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REWIND: The Resurgence of Film Photography

August 07, 2017

 

[Images and sounds of traffic, people walking, trams, trains, cityscapes]

 

[Video clips of various people explaining that they use their phones to take photos and why]

 

I normally use a phone, for the simplicity of taking pictures; it’s always in on hand.

I normally use just my iPhone to take photos.

Oh, I use my phone to take photos.

iPhone (___)

I have been filming on the iPhone when I’m travelling.

 

[Music]

[Video of the Film Is Alive gallery]

 

(Tom Goldner)

With a digital age of photography, people are producing more work and sharing more work than ever before; but in a lot of ways it’s become quite disconnected; more so than ever, sharing a photo with somebody means less.

So there’s something really tangible about actually working in the darkroom next to somebody and having a conversation and with them about what they’re producing; and that all ties back again to the value of print - which is something that we feel really strongly about here.

 

[Camera pans across a wall filled with printed black and white photos]

[Music]

[Video of darkroom devices and processes]

 

[Video of a film camera being loaded]

 

(Huw Morgan)

I love shooting film; it’s like the look you get from it you can’t really replicate digitally ever; it’s so easy to use; I can just shoot whatever I want, whenever I want; I can put a camera in my pocket; don’t have to lug around hundreds of, like, dollars of equipment; more you know, just the look you get is unbeatable.

 

[Camera shutter clicks and multiple images are shown]

 

(Matt Ruderman)

I do much prefer to use film. It’s a difference that I think is much more easy to see when you actually when you actually shoot it. Digital you’ve got an SD card and you can shoot as much as you want; but with film it’s, you know, 24 or 36 shots - that’s it.

I mean you can put another roll in, but then you have to pay extra for developing, scanning; it’s like, you start to think a lot more about your shots; you’re not just sort of firing off hundreds of shots of the same scene, because you can’t afford to do that; and I think that makes you a better… that makes you more conservative and a better photographer I think if you shoot film.

 

[Video of Michael’s Camera film department with rolls of film and cameras]

[Music]

 

(Carly Michael)

Younger generations who weren’t brought up in with film; only brought up in a digital world; who are used to that fast-paced interaction with the world in all aspects; that slowing down is almost a new sensation; but it’s almost relieving in such a busy world; and the experiencing that magic and that anticipation of dropping off your roll of film to a lab and waiting… it’s a new experience!

 

(Keith Lewis)

I think it adds value to the image too. That was a big thing with digital being so accessible that, as you throw away; you take a shot; it doesn’t matter; you can take 500 shots - one of them is good, and you can see it straight away and do it again. With film you’ve got to think about it; you’ve going to set it up properly, and then you’ve got to wait to develop it and get your scan or your print back before you see it - so it adds value to that image.

That’s part of it; and also I think, people are naturally tactile, and to have something solid that you can touch and feel on you know, nice paper and a print in front of you, is much better than just a digital image on the screen.

 

[Video shows the Magnet Gallery in Melbourne]

 

(Michael Silver)

Film, even though it takes time and you have to get things right; it’s so worth it.

And I’m just so pleased that people - younger people - are sort of getting it; getting the feel for it; I think it’s very important. I just believe we’re actually analogue animals; we’re not digital, and film gives you a feeling for what you’re doing that’s missing in digital.

 

[Video of printing processes]

 

[Music]

 

(Michael Silver)

This book is a small representation of 25 years of my photography. It’s full of many different people and events.

There’s as (Lee Kuan Yew) getting an honorary doctorate; Dalai Lama, he was wonderful, he got an honorary doctorate; it’s a real time machine.

The latest in computers - Telstra global operations centre; just a life time away.

As I say, it’s a time machine; so many of these people are dead now; so, it’s even more important.

 

(Matt Ruderman)

When I got into it, it was kind of coming back; but now I think everyone’s shooting film. Like, people that might have bought a DSLR camera for Christmas are now getting a film camera for Christmas.

 

(Carly Michael)

With the rise of digital, film use definitely dropped; but over the last couple of years, it’s been picking up consistently.

This year, by far, the film use is soaring.

 

(Huw Morgan)

I know you kind of look at all these old paintings and stuff, it’s like, well when photography came then painting died; or like, when movies came, plays died, or musical died; but at the end of the day, they’re still there.

It’s dying from a consumer standpoint, but from an art standpoint, it’s growing.

 

(Tom Goldner)

I’m much more interested in exploring how film photography and darkroom printing is still relevant in the digital age.

It has to be as good, or better than what can be produced digitally; otherwise, what’s the point?

[Music]

 

[Video shows various young people with film cameras out on the streets taking photos and the Michael’s Window Display]

 

[Credits roll]