Making a Photograph vs Taking a Photograph

Today, I ventured into a new area of photography: developing film. Before embarking on this venture, I did what most people do when the desire to learn something new comes along. I consulted my ever growing library of reference material, I did a lot of reading from resources I’ve found online, and I harassed anyone I could find who I was sure knew more on the subject than I did (a special thanks goes out to Jason and Jerry of Dodd Camera in Beavercreek Ohio for putting up with me). And just what did I learn from all this research? I learned that I still have a lot to learn!!

Ansel Adams once said “You don’t take a photograph, you make it”. After developing my first roll of 120 film, I have a new-found admiration for the photographers like Ansel Adams who not only captured, but MADE incredible images before the days of “point and click”, Photoshop, and one-hour photo processing. I feel fortunate that in the images from my first developing session, one could actually distinguish what the subject was. Still, I have a lot more to learn. I see many hours in the “bathroom darkroom” in my future.

In the age of DSLRs, iPhones, and other digital wonders (of which I am also very fond of myself), I encourage anyone who really loves photography to explore film, whether it be a first-time encounter into the non-digital realm, or a re-acquaintance with an old friend. Explore film…and gain a new-found respect for the photographic pioneers whose images took longer than 2 seconds to create.

Journal Comments

  • Gary L   Suddath
  • Sam Warner
  • MLabuda
  • Sam Warner