Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Analog Ignorance

Something I see now and then is someone asking a mildly, but not wildly, obscure question related to film photography. How do you unstick this thingy, or why do my negatives look like this, or whatever.

Invariably, this question is asked of people who have presented themselves as experts on film photography, and just as invariably, the experts have no idea, but prattle on at some length.

It is as if this is lost lore, which now the brave post-digital film photographers, the pioneers trekking across the desolate wasteland that is all that remains after the DSLRcalypse, must now reconstruct these technologies from scratch. Except that they don't. This stuff was widely known and talked about 20 years ago.

Some of us are still alive!

I don't know all the answers to these semi-obscure questions, but I do know that the answers to all of them were well known, and indeed are still well known to slightly older gentlemen. There are answers to be found in the archives of, say, photo.net, or in actual books, and so on. This knowledge has not been lost, it's exactly where it was 20 years ago.

It's just not known to the self-styled experts of the digital age, who apparently cannot be buggered to even go find out, but who just make shit up, or suggest that the answer is dark knowledge, never known, too dangerous to be known now

They'll go on and on about their bloody Leicas and how to develop film badly in coffee, but they don't know anything about why your negatives look like that, or how to unstick the things.


  1. I just want film cameras bought up by people who haven't a clue what to do with them to dump them back on the market after a nice CLA (look it up), in great quantities at fire sale prices.

    *Also, all you cheating motherfuckers who drove up the prices of UWA (look it up) film lenses to stick on your ass-sucking crop sensor digicams.


  2. I like film. It's a very different shooting experience from digital and is rewarding in different ways.

    But, most of the time if I ask a clarifying question online, because I don't know anyone that ever shot film who didn't use disposable cameras and one hour development at their local pharmacy, it is nearly impossible for me to distinguish between the people who have actual knowledge and the people who are just fools regurgitating the words of other fools.

    Often the same person interweaves deeply useful knowledge with outdated axioms or tired old rules of thumb that were never really right to begin with.

    Of course that is true of online discussions about digital photography as well. It's fools all the way down here on planet Earth.