Why is it that a lot of modern digital photography is about shooting and editing images with distinct old-school/vintage effects?
Perhaps this is something of a paradox, but I rather think we all tend to exaggerate the difference between film and digital sometimes, because when it comes down to it, isn’t the most important thing the image you want to create and the story you want to tell?
For me, digital vintage editing is all about exploring, learning and playing (because not everything has to be serious all the time!). Below are some of my favourite vintage effects and some that I am currently having fun with. All my digital edits are done either with apps on my phone or with a simple online tool such as PicMonkey; I have not yet progressed as far as Photoshop or similar advanced computer programs.
Take the characteristic colours of cross processing – I love it but have as yet to find a lab close to me who will cross process my film for me, so I make do very happily with digital effects mimicking it. These are some of the many images in my flickr photostream tagged fake cross-processing:
I had never heard of shooting through the viewfinder (ttv) before I noticed people on flickr using digital ttv textures overlaying their images, and my first ttv images were using textures, like this one:
In fact it took me quite a while before I wrapped a black cardboard tube around the viewfinder of my Yashica and shot through the viewfinder of the Yashica with my Canon dSLR. This is the very first image that resulted:
Another film camera in my collection is a 35mm fisheye, and sure the distorted fishbowl look is a fun effect, but it’s really only fun for so long; shooting an entire film on one occasion is too much fisheye for me, and if I only use it now and then, I take ages to finish the film. This is a 35mm fisheye image I shot in Dublin a few years ago:
In fact, fisheye is one effect where I prefer the digital to film, since I can use the digital effect to have fun with on my phone when the mood strikes without worrying about shooting an entire film.
And speaking of mobile phone photography – I have recently starting using an Android app called Pudding Camera, which includes a multiple lens effect. I didn’t really know that cameras with multiple lenses even exist, so while I wait for the chance to try a multiple lens camera with film, I have another digital effect to play around with.
So what about you – what kind of effects, digital or film, are your favourites? Tell us in the comments!
~ All the best from Jenny.