Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Experiment in Film

So, as I've mentioned a few times on this blog, I've recently begun experimenting with film photography.  Don't get me wrong, I still love my Canon EOS 50D DSLR camera and I believe it's been an amazing tool that has helped me obtain my creative vision with my images.  However, there's something very authentic about film photography.  There's no instant gratification.  With digital, you can immediately react to the image you just shot and answer the following questions:  Did I get the right exposure?  Did I frame the shot as I envisioned it?  Did I achieve the composition I set out to achieve?  Did I waste an exposure or did I take a quality image?  It may be weeks before you receive the answers to those questions when shooting film, but that's part of the fun.  Film photography also allows you to be more selective with what you decide to shoot, where as if you are shooting with a digital camera, you can just fire away and switch out memory cards once the current one is full.  There are so many film cameras available today that were made decades ago; and they still work.  All you need is the correct film and you're off shooting with a vintage camera.  Will we be saying that about our current digital cameras decades from now?  Absolutely not.  Digital cameras are full of the latest electronic technology; technology that becomes obsolete almost immediately.  The cameras today aren't built to last decades.  We have become so consumed with immediate gratification that the fundamentals of photography are now a lost art.  Pictures are sent from a memory card onto a computer; they can be lost in the shuffle with hundreds, even thousands of digital files never to end up on a print.  You can't replace the feeling of getting your negatives and prints back after shooting a roll of film.  It's exciting and it makes me want to go out and shoot many more rolls of film until I produce the results I know I'm capable of producing.  Film is not dead and is currently experiencing a renaissance; if you're interested, go to your local thrift store, hit up a garage sale, estate sale or auction, or head over to eBay and pick up a vintage camera, a roll of film and have fun.

The subsequent post will contain what was my second roll of film ever.  The images do not compare to the standards set by my digital images, but they are a great deal better than my first roll of film.  I shot the images with my Canon AE-1P, Canon FL 50mm lens and Kodak Tri-X 400 black and white negative film.  Feel free to comment and critique and stay tuned for more rolls.  Don't worry digital heads, I'll still be shooting with my 50D and posting those images as well.

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