Sunday, March 13, 2016

Shooting film - because it is better

I have been shooting a single role of medium format film for the past 8 months. (Kodak TMax 400, 120 film, for those that want to know.) Here are all 15 exposures on that role of film.

This all started during a long e-mail conversation with a friend of my dads. at some point in the conversation, I mentioned how I have always loved the look of medium format slides that we have in our work archives. A couple weeks later, an entire Mamiya 645 1000s kit (4 lenses too!) showed up at my door. 

Shooting film has been a lesson in the basics. Not as much exposure, but intentionally. I really think about shots before I hit the shutter. not just because each frame costs money, but of how much work it takes to get that frame back.

And that is why film is better. I never said at what, mind you. At least for me, film is better at making me think about the frames I am getting, and to be supper intentional about the shutter release.

Film is not better at image quality, I will say that. In fact, I used a digital camera to digitize these images (more on that later) but what it is better at (from a quality stand point) is dynamic range (more on that later too).

I made a huge mistake here at the end. I was unaware that i had to seal the film once it was done. I was puzzled that there was nothing to seal the film after it was on the spool. I found out later that i had to lick a flap of paper to activate the glue (think mailing envelope) to keep the spool tight. i did not do this. Therefore, there was substantial light leakage at the end here. But to be honest, i thought i would have lost a lot more than I did. Also there are odd Kodak watermarks through the images...not sure if that is the film developer (therefore not my fault0 or if it is another side effect of the sealing failure on my part.

I hope I have more to come about this project, and at least 3 more roles to shoot and share.