Film vs digital - which is better?
How does digital compare to film?
I love technology and it's important to me to stay current on trends. You'll find photographers who claim that people who switch to digital do it to save money.
This couldn't be farther from reality. The very sad truth is that great digital photography costs a fortune.
Not only do you need to spend a lot on cameras, but you spend a fortune on all the peripherals. You need to transfer digital images from the camera to a big, fast computer. You need to store images in multiple redundancy.
You need to buy software to work on images.
And lastly, you need to take lots of classes to keep up with the constantly changing things the new software can do.
The components cost money and all of them have very short life spans
Can you get the same quality digital print versus a silver print? The short answer is it depends.
A film purist will make a print directly from a negative. There's no "quality" debate; you get a great quality print that lasts a long time when you print like this, especially if you're an expert at burning and dodging and you rinse forever.
However, today's "film" photographers are often scanning their negatives. This effectively throws them back to par with the digital photographers because all of a sudden, the "quality" now depends on what equipment they're using and how good they are at using it.
The reason I say "it depends" is because digital technology is creeping up on the characteristics we love in film, namely the image personality and the print longevity.
Fine art ink jet black and white prints are now rated to last hundreds of years. This easily challenges the RC (resin coated) or fiber print claims. Second, today's digital world has introduced infinite creative opportunities for artists.
Digital capture just begins the creative process
When you take a great digital picture, you've just begun the creative process with zero boundaries limiting what you can create in terms of color, texture, mood, emotion and look and feel.
If creativity is important to you and you have a creative photographer, this should open a number of really exciting opportunities.
But what about the print quality?
This is a really important question.
I don't create any ink jet prints for clients; I send everything to a professional photography lab that has been tested and vetted by me to meet reputation-dependent client expectations.
I deal with some of the most demanding clients out there; clients with lots of expertise (magazines), clients with lots of contacts (wealthy New Yorkers) and clients who know photographic quality (fine artists themselves).
There is no debate about this: you are going to get a beautiful, one-of-a-kind print from me that will last hundreds of years. And you're going to love it.
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