Porsches, Cell Phones, and Recapturing the Lost Art of Film

Say what you will about kids these days!, but our children will never experience what it’s like shooting film. They’ll never concentrate on capturing the exact moment, carefully composing a shot, fretting about whether they’ll all come out blurry, because they only have 24 exposures and nothing else. Instead, they’ll be snapping away rapid-fire like hyperactive monkeys, filling up their 32GB Class 4 SDHC cards with crisp, high-res images, instantly vanquishing the bad photos and uploading the good ones to Facebook at the touch of a button for maximum employer embarrassment. They won’t have to mail it into York Photo in their handy-dandy prepaid envelope and waiting the requisite 3 weeks to find out how badly their negatives have been ruined. Instant gratification, it’s a wonderful thing.

But despite the relentless Death March of Progress, the photo quality of camera phones (as opposed to digital cameras) hasn’t yet achieved the same plateau as set by, say, the Nikon SP. Which is gratifying, because these digital shots still look like they were shot by a Super 8 and hauled from a shoebox in your grandmother’s attic. Miniature glimpses into an anachronistic past, where glorified Beetles sport 500 horsepower, variable turbine geometry and doppelkupplungsgetriebe. Are 993 Carreras really that old? Is that Bob Dylan in his Fuchs-wheeled chariot? Eccentric, charming, and wholly imperfect, these cell phone shots turn a digital medium obsessed with capturing perfection into one that revels in its flaws. Turns out kids these days still shoot film; they just do it with Holgas. And that instant gratification thing? It’s not all it’s hopped up to be.

DRIVE BY: Cell Phone Shots Of Porsches (via A Time To Get)

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19 responses to “Porsches, Cell Phones, and Recapturing the Lost Art of Film”

  1. Buickboy92 Avatar

    You say that kids will never know how to shoot Film. Well I'm 18 and I have 4 Film cameras and 2 of them are SLRs and I also have 2 Polaroid Cameras. I've used 2 of the SLRs as the other non-SLRs don't work at the moment. I have also used both Polaroids thank you very much! My first camera was a Polaroid 600 Sun I bought at a yard sale for $2 Dollars when I was 16 with the original tag still on it, and I still own it to this day. I have one Digital Camera, a Kodak Z710 Point and Shoot. On a side note I plan on getting a DSLR this fall. As this is more convenient at the moment. I just wanted to say this because there are still kids out there like me who have and who use film cameras more then people think.

    1. ChuckyShamrok Avatar

      Here Here! I just turned 24 and I own a DSLR, but I still prefer my Canon AE-1 which is older than me. Digital's got NUTHIN on film

  2. Abe Rodriguez Avatar
    Abe Rodriguez

    Exactly why I started shooting some cars in film. Some of the pictures I took at Mecum are with film, they came out amazing. Another set of pictures I took ended up looking like a 90s brochure.

  3. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    <img src="http://apphotnum.free.fr/images/nikmatFT2.jpg&quot; width="360">
    I am sorry that all types of photo film are rapidly going out of production. There is something about the feel of mechanical SLR that is like driving an MG-TD…obsolete, but still wonderful. The heft and feel of a Nikon F2 (or even the lower grade Nikkormat FT2 I cherished so dearly in high school) can't be replicated with electronics. I proudly display my dad's Leica IIIf and my mom's Rollicord in our living room, along with the 8mm Kodak movie camera that documented my childhood, and a '70s-crazy Minolta 110 Zoom. Cameras touch all the same mechanical wonder-buttons as firearms and vehicles.

    1. Bret Avatar

      My Leica M2 (originally my grandfather's) is much more dear to me than my D80 not just because of the family legacy, but due to the Leica being such a perfect mechanical device. I love the sounds it makes and the feel of the adjustments of the dials and lenses. It's very much a machine compared to the Nikon, which is merely a device. I'll have the Leica forever, while the D80 will become obsolete and be replaced sooner rather than later.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        The sound of my Leica's twin-curtain focal-plane shutter is magic — it sends the same shiver down my spine as hearing a 12-cylinder engine…or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V2wZ2KMvtU

        1. Bret Avatar

          Gasp. Rotary bike… So perfect.

    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      And I misstated, it's a IIf, not a IIIf.

  4. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    I'm 29 and at age 13 I first made photographic love to a Pentax Spotmatic, '66 vintage. 1960s SLRS were such an utterly analogue experience, tactile, gratifying, you have to work hard for your photos. Sadly I haven't put a roll of Kodachrome through it in years. I'm a Nikon DSLR man now.
    Soul for sale, £549 or near offer.

  5. bzr Avatar

    When I said kids these days don't shoot film, I actually lied – my first PROPER camera was a Canon EOS Rebel Ti, a 35mm film SLR that was virtually indestructible and that I still have. I also picked up a Polaroid Spectra from the 80s from a flea market for 5 bucks, and on a recent trip to the beach my friends and I bought a couple of disposable cameras, and those shots came out all warm and fuzzy. Nothing more fun than hearing the clicking noise on the advance knob on one of those.
    And yes, I do have a Holga. I snagged it from work from somebody who had left it behind.

  6. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    I have enough anachronistic hobies/habbits that I really, simply don't have time to get into film. But, I totally appreciate the combination of art and science that goes into shooting and developing for artistic ends. Going from shot to film developing, to an enlarged print on the way produces unique results, entirely separate from what makes for a good shot on a blog.
    The biggest problem is that (in general) in order to share or distribute one's film work, you still have to digitize it. Futzing with one set of settings and lighting, only to have to re-adjust everything to correct for the scanning process sort of defeats the purpose to me. When displayed on a monitor (as 99% of any photography I see is) scanned pictures typically lack the crispness that digital pics have.

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      That's true enough. Also, I grow tired of magzine photoshoots where a yellow filter and soft focus have been employed in an effort to capture that authentic '60s Hasselblad look. Get off my lawn!

        1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

          Shit just got serious.
          /rushes upstairs to change all his typefaces

          1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

            OMG you went there…

  7. Tomsk Avatar

    The two film photography classes I took in college were loads of fun and I learned a lot, but the sad fact of the matter is that, other than duplicating the look and feel film, digital does everything better: Speed, capacity, user-friendliness, adjustibility(?), you name it.

  8. Bobby Avatar

    Make something that takes pics like that, but uses digital memory, And I'll buy 2

  9. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    Same here. Hell, I've got piles of old photos all over my office desk I've been looking through. I miss that with my new pics.
    You can digitize an old photo, but rummaging through an old box of forgotten jpgs in the attic is a little harder to do…