Does Film Photography Feel More Journalistic?

Over the last few months, I've been packing a 35mm SLR in addition to my digital when I head out for interviews. I shoot with both cameras because I often need to turn around the shots quickly (digital), but I also want the look of film (35mm). And I've noticed that when I get the negatives back from the lab, I often like them better. Why is that?

Conferring before an Interview at the Office of Think Tank Photo - Pentax ZX-5n, Pentax-A 50mm manual focus lens at f/2.0, Fujicolor 200 negative film. Photo by Derrick Story.

My impression is that the analog shots feel more gritty, like the images from traditional journalism. Now granted, I grew up looking at Tri-X newspaper photos, so the film look is very much part of my history.

But beyond that, even if you were 20 years old, maybe there's a look that draws you in and makes you feel part of the image. I don't want to say that digital photographs have become too perfect, because sometimes that's exactly what I need, especially for commercial work.

But for my editorial pieces, I'm feeling more comfortable with film. And I'm curious about your views of the image that I've posted with the piece. Do you find it interesting and engaging, or is it just another grainy film shot?


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