But, something was missing with digital. The fundamentals are the same: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO are still all you need to understand about making an exposure. But, the development phase was lacking. We spend so much time in front of a monitor, clicking and clacking at keyboards and mouse buttons that it's, well, unsatisfying. Where is the tactile aspect? With digital, when you print your images, you get that satisfaction, but it's the finished product.
Enter my friend, Michael. I was lamenting selling my Pentax K1000. Then, last year for my birthday he presented me with one. I was thrilled. I could get back to film. But, even though he was encouraging me to shoot more film, it just wasn't the first camera I reached for when heading out for a session.
Then, a few months ago, my mother found a TLR 120 film camera at a garage sale. I've never had the pleasure of using one in all my years of shooting film. Now, I had a new way of handling film and a new "thing" to learn.
Since that fateful moment, I have moved onto an almost impossible obsession with Land Cameras. Fuji discontinued the production of the last pack film, but I am hopeful that the Impossible Project and New 55 can keep the production going because what I found was that I missed the tactile portion of development. I missed the chemicals and handling negatives and positives. It doesn't matter what type of film, either. It's jut that there's the anticipation, the physical involvement, and then the sheer joy of the finished product and all of it is hands on activities. It is the farthest from passively clicking at a keyboard.
There are benefits and pitfalls to digital and film. But that's the joy of both mediums. They are both art forms and as with any art, they are a personal choice. It's no different than choosing to create digital art of video games or using oil paints on a canvas: two completely different ways of expressing yourself and it's your decision on what medium is best for your vision.
If you enjoy film and would like to watch a beautiful documentary regarding the last days of polaroid, rent Time Zero.