Has film imitation gone too far?

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you will notice that for the past couple years, I’ve been into film and trying to perfect my practice.

Last night while editing, while I was using one of my favourite plugins Nik Effex, I realised that it includes Analog Effex Pro. As the name suggest, the aim of this plug in is to create images that imitates analog results. This got me thinking whether this look has been imitated to death…

As a novice, analog still has so many things for me to discover. One of the amazing things to me in analog photography is that we have camera that have been around for decades. I have purchase cameras from the 1940s and 1950s. However, in the digital age things move a lot faster. A few years ago, Sony brought to the market the mirrorless technology and only just this month Nikon and Canon joined the race. This is not just a yearly thing. Almost every other month, there is something new for us to purchase. It is as though our attention is being pulled into every direction distracting us from the art itself.

It is not just Nik Effex that has a plugin capable of imitating films. You also have apps suchs VSCO Cam, Snapseed, Topaz labs and plenty of lightroom plugins.

I must admit that there are some really impressive option out there and they are also easy to use. But the problem I have with these apps is that I personally do not need it. How many more of this do we need around?

I’ve used Analog Effex many time to add noise to my image to reduce banding. However, has the imitation gone too far?

What I know for sure is that nothing beats the feeling of seeing your images come alive after developing them. Sometimes the wait is unbearable and I’ve received some really disappointing results over and over again but I still pursuit because the lessons sand results are always worth it.

Secrets of Florence – Ilford HP5 film

2 thoughts on “Has film imitation gone too far?

  1. In some ways I think you are right, it’s the result of the film/digital is better wars.
    In the end it’s the final image that says it all, regardless of how it was made, everything else comes down to personal satisfaction.
    I think a bigger problem is that not many people print digital images: so will social history be lost because perceived unimportant images of today will not be available for historians of the future. Software changes so rapidly, it my not be possible to view todays digital images in say 100 years time: it is with film!!!
    In the end I think both should coexist, rather than one trying to emulate the other.

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