ReBlog of Past Tense: Film’s Special Quality

I noticed this article on Andy Beel’s blog feed today, a short discussion on why film still has a place in so many of our hearts.

The original article, written by Kenneth Wajda, describes the feeling that film embodies that makes a film image mean more to use than a digital image.  Not necessarily true for everyone, but there are times when I grow weary of all of the super-saturated, ultra-sharp images that crop up in every possible form of media.


Here’s an interesting perspective about film vs digital imaging. Film looks like past tense, and digital looks like present tense. Here’s an example that everyone will instantly understand. If I switch on the TV and the movie The Natural or Angels In the Outfield, or Bull Durham or any other baseball movie is on, in a scene of game action, no one will see the players and think they are watching the sports highlights. They can tell it looks like a movie, and not video from today’s MLB broadcast of your team, whatever city you’re in. It looks like a movie, like it was recorded and saved some time ago. Past tense.

Digital imaging looks like present tense, like surveillance footage, really. Just what you shot is exactly what you got.

Film has a dreamy, slightly soft quality, that looks like a moment stored, saved from the past. That’s . . .

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