It’s not Film versus Digital, it’s film and digital, because we need both. Digital is perfect, clean, linear, predictable, and reliable. For professional photography it’s indispensable. Debating camera brands (Nikon vs. Sony vs. Canon) is a fairly useless exercise because that very flexible file is what we care about most. Digital’s uniformity doesn’t allow for much variation of aesthetic. But with film photography every camera has its own visual personality, and every film has its own look and feel. The perfection of digital leaves little to chance but with film even the slightest imperfection can create beautiful photographic artifacts in an image. Film photography creates it’s own aesthetic based on the variables of camera, lens, filter, film type, and processing.
Shooting film also has a hidden advantage: it’s a slower process. With a film camera every frame directly costs money and creates an object to deal with. You can only carry so many rolls of film,and a day of photography has a finite number of exposures. The film photographer has to be more thoughtful and patient, working for the perfect combination of subject, light, composition, and exposure. A slower pace and invested dedication to each frame will result in more time to think through your pictures and make photographing a more meditative practice. A great lesson for all photographers.
Film is stuff, it’s cellulose, silver, dye, photomechanics, chemistry, and physics. Successful film photography requires a knowledge of the basics of the stuff of film to make truly amazing pictures. And that’s the main idea of the Beyond the Photograph Shoot Film! Class.
Shoot Film! is four sessions of discovering what your film camera can do, how different films work, what kind of pictures work best on film, how to get quality processing, and what to do with all that film once it’s back from the lab. Along the way we’ll look at resolution, filters, film types, camera tips, perfecting exposure, altering color and contrast, scanning, printing, and much more.
So how about that old Canon AE1, Nikon FM, or Voigtländer Bressa sitting in a box in your closet? What secrets does it hold? Shoot Film! Will help you turn that old camera into an aesthetic learning machine. Virtually any film camera with exposure controls that uses a format that is currently available (35mm, 120mm, 4”x 5”) will work for Shoot Film! If you don’t have a film camera don’t worry,ebay.com is a great way to pick up a terrific older camera for very little money.
2 Rolls E-6 type Slide film
2 Rolls C-41 type Color Negative film
2 Rolls B&W film
(about $40.00 through B&H)
Processing averages $10 to $20 per roll
Shoot Film! Meets every other Saturday beginning March 4th at 11:15am
Limited to eight students. Register today: