It’s true that old-fashioned film photography is an art form. In fact, in this day and age, that’s about all it is, which is somewhat ironic. After all, film photography started off in 1837 as something very few could enjoy or do. As it is turning out, people who enjoy film photography are again becoming an exclusive club.
The artistic expression available through film is astounding. If you’ve never taken a film photography class, you should. It will ultimately make you a better photographer as you will have a full understanding of the art form in general.
However, unless you plan on investing in a darkroom (water, light, equipment), or if you plan on spending quite a bit of money at photo processing labs, you might concentrate most of your efforts on digital photography. In the long term, it’s generally less expensive than film, since you print only the photos you want. Also, it provides quite a bit of artistic expression of its own.
Digital photography has often been looked at by film buffs as not being artistic. That simply isn’t the case any longer. With the advancement in software programs such as Adobe Photoshop, the digital photographer can take their art as far as their knowledge of the software will take them.
The creativity involved with digitally manipulating an image isn’t reserved to expensive programs like Photoshop (though the price of software will be far less than the cost of setting up a darkroom).
In fact, many digital cameras designed for kids and young adults now come with features that allow changes to be made to the digital photo while it’s still stored in the camera. The picture can then be uploaded to a computer, in some cases wirelessly.
There are easy photo sharing websites that allow the photographer to manipulate the photo after it’s been uploaded to the site. These usually allow for straightforward changes, such as adjusting contrast, taking out the dreaded red eye, cropping, rotating, etc.
Also, digital photographers have the whole world wide web at their fingertips. This isn’t to say film buffs can’t scan one of their photos in and get it out on the Internet. But let’s face it, showing your work to the world is a whole lot easier if the image is digital from the start.
Once the image is on the Internet and has been enhanced, it’s easy to share it with whoever you want. This is another advantage digital creativity has. In the blink of a camera’s shutter, you can send your artwork around the world to friends, relatives, potential buyers.
Of course, such ease has its pitfalls as well. Unscrupulous types can copy your image, unless you take precautionary steps such as digital or visual watermarking.
Creativity is a very personal thing, and each person much express his or her self in their own particular way. However, given our busy world, and given the relaxation and contentment that creative expression provides, it’s not a bad idea to pick an art form such as digital photography, one that allows you to express yourself quickly and easily.