Noisy Grain

Its been a long time since I last went though film scans and spotted them and cleaned up drying marks and even a few scratches with Photoshop. Its an understatement to say that this is a chore beyond anything else i can think of including staring at the floor for more than an hour. Todays digital photographers have it so so easy. Dust spots if they are unlucky.

In fact not so long ago an ISO 400 film was as grainy as todays noisy ISO 3200 digital images. Noise (digital grain). Unbelievable really. Looking through photo forums the talk is all about buying a camera that shoots images with the least noise or the fastest autofocus or the most ‘extras’.

Up until very recently a camera held a roll of film and we were mainly concerned about the aperture and shutter for a correct exposure and then it was just about capturing the moment in a great composition. The end result dependent on film used may have had grain the size of golf balls if we were using ‘fast’ film. We didn’t whine as much in those days because we enjoyed the atmosphere of these grainy images.  And now we moan about noise (grain) the size of a pin head if it can be seen over ISO 3200.

The advance of technology and our expectations are being raised monthly and yet I feel the new generation of photographers would be best advised to learn shooting film before they even touch a digital camera and get high on the instant gratification of the playback button and noise free images.

Give em’ all a Box Brownie and the chemicals to develop the film i say!

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