For a while I have been wanting to write about the eternal battle of analogue versus digital photography, but could never really bring myself to do so for fear of sounding bitter.
Truth be told, I cannot stand any longer the blogs that celebrate analogue photographers and belittle digital ones, Instagram accounts full of hashtags such as #analogue, #onlyanalogue, #filmisnotdead, and people that simply like to categorise photography as analogue and not-analogue.
As a photographer who has studied and worked with film for several years, I can safely say that it’s not the gear that makes the photograph, let alone the film or the sensor. Though I am not here to discuss what’s good and what’s bad, I feel like the trend of celebrating analogue is in fact simply a trend and while one is allowed to follow a trend, it is unfair to belittle digital photography on the other hand as if it was the lesser of the two.
Since I have started working with digital, I have noticed that the visits to my blog have decreased; that could of course be related to the fact that people spend more time on Instagram, but I can say that specific people have started to avoid commenting my blog in favour of others who showcase exclusively analogue photos.
At first that has made me bitter and had me questioning my own photographic style, eventually though I came to the conclusion that my style has not changed and the quality of my photographs has only improved, so the reason why my pictures are no longer interesting is the fact that they are no longer following a trend.
My work aside, have you ever come across some photographs that frankly looked terrible but still received unjust attention simply because they were shot on film? It feels like a good digital photograph is not even worth a bad analogue one and that of course makes me bitter.
I can already imagine many of you thinking that by supporting film you are not necessarily belittling digital, but is that really true? Whenever you hashtag your photos with #onlyanalogue, you are distancing yourself from those who are not doing it the real way.
A dear friend and professional videographer put it well when he said “I do believe there is a trend to it, and to separate oneself from a crowd. But it is defeating the purpose. To separate oneself, they must share a style that is unique and I do not believe that the tool is the only thing that makes that happen.”
Ultimately, one can prefer analogue to digital, but none is better than the other.
Do you think that digital photography requires less thinking, less work or less passion than analogue? That is where you are wrong!