I must live in some film bubble timewarp because virtually every photographer I know in Portland still shoots film. My photogroup Lightleak has eight to twelve members depending on what month it is and who shows up, and every one of us is a film shooter. Some scan negs and print digitally but most of us still use darkrooms, even the color shooters. They shoot C-41 and make prints at U-Develop, one of the last color rental darkrooms on the West Coast. We may be a quaint group but we're vibrant.
On the opposite side of Portland from U-Develop is Blue Moon, a photo shop which not only celebrates film but has leveraged it into a worldwide niche. If you send them film to be developed (even weird film like Minox or 127) they'll give you good old fashioned optical C-prints. Ten years ago this was common. Now it's Blue Moon or nothing, so people from all over the world send film there.
Maybe it's a regional thing. A few days ago on Fresh Air, author Gary Shteyngart said the Pacific Northwest is probably the last place in America that will still be reading novels in the future, long after the rest of the nation has succumbed to a steady diet of twitter, newsreaders, and disposable magazines. I have no idea if he's right. But I know that when it's dark and rainy out, which it is often here, I like to curl up with a good book and let my imagination roam. So maybe I'm in a book bubble.
Then there's my performance bubble. I know I can find all variety of very well acted dramas on television, and I can watch them at my convenience with the click of a remote. The camera angles often make me feel like I'm right there next to the characters. But sometimes TV doesn't cut it. Sometimes I like to drive to a place outside my home, go inside a dark room and see live actors saying things on a stage. I know, I know. It's really silly.
The same with food. I could probably gain all of my daily sustenance through a combination of vitamins, pills, and nutritional shakes. It would be fast, cheap, convenient, and futuristic. Nevertheless for most meals I tend to prefer actual food made from real plants and animals. It takes time to prepare, then eat, and there's often cleanup involved. Some people would probably say it's a waste of time but here in my food bubble that's just how we roll.
I probably seem like a hopeless romantic, all mushy about "real" things and authenticity. Look at the proud Luddite writing yet another film/digital diatribe. And I haven't even touched on typewriters or walking or live music or a hundred other bubbles I inhabit.
I'm fine being mushy. I know full well that I live in a film timewarp. I know the writing is on the wall, that my bubble will be pricked eventually, perhaps very soon. All I can say is, however far off that time is, I'm going to stick with it to the end. I'm going down with the ship.