Photography - digital or traditional?

Twilight at La Push, Washington - This photograph was taken while camped on the beach on Washington's Olmpic Coastline in 2004.  The coolest part about this photo is that I placed the camera on a tripod and left the shutter open for a whole 5 minutes.  It was nearly dark and you can see the movement of a star within those five minutes.
United States
January 22, 2007 12:10am CST
I like traditional photography a lot more in some ways, but not in others. What do you prefer? The photograph which I have included is a picture taken using a Canon AE-1 - made in 1980, using a tripod and professional FujiChrome Velvia Slide film. Please comment if you'd like. My digital camera, although dangerously convenient, just does not measure up to the quality of the images which I am able to capture using a tripod, slide film, and a traditional 35 mm camera.
14 people like this
81 responses
• Philippines
22 Jan 07
I also prefer traditional photography but nowadays, one can't seem to avoid using DLSRs because it's more practical, in a way. I still love film photography but I've noticed that it's less costlier to use DSLRs. For instance, with film photography, you buy these rolls of films and process them but you don't really use all of the photos because some may not turn out so well. With digicams, you can choose the best ones and print only those you really like. It is also good for the environment. Of course, I still prefer the 'magic' of film especially in black & white photography. Nice shot you have there! I'm going to try that out one of these days... :)
3 people like this
• Philippines
22 Jan 07
i also prefer traditional photography. it is tedious and more expensive compared to digital photography but i think the fun and experience you get everytime you take a photo and the suspense before you get to see your artwork is worth it. it is something that requires a lot of premeditation and equipment for you to achieve whatever you want with your subject but it is fulfilling. i havent had any extensive exposure with traditional photography but it is something i truly want to further pursue. the first time i got my hands on an SLR camera was a very exciting experience. what we do now is practice without much equipment, trying to experiment on the different effects and what results we get from using old school cameras. maybe somebody can further educate me since im not an expert on this topic..but it is something that interests me.
2 people like this
@goloo71 (11)
• Pakistan
22 Jan 07
The traditional cameras are the best to use & also have very good results but now a days this is a digital era & every 1 want to go digital. I have both of them traditional & Digital. I use both but mostly now a days I am using digital (NIKON 8700) * Migapixil camera & it have great result on 8 MP.
3 people like this
@Spid4r (177)
• India
23 Jan 07
I wuld prefer digital photography for the following reasons - easy to edit - easy to delete - easy to develope - easy to use - and so more
2 people like this
• India
22 Jan 07
BOTH THESE TECHNIQUES HAVE THEIR OWN ADVANTAGE AS IN TRADITIONAL WE GET A NICE ALBUM AND STICK CLOSE TOGETHER WITH OUR FAMILY AND SHARE MEMORIES BUT AT THE SAME TIME ITS A EXPENSIVE AFFAIR BUT DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY CAN BE SEEN ON SCREEN AND IS QUITE LIL MESSY BUT I FIND REALLY GOOD MAKIN ALBUMS FOR MY SELF AND WATCHING THEM FOR HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS
2 people like this
@freesoul (3023)
• Egypt
22 Jan 07
New SLR digital cameras are no less in quality than film roll SLRs, they are even better. unfortunately they are very expensive and I only have a compact digital camera, still it's giving me great results that I stopped using my old SLR all together . I would like to buy a digital SLR one day but with lenses and accessories it's too much for my budget and I'm not professional photographer, I just takes photos for fun.. PS. Yes the photo is great :)
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
whats the difference between the two...i prefer the traditoina...why?!...even though i might not be able to delete it instantly...you might be able to save stolen shots...although it won't give much gratitude from other people...still it's art...and saving one's art is pleasure for artists...if you use digital...you will choose to delete the ugly ones...although it saves a lot of space...the essence of photography is somewhat remove...using the traditional...releases your real talent in taking good shots... -that's all- -what do you think?!-
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jan 07
Right on! I could not agree more! A painter does not push a button to produce his masterpiece! Digital feels too contrived, but is very convenient and way cheaper. But that also sounds like a McDonald's add for god's sake. I think a lot depends on your financial situation and your place in life - in other words, I have not used my traditional SLR since the birth of my first child - I just don't have the time I used to when I was a single guy galavanting all over the coutryside, lugging my tripod with me wherever I went. It also required a nice lump sum of money to invest in not only a digital camera, but perhaps more importantly a new computer to handle and store all the images I shoot. And I can now produce an image and utilize it almost immediately. But again, the rewards are highly diminished when it comes to producing that masterpiece. The best digital photo I've ever taken pales in comparison to the best 25 slide film photographs I've shot. Thank you for your response! Come on by and check out more photographs when you have the time. Kindly, Charlie
@owlwings (39598)
• Cambridge, England
22 Jan 07
The photo that you have shown is quite a good example of a subject which would be difficult to capture with a digital camera. Even the best of them become quite noisy at low light levels (though they are improving). I do agree that film has an almost indefinable better quality which, I believe, is instantly lost once the photo is scanned and printed digitally. Somebody said (rightly) that we may use only a fraction of the number of pictures we take and process on film, whereas with a digital camera we simply delete the failures. I would like to say that my father used a Leica in the '40s and '50s with the early Ilford colour reversal film which had a very narrow exposure latitude. He never used a light meter (except to show someone and tell them "Yes, well that's exactly what I said, isn't it?") and he claimed to regularly get 34 or 35 good pictures out of a 36 exposure film. I think it takes a lot of experience with light and knowledge of the HD curve to do that!
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jan 07
Excellent response! You echoed my point to a tee. I simply cannot capture what I can with an SLR and a tripod - at least not yet. Please feel free to stop by the InspirationStation. I have been adding more photographs, half of which are digital, the other half SLR with Velvia Slide Film, printed and scanned. Thank you again for your insight - I rated your response as the best. -Charlie
@plantit1 (298)
• United States
22 Jan 07
Your picture is beautiful. Good job! I also think that a regular 35mm is much better than a digital. But as you said the digital is very convenient. I have a canon rebel with different lens. It takes great pics but I also have a few rolls of film I need to develop. That's the problem.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jan 07
Thank you very much for your words of praise - much appreciated! I hear ya on the film development thangy - i think at one point i had like 20 rolls of film to develop! 3-4 months later and $100-$200 later, I have my images, which is totally insane in this digital age BUT the effort required to capture the image rewards you much like a painter and his painting - it's not just all of the sudden there - everything is too darned fast these days - I used to find much more gratification from that one amazing photo out of 36 than from 36 photos which I hardly worked for. I guess it would kind of be like the mentality of the working class vs. the mentality of a millionaire. It all comes down to the person behind the camera and what they are willing to do with it. Thank you again for your compliment. -Charlie
1 Feb 07
personally my favourite is traditional, but it is too expensive to develope all of the films...i mean it is good but at least with digital photos you can delete the rubbish images
1 person likes this
@shedii (1487)
• India
23 Jan 07
Nowadays digital camera is more preferable because we can delete the pictures that we don't want & also send pictures online to friends & family.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jan 07
Digital photos are easier to manipulate- you have better access to touching them up and you can crop or edit them without destroying the original image.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jan 07
I like digital because I'm impatient. I want to make sure I have taken a good photograph while I'm still at the same location. Also it's cheaper to view than to have to print.
1 person likes this
@abijan (494)
• Malaysia
23 Jan 07
I am more fond for traditional phothography. I still have my Canon EOS50 or in America it is called EOS Elan II. I can have the option of using different type of film compared to digital camera. As you know different film handle colour differently. As for me I use Kodak film for landscape and black and white photography and fuji for potrait and events. Kodak seems to give nice colour on landscape and scene while fuji will give more hue on red and blue. While photographing nature normally I will use Fuji Sensia Slide. Now a days, it's hard to get normal film roll as most photographer has shifted to digital photography. It's good though to have a digital camera, but I still missed the option that I can get on film. I wish all the camera manufacturer can consider to have the option on selecting film type for their future model.
@pradesh13 (287)
• India
23 Jan 07
Thats a Wonderful Photo indeed, it seems you are a very good photographer. I agree with you on the point that I have a traditional camera and I get such a good pictures out of that - so I have not taken the digital camera. Whereever I go I like to get the photographs to have beautiful memories in the future. So just keep it up with your nice camera. Have a wonderful collection of Memories!
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I like digital a lot, but haven't given film a fair chance due to the expense. I finally got a film SLR and bought some film for it. But now I can't think of what to take photos of that will be worth the film. I get so few digital photos printed. So I'm not sure what's important enough to photograph knowing it will be printed. I've found that my digital cameras measure up to regular film easily and usually surpass it. But not sure about slide film. Most people I know that still shoot film can't blow up their images to poster size, while I can.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
I like traditional better because you're so much in control than in digital. everything is already pre-set for you. Its easy, but photography is hard work and traditional is the way to go.
1 person likes this
@hottie0728 (1732)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I prefer digital camera because I can delete whatever I want and I don't have to waste pictures being printed out that I don't even like. Just buy the expensive ones with higher megapixel for better resolution.
1 person likes this
@rahulmig (1032)
• India
23 Jan 07
ProtoGraphy -Digital are good and clear better then traditional one...
1 person likes this
@chingkz (230)
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
well for me i like traditional because pictures taken should not be edited to keep its original form.. nowadays people tend s to edit pictures to make it more beautiful to look at especially their faces and body... but for me its not really good to edit ones picture because the essence of the one you captured it changes too..^^
• Australia
23 Jan 07
I like both digital and traditional. The thing is with traditional picture is that you have to buy the films and after you use it, you have to develop it, and basically the film cant be used anymore. While with digital cameras it is way easier to use, you can have many pictures, and store it in your computer and re use the cameras. But of course it does have the trouble of having to develop the pictures as well, because I like to have my pictures in an album, not in my computer, and it is generally more expense to develop a digital picture rather than a traditional photo. However with digital, you can touch up the photo, if it is blurry, or if its not bright enough etc. I like the picture you put there using the traditional camera, it shows as more real.
1 person likes this