The future of analog photography2011/04/07
‘Analog photography is dead’.
I’ve often read this statement in several – mostly digital shooter – forums. Fact is, that analog or film based photograph had to face a decline over the past decade, but it is still alive. Just visit apug.org (English), rangefinderforum (English), aphog (German), VFDKV (German), dpug.org (English), choosefilm (English) and many other forums around the globe, and you get an idea that there are many film shooters.
Just yesterday I’ve talked to Fuji EuroColor Gera, the largest lab in Europe, which processes negative film (C41), slide film (E6) and traditional black and white film. Their machines are still running at the same speed for 2 years now. When I asked them how they see the future development or if they could imagine and end of film, the answer was: Come back in 5 years and ask the same questions again.
Fuji made some 200 million Euro sales with film last year, Kodak considerably more. Film for photography, not for the motion picture industry.
Anyway, film will be around for a very long time and fill niches, which will turn into profitable enterprises. It’s like with fine arts: some modern paintings with modern paints generate higher prices than any other painting ever before. It is a huge market which had not been killed by the invention of photography.
Truth is, that millions of digital shooters will churn out more images than ever before. But quality images are a rare species among these masses. Sports and event shooters, magazine and editorial shooters will continue with digital, because the quality is sufficient for these media. But there are many more viable fields where photography with another medium will be present and even improved. Architecture, interior, documentation, adventure, travel, landscape, art – you name it.
Analog photography will be photography – just made with a different medium.
Analog photography is alive!
Read the Kodak statement about the future of film
Some links with articles and thoughts about film: