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The good old days | by Zeb Andrews
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The good old days

Before I get started on a minor rant, a bit about this photo. This was taken a few years ago near Dayton, Washington. I led a three day workshop in the area introducing other photographers to this amazing landscape. I was fortunate to be able to have worked with a local resident who knew all the right fields to stop along, such as this field of Canola. For those who have been following my stream awhile, this image may look a little familiar. I posted a very similar one a couple of years ago, also from this same trip. The reason this one came back up tonight is simply because this is a scan from a slide, a Fuji Velvia slide to be exact. Which is where my rant begins.


I shall start by saying, if you are reading this, and happened to have said the comment I am responding to, I mean nothing personal. It is not the specific comment that rankles me but rather the general attitude behind it. So nothing personal ok. ;-)


Anyway, I was browsing Flickr tonight and enjoying the photos on one fellow's stream when I came across an image he had posted after going back and scanning some of his old Velvia slides. The comment that went along with the photo was basically, "I sure miss those good old days of Velvia." He had received a couple of other comments agreeing with this and bemoaning this "loss".


Here is the problem I have with this comment, and I admit, it really does ruffle my feathers just a bit, but see, Fuji still actually makes Velvia. In fact you can go down to your local camera store tomorrow (or why wait, go now!) and buy a roll. I shot a roll just this past weekend as a matter of fact. I expect the slides back on Thursday.


Now it is one thing to choose not to shoot it, to choose to shoot digital as opposed to film, and that is just fine. To each their own. But it seems so silly to not only choose to not shoot it but then act like it is not a choice, like you were forced out of it. The icing on the cake then is the lamenting about how good it once was. And it really does seem like slightly odd behavior. If you thought it was that good, why stop using it when it is still available? I really am curious as to what the rationale is to this question.


My suggestion? Go buy a film camera. These days a high end one that will "only" last you 30-40 years will cost you less than many digital lenses. If you are fortunate and savvy enough you may even be able to buy a film body that shares lenses with your digital (Nikon or Pentax). Keep it loaded with Velvia and carry it along with your DSLR. I am actually seeing more and more of this happening. I am encountering a lot of photographers who have been all digital these past few years going back and picking up film bodies to complement their digital ones. It does not have to be one or the other. It can be both, and in that way, the good old days don't have to be over at all.


If you are interested in pricing for my images, or just plain curious, more info can be found at my website:


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Taken on February 10, 2009