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October 11, 2015

Challenges of Traditional Photography: It must be done right!

Where did you get your first camera?
Played with the family camera, which was a ‘half-frame’. My first real camera was a gift from an uncle. He was also into photography.

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Why do you use film?
It was the medium I started with. It is the medium which produced qualities I think a photograph should have. And now, as a matter of preference and perhaps force of habit?

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Where did you learn to shoot film?
When I started photography years ago, it was necessary to learn how to use film: loading cameras, exposing, and developing afterwards. It was largely self-taught, learning from books and through trial and error.

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Why do you prefer traditional/analog to digital?
I like the qualities inherent the film medium. Call it ‘texture’ or ‘signature’. I like the process. The rituals associated with it. The involvement in the creative process is much greater that it becomes easier to ‘own’ the image- to say that the image is really one’s own creation.

I also see in it stability and permanence. The analog image is real, not virtual.

The medium also requires a certain degree of discipline. The many processes required to create the image makes the picture more precious too. It makes the picture less disposable. The process in film photography is an occasion by itself.

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We heard about the challenges of not being able to earn enough money as a photographer. What kind of obstacles did you run into?
That is true. It is challenging to earn one’s keep through photography now. I believe the same is also the situation in other similar media-related professions. Photographers and Artists have to deal with certain realities which digital technologies have made possible now. The apparent ease of making images have somewhat lowered the value of the professional photographer in terms of importance or renumerations. Where before a pro photographer and graphic artist were needed, these needs can now be filled by almost anyone with a digital camera and a computer.

It is hard to keep rates when there are so many who can make their rates lower.

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If you were to given an opportunity to warn your readers of potential pitfalls of photography, specially those who would like to try traditional photography, what would they be?

There aren’t really a lot of pitfalls. The only ones I can think of is misinformation- film photogrpahy must be done right.

It’s not supposed to be a hipster thing.

Supplies and service support for film photogrpahy is quite limited. Knowing where or whom to go to is very important.

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