Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Film, digital, and the importance of the artifact, part of Narrative Portraiture: On Location in New York with Rodney Smith.
- View Offline
Chris Orwig: Something that's been in the backdrop is that you've had this consistent…approach shooting with film throughout these different times you were talking…about, and while that conversation of film and digital is a bit muddled right…now, there are some aspects that are interesting to me.…One is, I have this friend who said, "When I shoot with digital,…I look for mistakes; when I shoot with film, I embrace them."…And it seems like the way you use film is you're embracing whatever is there in front of you.…
Tell us a little bit more about how you understand that whole film…digital conversation?…Rodney Smith: Well, first of all, it goes back to the very simple aphorism that change is…not necessarily an improvement.…One of the things that has shocked me, really, is how quickly the culture has…embraced something because it's new.…I mean, I'm not saying maybe it should be embraced, but it's within a matter of…five or six or seven years, people-- everyone now shoots digitally. So is that…
The course begins with a wide-ranging conversation between Chris and Rodney, during which they discuss Rodney's work, his approach to photography and models, his love of film and of black and white, and the importance of creating photographs that both ask questions and tell stories. Next, Chris tours Rodney Smith's studio, including the darkroom, to get more familiar with Rodney before photographing him.
Chris then takes a series of portraits of Rodney. Along the way, he reviews his gear choices and the compositional decisions he makes, and discusses the importance of committing photographs to paper, particularly in today's digital age. Finally, Chris reviews the images and shares some insights from his conversation with Rodney.