To Digital or To Film (Analog) Capture by Renee Farias

Resurgence of film? Maybe or maybe not. Film has never gone away. It’s been greatly reduced for the general public, for sure. Professionals who understand technology also understand the importance of film. Professionals who understand technology also understand the importance of film.

Film requires us to slow down, way down. It requires us to think through the process of image capture and above all creativity. Digital is immediate and can be cold. Film is time consuming, to a degree, and alive. For many, digital is the way to go, because they are able to push the envelope on deadlines. Film requires planning and excellence in execution. Film has more substance not just 0s and 1s.

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“It’s a more of a human experience for me when I work with my film camera, Whereas with digital I feel there is some sort of barrier between me and the person; the relationship between me and my camera becomes more prominent.” Rena Effendi

At times I hear from a potential client, “The experience to produce our project on film would be great, but film is so expensive and the quality (file size) is not large enough.” This is normally an uninformed client.

So for arguments sake, let’s look at a case study from client ACME (for privacy):

ACME is a clothing designer/brand who produces swimwear. For their upcoming lifestyle advertorial campaign, they needed 10 images of 4 swim pieces for release in 3 months. The creative treatment called for outdoor, on location production of imagery. File sizes needed to be detailed and large enough for print ads of variety of sizes. Keep in mind these options do not include the cost of models/talent, permits, locations, sets or props... that is another case study altogether.

Option 1)

· Digital capture (ie: Nikon, Canon, MF, etc).

· 300 max images of 2 to 3 models in different swim pieces.

· Production including assistant, mua/hair, rental gear and location permits came out to $10,000 plus post-production editing of $1500 (this for the time to sit in front of a computer to properly edit and collate raw files).

· License Usage: 1 year, Social Media and Website Only.

Total of $11,500 for the usage of 10 images.

Option 2)

· Film capture on Medium Format Mamiya RZ67.

· 300 max images of 2 to 3 models in different swim pieces.

· Production including assistant, mua/hair and location permits, cost of film and processing (hi resolution scan 5902px by 4815px, easily scannable to 4 times this size with a bajillion amount of detail. This includes 4x5 proof prints – in hand physical proof!!!) came out to $9,500. No post production editing needed.

· License Usage: 1 year, Social Media and Website Only.

· Total of $9,500 for the usage of 10 images.

This is a savings of $2000 and with the beautiful realness of true to life. Plus… High Resolution Digital Proofs and 4x5 Proof Prints!!!

ACME chose film All the way!

Combo digital and film! Bracelet: Nikon Digital. Photo of Model: Nikon F5 Kodak Portra 400

Combo digital and film! Bracelet: Nikon Digital. Photo of Model: Nikon F5 Kodak Portra 400

Now, I will say that film (analog) production is not for every creative treatment. There are instances where digital makes more sense or a combination of both mediums, as in product imagery.

I am a believer in the beauty of film, both as a production or documentary medium. I have been shooting film since 1982, and I don’t think that will ever change. In this digital age, must have it now world, don’t discount the beauty, splendor, and high quality of film production.

"And the best of all, He shoots beautiful film (analog photos) and digital!!!!! I really enjoyed working with him and look forward to working with him again Highly recommended!!!" Michele - Bentevi

                                                          In Studio. Mamiya RZ67. Kodak Portra 400

                                                          In Studio. Mamiya RZ67. Kodak Portra 400

For more information on this subject, feel free to reach out at 213-804-1710 or renee@reneefarias.com