop my photos in the darkroom.
Digital shooting is great. I can really focus on image content and, of course, there is the opportunity to shoot a lot more at one time since I’m not buying film and DSLR’s make it so easy. Film photography seems to have a deeper emphasis on expression and the artist’s unique, personal perspective. They’re both fulfilling in different ways. I am definitely making sacrifices to do both at once but I think it’s worth it because I’m becoming a better photographer.
There is something so contemplative, committed and personal about a photo I have labored over. I feel like I have really achieved something when I am finished. I believe any photographer’s skills would be enhanced from the experience of shooting both, film and digital. Some say film photography is a dying art. I say: “Get your fanny into a darkroom!”