why film | huntsville alabama fine art photographer

why film? this seems to be the question most of my peers are asking. photographers and clients alike…why film? why wouldn’t you just shoot digital if film is so tricky?

well…let’s go back a few years 🙂

when i was 4 years old, i remember picking up my first camera. my paw paw’s polaroid. i loved that the picture would pop out after a few minutes and you could fan the image around while it developed on the paper. i absolutely loved the sound of the shutter, the sound of the film progressing through the roll after clicking the shutter and then the image!

when i was in elementary school, a new toy was the must have toy for christmas! it was a little polaroid camera that printed tiny sticker pictures. i was in love! i had to have it. and then i spent all of my allowance on the film!

there are so many types of film cameras. but i choose to shoot 35mm film and 120mm film cameras. my favorite film camera is my pentax 645nii. this is a bulkier camera than a 35mm would be, but the image quality is so much better! the negative is actually larger and it is a different ratio. instead of the typical 4×6 image ratio of a modern day digital camera, the negative is 6×4.5. i think the ratio is a more flattering ratio for vertically shot images.

shooting film has really taught me to slow down. each frame costs money. i know that every time i click my shutter i am spending $1-$2 for that shot. you learn to frame with more purpose and try to capture the right moment rather than all of the in between moments.

my pentax uses 120mm film, like what is picture below. you just unroll the outer layer of tape on the film, place the spool in the start portion of the film back and then place the other end into the slot on the opposite spool and twist until you see the “start” line on the film! it’s very easy. my 35mm camera automatically winds the film for you, so that one is a little quicker to load.because you don’t have a digital back to the camera to immediately see what you’ve shot, you have to learn to expose for the type of image you want to create. that’s where a light meter comes in handy. i use a Sekonic L-358 light meter that I purchased on eBay when i ordered my pentax. the light meter allows you to measure for your shadows or your highlights in natural and artificial light. it takes the guessing work out of it!since i love the images taken with my pentax 645nii, i’ll share a quick comparison of film vs. digital 🙂 in this first set, the film image is on the left, the digital is on the right. although both are beautiful, i prefer the color and depth of the film image! film is a lot more forgiving of highlights too…you can see that on the left in the mom’s dress where as on the right image, her dress is a little more blown out.

the image below, film is on the right and digital on the left. again, the color and depth of the film image makes my heart skip a beat! here is an example of straight up film work from my lab The Find Lab.

to read a little more about why film

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