Analog vs. Digital

Analog vs. Digital

I’ve seen some conversations on Instagram circling around the topic of analog vs. digital. I follow a lot of film die-hards but recently saw a primarily digital photographer post an opinion stating that he felt a lot of film photographers rely on the “vintage” aesthetic film provides to make up for their shortcomings in what I’m guessing he meant other aspects of photography: composition, framing, etc. I think it’s a pretty silly opinion as I don’t know any digital photographers who don’t rely on filters or Lightroom post-processing techniques to add a certain aesthetic to their photos as well. :)

It’s becoming the norm to see grainy, faded photos of festivals, friends hanging out, and whatnot circling around social media and I know lots of people who don’t consider themselves photographers but like to buy disposable cameras and shoot away at parties. I think it’s awesome! There’s an undeniable sense of nostalgia surrounding the film process: taking time to finish a roll by capturing the moments important to the shooter, dropping the film off at the lab, waiting the standard week to get them back, and finally going through each photo with nostalgic excitement at seeing the shots they remembered and forgot.

It’s a feeling I fell in love with as a twelve-year-old when my dad gifted me his old point-and-shoot. I shot our family vacation to the Grand Canyon and the roll I got back from Walmart 1 Hour Photo (throwback!) was filled with saguaro cacti in the Arizona deserts, blazing red sunsets, and my little sisters in the backseat of the car with their hair whipping freely between rolled-down windows. I later dropped the little film camera in a river hahah but I was sold.

I went on to study film photography and spent a lot of time in classroom critiques and therapeutic darkroom sessions. It was in class that my technical skills were refined but traveling that my love for film photography was fed.

Now, I understand the Team Pixel peeps. Shooting digitally admittedly provides much more flexibility in lots of aspects and, apart from the cost of getting set up with a system the photographer is happy and comfortable with, there’s not the added punch to the wallet that is film and development. Post processing is fun! There are endless options when editing colors, contrast, lighting that you can only go so far with on film. There’s also no wait; one can have a shoot, walk out the door to the closest cafe, and start editing away within minutes. You can have beautiful photos in front of you in literally moments. Enviable for sure and just a few reasons why I can’t cut digital out of my craft. Depending on what you’re going for, it’s important to be able to shoot both.

In spite of all this, I’m a film girl through and through. I will always prefer the process of slowing things down and taking my time to compose my shots while shooting a roll. In my personal experience, it is much more personal and intentional. I don’t have the distraction of a little LCD screen and the comfort of being able to shoot hundreds upon hundreds of shots in one session; I have to make an effort to compose an individual shot the way I picture it in my mind because each frame costs money, my friend. I looooove the dreamy colors and the unpredictability. There’s a certain risk involved with shooting film and I’m addicted to it.

So live and let live, to each their own. Just shut up and shoot.

Kodak Portra 400

Digital with VSCO Kodak Max 800+ preset

What do you fine folks prefer?

La Luna Llena

One of my favorite things to do in Barcy is head up to the mountains on a full moon night with a book and good music and watch as the sun goes down and the moon comes up. This time I brought my good friend Lizeth for the full moon eclipse in Capricorn and we talked about life and sex and change and jobs and passion and dreams as we watched the moon turn from pink to yellow and then slowly fade behind the shadow of the earth. These moments kill me in the best of ways.

Havana Nights

Just got back from three weeks of backpacking around Cuba and after 80% humidity and 34 degrees celsius each and every one of those days, I’m pretty happy to be back in my beloved Barcy. It’s hot as hell here now as well, Europe’s experiencing a major heatwave at the moment, but man it does not compare to the drenched, sweaty mess I was in Cuba. Yay for perspective changes.

I spent the first couple days by myself, speaking in Spanish 100% of the time, chatting away with bartenders and workers at the casa particular, then met a great group of folks from Germany and Finland a few days in that I traveled with on and off the rest of the time. Cuba is a beautiful country with very kind people but it was reminiscent of countries I’d visited in South America. What really stood out to me though was Havana… a place humming with a palpable energy that excited me. My first day off the plane being dropped off in the midst of a city that appears to be structurally falling apart and with hundreds of eyes on me and my bigass backpack, I thought “What the hell did I just sign up for three weeks of?” I only had 5 CUC (about 5 euros) because the machines to exchange money at the airport were broken (didn’t wanna use them anyways, just to exchange a bit since it was Sunday and I knew exchange offices and banks would be closed) and American cards don’t work, as well as European debit cards. . . so my meals on day one consisted of saltine crackers and 1.5 liters of water. Day two was when everything changed. . . got money, internet cards, food, and settled in and adapted to the lifestyle of everyone hanging out and people watching in the streets. After traveling around the island for a couple weeks, I was very happy to be welcomed back by Havana and its amazing sunsets.

Got a couple more rolls in the lab so more to come soon.

Italia Revisited

In May of 2018 I booked a last minute ticket to Bologna for a long weekend getaway from Barcelona. I tried couchsurfing for the first time and ended up having an unbeatable first experience with it. I stayed with two Israeli guys and an Italian/Indian guy who lived in the heart of Bologna and took me to all the best places to stuff my face with bolognese and gelato… my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I made it away to Florence as well and did some exploring on my own, but those nights staying up late talking, laughing, and cooking with these guys, exchanging music, listening to mind-blowing stories… those are the memories that I’ll take with me. Thanks a lot to these new brothers.

Italy, Montenegro, Bosnia

Three weeks traveling around these incredible places swimming, rafting, hiking, and eating everything in sight.