Film and Journalism Incompatible? Seriously?

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain

Film is very much alive! Despite bogus “experiments” like this one:

Click on the audio link below to hear my take on it:

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

PS- I’ve decided to start a new category here on FR just for posts like this…. Numbnuts


13 thoughts on “Film and Journalism Incompatible? Seriously?

  1. I’ll tell you, when I was in Washington DC. covering a political march there earlier this year, it’s was hard to keep up with the digital folks who have an attachment on their cameras that sends the photos directly back to the edit office. But, for documentary work, film is still very much viable. I’m currently working on several project which I’me shooting primarily with film.

    As far as the news agencies go, they don’t care what you use, as long as you can get the shots to them quickly. I’ve discussed this with several producers over at the BBC. Digital is just faster, not necessarily better.

  2. One funny story about the media going too fast today: I was down in Ferguson Missouri covering the story there last month. There was a man standing in a doorway that looked real cool due to the way the light was hitting him. I took a couple of shots with my Nikon f2, when another journalists let loose with a rapid-fire barrage that just blew me away. I turned to him and said, “damn, I’d sure hate to have to look through all those RAW files! Why not just shoot video and pick a frame?” He gave me a dirty look and walked away.

    No, you do NOT get more good shots by using digital. You get good shots by knowing what you are photographing. Again, the only advantage with digital, is speed, NOT quality.

  3. Oldest trick in the book: Using unfair means of comparison.Did they compare it to sifting through hundreds of images? Takes time too.

      1. Thanks. Not working on Firefox. Got it to work on IE8 (still running XP) by going into the code and finding the URL for the sound file (on Firefox it says the file is corrupt).

        NOW THEN: great thoughts, especially concerning journalistic integrity; you bring up some excellent points regarding corrections/retractions, and the race to get the story FIRST. Oh yeah, and I did like the images.

        Here’s some things I noticed: the photographer should have had a good relationship with a processing lab, then maybe he wouldn’t have been running all around town to find a one-hour-photo lab at a grocery store, a place that he obviously never used before.

        Why was he late to the fire call again?

        He forgot bring extra rolls with him, ran out, and had to go back to his car to get more. It seems like the entire time, it wasn’t the film that tripped him up, but his own person.

  4. I also think you have to consider the source of this video, The a Camera Store. They want to sell you a new and improved DSLR that costs thousands every other year. They don’t want to tell you that with a 20 year old camera set up you can get great results that meet or exceed the demands of photojournalism. TCS are MARKETERS not PHOTOGRAPHERS! It’s like when Nikon outlawed film pictures in their contests. They don’t want to say they suckered people into throwing away their money over and over again. That the great D4 lost to a 35 year old camera and a 5 dollar roll of film. The sad thing is these hacks really do influence people into thinking only the latest and greatest will do. They already call the d800 outdated and time to move on from it! What a joke.

    1. Again, it’s really hard to argue that film is faster than digital. It’s impossible for a film photographer to get his photos online at the speed of digital. This is one of the few ways in which digital is better than film. I shoor both, and I love film. It’s just not the right tool for fast-paced news in the modern age.

  5. Sure, way too fast, I agree… but, it is how it is. (And in some ways, fast can be a good thing). To shoot film today at fast-breaking news events, is like riding a horse at the Indee 500 and complaining that the cars are driving too fast.

    I shoot film at ALL events. I just developed and posted a shot from August, that I captured at the Palestinian march on Washington. I love the shot. I love it more than the digital shot I took of the same subject, but there was no way form me to develop, dry, and then scan my rolls of Tri-X (not including editing) in time to get the shots off to the photo office.

    Now, my heroin documentary that I’ve been working for the past year and a half, is shot mostly on film. I’m not in a hurry. Long Live Film!

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