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Shawn Hart

Intro to Writing Across the Curriculum


12/10/15
Assignment 3 Draft 4
In the early 1800s, photography was just starting out and was quite a tedious process.
Cameras required long exposures to capture images due to the lack of sensitivity of the medium
on which the image was being recorded, and many images were non reproducible. With
photographs taken using the wet plate method, the photographer had to work quickly and
develop an image before the plate dried which is why they had portable labs on site. It wasnt
until the well known and long lasting Kodak, founded by George Eastman, came to be that
photography was made available to the consumer market. Kodak developed the first camera to
be marketed to the general public that was mass produced and did not require the photographer
to develop the images his or herself. The photographer simply sent the camera to Kodak who
would develop the images and place a new roll of film inside the camera. Now we can create
images, put them on a computer, and print them in a matter of minutes. With the development of
still images eventually came the motion picture. A series of still photographs displayed in
succession to simulate motion. The first of these motion pictures presented to a paying audience
was created by the Lumiere brothers (Cinematography), who were French innovators in the early
1920s. These two practices really took off with the general public using film as a medium to
record images, but as time has progressed, there has been a shift to digital imaging especially in
still photography. As with many other changes, not everybody agrees with the shift, so I would
like to explore the pros and cons of the change from film to digital cinematography and
photography.

How many times have you signed up for an online service and been presented
with the infamous terms of service agreement? Did you actually read it, or did you simply skip
over the lengthy and intimidating document to click agree? Many people hit that button
without realizing the rights they are signing over to the site. Facebooks Terms of Service
agreement states, For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and
videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy
and application settings: you grant us non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty free,
worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP
License) (Facebook.com). This basically says that Facebook can do whatever it wants with the
photographs you upload to the site, even though you own the copyrights of your photographs. By
clicking agree, you are giving this permission to Facebook. Even with a website like Wix.com,
one in which somebody can create his or her own website the terms of use agreement states that
by agreeing you allow Wix to use in perpetuity, worldwide and free of charge, any version of
your User Website (or any part thereof) for any of Wixs marketing and promotional activities,
online and/or offline, and modify it as reasonably required for such purposes, and you waive any
claims against Wix or anyone on its behalf relating to any past , present, or future moral rights,
artists rights, or any other similar worldwide that you may have in or to your User Website with
respect to such limited permitted uses (Wix.com). With digital photography, it is easier than
ever to post photographs directly to social media sites. This could be beneficial for the user, but
could potentially work out poorly if the user is not careful.
This brings up copyrights and how they apply to photographs. Copyrights protect works
that are either published or unpublished. Unlike patents, many works are protected by copyright
as soon as they are created. This means that as soon as you take a photograph, you own the rights

to it even if it has not yet been published or printed. Photographs do not have to be registered
with the United States Copyright office in order to be protected, but they must be registered if the
owner of the photographs desires to sue for copyright infringement of their photograph. These
rights apply to both photographs shot digitally and on film.
In regards to cinema, moving to a digital format for shooting movies could be very
beneficial for large companies in the industry such as Disney and Sony. These large studios
organized the Digital Cinema Initiatives in 2002. They realized that making the switch to digital
cinema could be very helpful for them as it would allow them to save very large amounts of
money. According to the article by Lisa Dombrowski, Not if, But When and How: Digital
Comes to the American Art House, IHS Screen Digest estimates digital will produce an 80 per
cent savings on direct releasing costs (Dombrowski 236). It would also allow for improvements
on the quality of 3D movies. The Digital Cinema Initiatives set a standard format for digital
cinema to be shown in to help make the transition from film go well. It required a certain form of
projection that met this standard and by mid-January 2012, 64 per cent of the approximately
39,500 screens in the United States were DCI-compliant, led by the screens of the three major
theater chains, AMC, Regal Entertainment, and Cinemark (Dombrowski 236). However, this
transition was met with more uncertainty by art houses due to questions about expected price and
longevity of systems, but as time has progressed more art houses have begun utilizing digital.
This is especially true for the art houses on the commercial level such as Sundance Cinemas.
A major distinction between film and digital photography and cinematography and film is
simply the convenience that digital offers to the person behind the camera. Michael Cioni stated,
You cant make film smaller. You cant make 35mm be 8K resolution no matter what you do.
You cant have a [film] camera be four pounds. You cant fit a 400-foot magazine in a smaller

space (Mateer 3). With photography, the control that one has over the images before and after a
digital exposure is immense. Stephen Frink, in the periodical titled Film vs. Digital. . ., covers
many points regarding the convenience that is provided by going digital. Photoshop has opened
up a multitude of options for the digital photographer including the ability to change exposure,
white balance, and other levels. Frink says, The controls in the new Adobe Photoshop Camera
RAW software mimic the white balance settings on the camera, and can replicate what would
have happened if a different white balance setting would have been chosen (Frink). Frink also
points out that digital cameras often allow the photographer to instantly see the output of the
device which allows him or her to learn at a much quicker pace. The photographer can see what
is happening on the spot and then make adjustments accordingly. With film, the photographer has
no way of knowing exactly how the image comes out until it is developed. Another point Frink
bring up is the massive amounts of photographs one can end up with while operating a digital
camera. Storage is relatively cheap and with digital cameras, it is easy to take hundreds of
pictures in a single night. The photographer then has to sort through all of those to find the
images worth keeping. While all of the storage available and the ability to take a photo and
simply delete it for no cost if it doesnt make the cut can easily be considered convenient, It can
quickly lead to very time consuming and tedious editing.
These changes in cinematography and still photography bring into question
cinematography as art. After all these changes in production, can cinematography still be
considered an art form? Well, if one defines cinematography in the same way as Owen Roizman,
they would still accept it as art. Roizman says, cinematography is an art-form but at the same
time it's a craft, and it is definitely a combination of the two . . . You have to light, you have to
compose and you have to create movement. Those are the three elements of cinematography

(Mateer 4). No matter if a cinematographer is working with film or digital, these elements
remain constant. The same goes for digital still photography. The medium on which the
photograph is recorded does not negate the time, effort, and thought put into creating a
meaningful image.
Whether or not the move from film to digital photography and cinematography was a
good or bad thing is hard to say. Film is, by no means, obsolete, and it is important to recognize
the strengths and weaknesses of both film and digital imaging. We should look at them both as
capable forms of capturing images, and not completely dismiss the possibility of using one or the
other. Some are partial to film while others barely touch it. Everybody has a different workflow
and preference. Sometimes it is nice to be able to sit down with family and rifle through a box a
physical manifestations of memories, but sometimes it is also nice to have a terabyte of
photographs neatly organized on something roughly the size of a small notebook. The question
of film or digital simply boils down to what works best for who.

Works Cited
"Cinematography. Glossaries." (n.d.): n. pag. National Media Museum, Jan. 11. Web. 8 Dec. 15.
"Copyright in General (FAQ) | U.S. Copyright Office." Copyright in General (FAQ) | U.S.
Copyright Office. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015.
Dombrowski, Lisa. "Not If, But When and How: Digital Comes to the American Art House."
Film History: An International Journal 2012: 235. JSTOR Journals. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.
"Facebook Logo." Terms of Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015.
Frink, Stephen. "Film vs. Digital: as the debate between film fans and pixel proponents rages on,
we take a look at what separates the two media and why you should care. (Photography)."
Rodale's Scuba Diving 2003: 98. Academic OneFile. Web. 10 Dec. 2015
Mateer, John. "Digital Cinematography: Evolution Of Craft Or Revolution In
Production?." Journal Of Film & Video 66.2 (2014): 3-14. Art Full Text (H.W. Wilson).
Web. 20 Nov. 2015.
"Wix.com Terms of Use." Wix. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2015.