There’s a lot of talk in the industry about shooting in 4k. In fact, 4k almost isn’t enough any more. Now, it’s 5k or 6k with 2014 camera technology. But how about 9k… with 1968 technology? Facade, Venice, Italy. In 9k. That’s what you’re looking at right now.
To be fair, it’s not a moving image. But still, when I scan one of my Hasselblad negatives, 6cm by 6cm (2.4 inches by 2.4 inches for you non-metric types), that’s what I get. Nearly 9000 pixels of information. So many, in fact that I can make several photographs just from this one. All sharp as a tack.
That’s film for you. It’s always been the holy grail of picture resolution. For years we heard, is it as good as film?, with our new digital technology. Don’t get me wrong. I love digital. But I also love film and I can’t imagine not shooting at least some film for my foreseeable future. I have a few rolls waiting to go to the lab as I write this.
Making a photograph with film is a completely different process. Not just in a chemical vs. electronic sense, but in a headspace sense. When I shoot film, I have to rely more on instinct. What I have learned about my art when I make a photograph. Because I can’t stop to check it in my camera’s display. There is no display when I’m shooting film. The only display I have is what’s in my head when I look through the viewfinder.
I have to trust myself. And I like putting myself through that exercise in creating every once in a while.