As of this year, I have been a photographer for 40 years. In that time, a lot has changed and yet in some ways, certain things are still the same. I was reminded of this when my friend Michael Colby told me I was “…the most analog digital photographer in the business.” He went on “…you are an analog photographer in a digital world. A film photographer who uses digital technology but only adopts as much of digital as necessary. Goodbye slides and goodbye prints, hello digital workflow! But, it is essentially a digital workflow that is not too dissimilar to an analog workflow.”
My exchange with him, and this article, are responses to some recent blog entries advocating a return to film. I believe that simply returning to film would not benefit most photographers, unless they learned some important differences and similarities between digital and analog photography.
What my friend was responding to was my repeatedly telling him how I work for my pursuit of the highest quality image and the least time spent in post- production. I have adapted to the digital imaging paradigm, but I maintain a photographic style and methodology that I developed during a long career shooting on film, resulting in a digital shooting strategy built on a film based approach.