That "film look," are we creating a false memory?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Tim Tucker 2, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    45,336
    Likes Received:
    17,283
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    My guess is that the arch is from a print,and that the flowers were recorded on slide film....so much for guesses...


     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. JonFZ300

    JonFZ300 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2019
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    272
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You're correct. The arch is a scan of a print and the pansies is a slide. I agree that they both look like film but the print has what I'm thinking of as the "film look."
     
  3. AlanKlein

    AlanKlein No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,362
    Likes Received:
    455
    Location:
    NJ formerly NYC
    IF they both look likfe film, what do you mean only one has the "film look"?
     
  4. SoulfulRecover

    SoulfulRecover Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,501
    Likes Received:
    694
    Location:
    Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I see quite a few people shoot film through the various FaceBook forums I am on and even those who are friends, who seem to think the more dust and hair on the scans, the more it makes it relevant as an artistic means. Bugs the hell out of me. I keep wanting to tell them to clean up their images. The filters and editing on digital images are trying to emulate the faux nostalgia feel of dated and poorly kept film prints. Film when properly printed or scanned, will have correct colors like digital. Various films will shoot a bit more warm or cool than others but it was adjusted for in post. I don't know. I doesn't really bother me, just makes me roll my eyes a little bit.
     
  5. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Messages:
    18,318
    Likes Received:
    9,876
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    His point was that the alleged "film look" that people talk about now is not what film images really look like, but rather imitates the look of old faded prints. The pictures he posted was an illustration. The image of the arch was a scanned print. It looks like it has faded and has some color shift, and it fits the perception of what people these days think "looks like film." Meanwhile, the image of the flowers was shot of slide film, yet doesn't have that "film look" that is now created by a dozen or more software filters that people apply to make it look like their digital images were shot on film.

    In other words, people now don't have a realistic idea of what film really looked like. Yes, they are both film images, and yes, we know that the vibrant images of the flowers are what film really looks like and the faded one is what a print looks like, but only the faded one is what people think of when they think of film. Thus, the ironic quotation marks around "film look" - because they really mean "faded print look."

     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    7,083
    Likes Received:
    1,288
    Location:
    Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hmmm, I wonder what a 40 year old inkjet print looks like ?
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  7. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Messages:
    8,181
    Likes Received:
    2,520
    Location:
    US
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I think Tim in the OP makes a good point about there being what I'd call misconceptions 'out there' about how images shot on film look. JonFZ I've thought the same thing, that images that are supposed to look like film look more like pictures that were left in a shoe box in somebody's basement for years! And I have some myself! lol

    I use the same lenses on my digital camera and film rangefinders and if you put some nice fresh film in, the images are comparable in sharpness, color, and quality to shooting digitally. I love the color of Portra, although I shoot it at box speed because I like the color I get. And Vtech you are loopy going out on that cliff, mountaing, iceberg, whatever...! lol but what a photo you got!
     
  8. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    7,083
    Likes Received:
    1,288
    Location:
    Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Uhggg, I keep commenting on this thread ... I can't help it.

    Here is the FILM LOOK ... I think this was from my first roll of Kodachrome shot in the late 80's.
    Is it the tone/temp ... sharpness ... colour ... though this is a digital reproduction?

    I want my digital stuff to look like this again, sadly someone moved the boots.

    [​IMG]
    Boots
    by Dennis, on Flickr
     
  9. AlanKlein

    AlanKlein No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,362
    Likes Received:
    455
    Location:
    NJ formerly NYC
    I think digital tends to be sharper. It often has that "soap opera" look. Film seems to blend more.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Grandpa Ron

    Grandpa Ron No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    450
    Likes Received:
    177
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    It is obvious that the "film look" is as much a matter of opinion that anything else.

    My wedding photos are 50 years old or more and they look great, they ought to, because they sit on a shelf in a fancy album and probably have only been viewed perhaps a dozen time in the last 45 years.

    As stated previously, most film photos shot what is there. They were cropped a bit, a touch of burning and dodging here and there but they showed what was photographed.

    Today many of the digital photo have been so heavily doctored in post processing the look like they we painted by an artist, vivid colors, crisp images and nary a blemish or item out of place. I would offer that many are superb works of artistic talent. I refer to them a photo-art.

    I would also suggest, that though we may admire a good photo, intuitively we sense that icebergs really are not that pristine and sunlit, birds do not land in trees devoid of limbs between them and the camera and sunsets are not quite that blend of reds and oranges. To me that is what separates the old film photos from todays photos.
     
  11. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    6,306
    Likes Received:
    2,910
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Put that in perspective: allowing that many digital photos are heavily doctored, the overwhelming majority of digital photos vastly exceeding in volume the entire amount of photos produced in the past with film are just shots of what is there and not "doctored" in any way. The processing done by the camera is analogous to the past processing of film to print and typically less disruptive of recording what was there. More cell-phone photos that are at least but typically more faithful to what is there than past film photos were taken in the past few years than the sum total of all film photos since day 1 both doctored and undoctored.

    To also put that in perspective considering full-time practitioners: Someone like Ansel Adams or say Gene Smith doctored their film work with a much heavier hand than anything I tend to do using digital tools to process my photos.

    To also put that in perspective thinking of photography as Art: When photography was first accepted into the Art world it gained that acceptance by creating images (using film) that were complete constructed fantasies and were as far from shots of what was there as the most extreme digital manipulations done today.

    film_fantasy_1.jpg film_fantasy_2.jpg film_fantasy_3.jpg

    NOTE: In the first photo above by Robinson most people don't realize that it's a complicated composite. There are four people in that photo. None of them were photographed together.

    To also put that in perspective: Oh for the good old days of film when you could trust Natl. Geo and a photog like Steve McCury armed with the purity of a Nikon and Kodachrome to show us what was really there.

    film_truth.jpg

    It's not a digital/film thing.

    Joe

     
  12. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    6,306
    Likes Received:
    2,910
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    Film is real. A film image is dirty -- it's flawed with imperfections and all the scars of real existence. Film has a soul -- the soul that inhabits anything that comes into existence by growing and being physically shaped, by molecules being moved around. Film is the opposite of just abstract numbers. You can't disguise or hide film's soul. The dirt doesn't wash off -- it won't scrub clean. Film is organic as opposed to artificial and it shows. Lay out a dozen mixed images and the film images are always immediately recognizable as genuine. Their soul shines through....... Nah, film has grain;)

    Joe

     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019

Share This Page