Unpredicability

Arguably, the core difference between the digital and analog camera as a medium is the element of unpredictability. With a digital camera, the image taken is immediately available for viewing – cutting away the process of development and the emotional wait between the shot and the final outcome. Analog photography provides many more steps in between – at any step subtle nuances are added voluntarily or involuntarily. 


Digital photography gives the opportunity of correction on the spot, if the photo taken is unsatisfactory, it is deleted, and replaced. This process is repeatedly done, with debilitating predictability. Analog photography doesn’t call for this process of perfectionism. Instead, it leaves more place for flaws and glitches, be it further or closer to the photographer’s intentions. The unpredictability of deterioration can be celebrated or shunned depending on the photographer’s intentions. (Perhaps more commercial photography of architecture or fashion does not warrant that kind of deterioration?)



The degradation of film and the developed photograph also offers an unpredictability that the digital photograph cannot offer. The digital photograph is stored in a series of zeroes and ones that will not change over time or deteriorate. Deterioration enables a different experience each time the viewer picks up the photograph. The yellowing edges, fading colours, almost like a memory. The photograph ages with the photographer – according the photograph a life of its own. The photograph itself becomes reflective of the time it was taken. The storage of digital photographs however doesn’t facilitate that relationship.


But the beauty of old processes often finds its way into modern contexts and equipment. How perhaps, would we inject this unpredictability into digital photography?



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