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Film or Digital?

By Will Austin

Will Austin’s award-winning photography has taken him around the world. Although he regularly does editorial work, Will specializes in documenting cutting-edge architecture and industrial workplaces. He lives in the Seattle area with his wife and son, but hails from Colorado cowboy country.

February 23, 2010

It seems this is the question I have been asked the most over the past few years. My answer is always “both” but I mostly shoot digital these days. Yesterday I re-shot an exterior photo of the Seattle Public Library Central Branch because the area had changed a bit. As I was working on the new photo I opened my original shot which was made with slide film and scanned at a higher “theoretical” resolution than my current digital camera. The old version was beautiful but I was shocked at the difference in the two. You can judge for yourself, the crop below has the older film image within the black box (click for a larger view):

Having said all that, I must admit that I do still love film, it can be so beautiful and has qualities that can’t be duplicated with digital processes. For example, there are colors that I can get with Fuji film that I can’t see in my digital files….

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