Most of the world dumps film

By Steve Outing

Canon has stopped making film cameras. It’s about time. Film? Get over it.

(But there are still holdouts, it seems. My daughter is going to summer arts camp again this year, and plans on taking some photography. The camp insists on teaching them darkroom techniques and how to develop photos with chemicals. Why don’t they teach them blacksmith skills, too, while they’re at it? Sheesh.)

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

3 Responses to "Most of the world dumps film"

  1. Tim Porter
    Tim Porter 11 years ago .Reply

    Steve …

    I was going to respond with a disagreement to your observation because I believe understanding the basics of any activity — journalism, baseball, photography — helps you enjoy it more whether it’s done the old-fashioned way or digitally (web, video game, digital camera.

    But, then I thought I’d pose the below question to a groups of active photographers on Flickr, those that belong to Utata, an online photo magazine. Most of these photographers are amateur, all use digital cameras and many have never shot film.

    I think you’ll find their comments surprising.



    My first reaction was to post a comment something along the lines of: “Yes, of course, new photographers should learn all the basics of producing a good image, including darkroom techniques, because understanding exposure, light and printing give you more control over your photography. And, darkroom techniques like cropping, dodging, and burning are all part of the digital workflow as well. There’s nothing like a good set of basics to build on.”

    But, then I thought I’d ask you first:

    Are darkroom techniques still useful in a digital world? Should today’s photographers instead just learn in the camera, so to speak, and in the computer? Can what some of us learned with film, canisters, chemicals and paper be learned just as well with pixels and Photoshop?

    What do you think?

  2. Tim Porter
    Tim Porter 11 years ago .Reply

    Steve …

    Posted the below without the link to the Flickr discussion and couldn’t edit the comment, so here’s the link:


  3. tish grier
    tish grier 11 years ago .Reply

    hmmm…I wish I could find a word to describe the opposite of “Luddite” for ya, Steve 😉 so many of you guys seem to be in that direction and seem to avoid a middle path in all this change…

    Canon may no longer make film cameras, but, as it stands now, film is still the standard of the Hollywood Film Industry (the article doesn’t state if the cameras are for consumer use or industry use either–two different things acutally.) The complete transfer to digital for mainstream filmmaking has been slow, so knowing how to create images with film, how to edit, etc. are going to be good skills to have even as things segue to digital. For a film student, who not only needs a background in film history, but also in film making (literally, from the bottom up) if she aspires to a career in professional or Hollywood-level filmmaking, will need to have a handle on both film and digital filmmaking techniques.

    Years ago, people predicted that black and white films would no longer be made. Strangely, we still have filmmakers who make films in black and white (independent as well as mainstream filmmakers, I might add) So, to say “get over it” when it comes to film cameras is, well, at this point, like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

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