Can Film and Digital Be Friends?

photo by Laina Briedis

If you ask any photographer, you will find that they’ll have some serious passionate responses when it comes to the digital vs. film debate. But what if it didn’t have to be a versus relationship? What if we could combine new technology with the old ways to make something surreal?

That’s just what photographer Laina Briedis did. Laina’s images are created by stacking 35mm negatives when scanning them into Photoshop. She chose to do this with pictures of the night sky and portraits of people resulting in some beautifully dreamy images.

In an interview with blog PetaPixel,Laina says “If you’re good with Photoshop and would like even more control over which parts of your photographs are more prominent, you can even use two individually scanned negatives as separate layers. By erasing parts of one image, you allow the other image to show through more (creating a stacked-negative look). This I suppose would be like the digital equivalent of dodging and burning.”

photo by Laina Briedis

This simply means you scan your negatives individually, combine them on top of each other in Photoshop, and erase parts of each image to allow others to show through. This is what results in the dreamy layers that she has created with the sky and people.
When I saw this I was blown away. I am educated as a photojournalist and we are taught that film was used by the gods, photoshop is the devil, and anything surreal is just another type of art form, or even worse, graphic design. But seeing that this photographer used something from the past, negatives that were just sitting around gathering dust, to make these images gave me so much hope that film and its uses are not fading away. This is the ultimate recycled art in my opinion. Recycling old art to make new art in combination with current technology yields such astounding results.

This technique takes a bit of practice and more photography knowledge than just knowing how to click a shutter button but at the same time is easily learned and attainable. Hopefully I can try this out myself if I want to walk the line of truth in Photoshop Purgatory. Maybe.

photo by Laina Briedis

8 thoughts on “Can Film and Digital Be Friends?

  1. So interesting how the old and the new can combine to make such crazy art. Kinda makes you wonder why so many pit the two, digital and film, against each other.

    • I think you should continue it! I for one think your articles are fascinating…. Keep up the good work. Too bad I’m not the teacher…I’d give you a AAA+ LOL

  2. Awesome article, I always thought of “photo shopping” as only taking out the bad stuff ….hmmm very interesting to know that it can create an outstanding photo combining digital and film…yes yes keep the articles coming, love reading , your talent is amazing 🙂

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