Last week my friend Cherie and I thought it would be fun to take a few pictures with a film camera and do an impromptu shoot. It brought us back a few years. We've done many shoots together but it has been years since we've had to worry about how many frames we had left, or since we didn't get instant feedback from the screen to let us know if certain poses or lighting conditions were working. When we finished, we took the film to a one hour place to get developed only to be told they no longer developed film in house. They could send it to another location and we could get it back in a week. We took it to another store and found out they are only developing film until the end of the month.
We were both staggered. I really shouldn't have been because for my professional shoots I've been using digital for three years. I actually couldn't remember the last time I had actually even touched a roll of film. Still I never thought film would really fade away so quickly. I know many pro labs are going to still do film but I'm assuming it will be for a higher price, much like Black and White. I do admit to being spoiled by digital cameras. I'm not going to get into the debate about film quality vs digital quality, but it is great to know instantly whether or not you got a shot or if you need to try it again. I no longer have to scan the negatives to do retouches, or use a special filter or film to do special effects. Convenience aside, it is weird to think how many kids will never load a cartridge into a camera or listen to the film being wound. It's strange that in my lifetime I have seen something so standard become almost obsolete. I'm glad I have a few film cameras lying around so I can still give my children the opportunity to see how we did things back in the 'good old days' and tell them how easy they have it now.
In some ways it reminds me of computers replacing typewriters. I remember writing papers on typewriters and having to use whiteout to fix mistakes. I've always been a sloppy typist and it would take me hours to type things. Trying to imagine revising my novel without a computer is mind-blowing. Editing my manuscript is hard enough now, but how much harder must it have been to have to do everything in either pencil or with a typewriter? I have cut and paste and drag and drop. I have a built in spell check and the handy dandy find button for fact checking. How did writers do it before the invention of computers? They deserve to be applauded and I should never whine about editing again. Maybe I should pull out my mom's old typewriter if I ever start to feel like revising is too much work. :)