March 21, 2014

The good old days

Were things so great back in the days of film?


Before I begin, I want to make clear that I began my photographic career shooting, developing and printing b&w film. The entire process was a pleasure which I enjoyed immensely. And I used these tools on deadline in the most difficult conditions.

But progress waits for no photographer so I endured early film scanners, hand processing colour negative film and early digital cameras.

When cameras became computers the evolutionary arc accelerated from a chemical/mechanical process with incremental improvements every few years to the point where substantial advancements in digital imaging come every few months.

This brings me to a recent discovery of an old box of colour slides and b&w negatives. I recalled the good old days with fond memories, so I went out and bought a new Epson scanner and set about searching for treasure in the old boxes.

Back in the day (the 1990′s) I thought I did a pretty good job shooting and was happy with the results. Imagine my dismay when after scanning several slides, the resulting images were far from satisfactory. Nothing was very sharp when viewed at 100%, the grain was atrocious, the colours were muddy and the latitude in contrasty light was terrible.

I have shot in similar light recently with a modern DSLR. With raw files I have a huge amount of flexibility in working with the images.

There is a sizable group of people who still enjoy shooting with film and that makes me glad, since my rose-tinted memories of those days will remain.

But I will never go back to shooting film.


Dennis Owen
Photographer at Exposure

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