Analog or Digital

Blog, Street Photography

Sometimes you have to make a decision: Shaken or stirred, your place or mine, analog or digital. Do you really have to or boils it down to the same thing?

Millions of photographs floating the internet every day. Due to smartphones and other digital devices is it so easy to take pictures and to share them with the world that apparently everybody does it. It seems to be very hard for an average photographer to generate attention to the crowd and even harder to stand out of the banality and mediocrity in social networks. Maybe that’s why a few guys withdraw into niches.

I have to smile about the hipsters shooting film these days with old analog cameras, inherited or bought for a few bucks on a flea market. They swear: “It’s so zen shooting film“, “It’s more individual” or “Limitation unleashes creativity” and “All the old masters have done their stuff with analog gear.”

More than a fashion statement

Rostock 1990, analog

Don’t get me wrong, shooting analog has its own magic. It slows down the process — more thinking and anticipating, less shooting. As a conscious intention is it an artistic approach to photography instead of a fashion statement. I appreciated that last year again, when I used a middle-format camera and took part in that hype. Nevertheless – I walked this way for about twenty years and I’m thru with it. Too much effort and too much time till I get the results and I’m too impatient to wait. It’s too expensive for me, developing/printing is ecologically harmful and I have no clue, how to archive and store the negatives. On top of that: If I want to share the photographs online, I have to make them digital. That’s ridiculous! I see no benefit in shooting analog anymore.

The advantage of shooting digital is:

  • Full control over the photographic process from shooting to editing and processing.
  • It is easy to reach any certain look – even “analog” – from a digital source what in fact means, adding some “mistakes“ like distortions, flare, unbalanced colors, a certain amount of grain, underexposure or overexposure.
  • I can do this with a software in seconds and have the decision about the intensity of the effects.
  • I see the results immediately and if I’m not satisfied, I can make different versions from the same picture, again and again.

Touching mind and emotion

Into the Light | Berlin 2016

Berlin 2016, digital

At the end of the day: For a good picture and the viewer is it irrelevant, if the process was analog or digital. There are masterpieces and catastrophes in both worlds. The expression of the photograph and how does it occupy the viewer mentally and emotionally is important to me. If somebody does it with an analog camera and film — that’s fine. I prefer the digital work flow.

“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera, they are made with the eye, heart and head.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

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