Recommended reading

6 comments on Recommended reading
1 minute

Roadies! It’s Saturday again, and so here’s my weekly roundup of the best blog posts I read all week.

Photographer Eric Kim has some timely advice for me as I continue to think about making a book of some of my photography: consider generosity as part of the marketing strategy. Read The More You Give, the More You Will Receive

I can’t tell whether it’s funny or sad, the series of escalating, handwringing emails sent by a wealthy suburban school district, the one Philip Greenspun‘s child attends. It’s over a little graffiti. Read Why children should not be taught Latin (or philosophy)

Polly Balitro is most unhappy that since switching from film to digital, engagement with her photography blog has fallen off a cliff. She calls it as she sees it: film-photography snobbery. And I think she’s right. And it’s a shame. Read Analogue Vs. Digital


6 responses to “Recommended reading”

  1. Chris May Avatar

    Thank you for the link to Polly’s piece about the analogue/digital divide. It’s a well written piece and right on the mark.

    I thoroughly enjoy both film and digital photography to the point that I’ve used a really, really wide array of gear over the years. Everything from really old folders to medium format digital (well, only a couple of shots with a PhaseOne IQ180). I’ve got great shots with my iPhone, an 8×10 Calumet C-1 and everything in between. And I love all of it.

    The reactions to my film shots always gets a LOT more attention, though. Like Polly, I’ve noticed that even dreadful film shots will often get more views/likes/comments than a very good digital shot. A lot of the film related blogs and such that I see seem as separated as the current Republican/Democrat divide. Some of the comments from digital photographers aren’t too far away, either (one need only look at the reactions to the new Lomo lens announcement on DPReview to see that it goes both ways). And that makes me wonder if this is our new norm. Everything we do has to be turned into a polarized absolute. “You’re either with us or against us.” When it comes to politics, that’s downright scary, especially considering our whole government was founded on compromise. In the hobby world, it just comes off as kind of absurd, though.

    I get that film selections have dwindled quite a bit and that dedicated analogue photographers blame digital for that. When Fuji recently announced the discontinuation of FP-100C, the outcry from the analogue community was vocal to say the least. Bellamy’s response at JapanCameraHunter was almost funny, except that it was a bit too caustic for me to be able to laugh much. There were a lot of similar responses. All of them seemed to ignore that Fuji is a company with responsibilities to their shareholders.

    The whole fiasco seemed to push the persecution complex that a lot of the analogue community flys as their banner. That’s really a shame. I think they’re missing a big opportunity. By huddling into this little elite clique, they’re missing the opportunity to introduce the joys, challenges and lessons that film has to offer. By doing so, they’re only hastening the demise of more film emulsions and types. If they can get more photographers interested in film, the more film will be sold. There can’t be an elitist attitude about it, though. Some people (myself included) will never be interested in ditching our digital cameras. If the Church of the Born Again Film Photographer considers that anathema, they’re just going to alienate those shooters and lose those potential film sales.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      There does seem to be a we’re-too-hip film-photography group out there. I’m too old to want to be among the cool kids anymore so I try not to pay attention and just shoot the cameras that make me happy. And so I shoot both film and digital. I’ve got probably 100 film cameras to choose from but my digital choice is my wonderful Canon S95. I’m going to Ireland in September and that’s probably the only camera I’m taking with me.

      1. Chris May Avatar


        I didn’t mean to indict you as one of the film faithful. Far from it. Your blog is a refreshing view into the joy that all photography, in its many styles and forms, offers.

        I guess I just felt Polly’s pain after losing visitors because of the digital switch. After a perusal of her images, that’s a true shame. She’s doing some lovely work with that Df and if the film snobs are neglecting to see that because it’s not on the medium they prefer, it’s in poor taste in their part.

        Sorry if I came off negatively in my post. I really do look forward to your blog entries and read every one, even if I don’t always comment. It’s one of my favorite daily stops on the ‘net. Keep up the good work!


        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I didn’t feel indicted! I was trying to echo the fact that it’s more than OK to shoot a film and digital! I actually shoot more digital than film. I don’t go for any of this film snobbery either!

  2. pesoto74 Avatar

    I like to look at old photo magazines and one thing I have noticed is that up until the 1950’s most of the discussion of photographs looked at things like composition, use of light, selections of elements and so on. Often the film or camera used would not even be mentioned. I think that what happened is that like with so many other things that making sales of equipment and supplies became such an important thing to the photo media that promoting the latest and greatest became a major focus. I noticed a change then from thoughtful discussion of the images made to a focus on the equipment that made the image. I think that from that it got ingrained in many that somehow that what you use to make an image is more important than the image itself. And I suppose it is a lot easier for some people to buy certain stuff than to actually learn something about making images. These kind of heated debates have been going on as long as I have been doing photography. And I think it tells me more about the photographers who get wrapped up in such things than it does the subject they are debating.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      For some, their camera is as much a fashion accessory as a tool.

      Can I admit that when I walk around with my Nikon F2 around my neck I feel cooler somehow than when I shoot my Pentax ME? So I’m not entirely immune.

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