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Author Topic: Newbie question  (Read 2604 times)
Chris Calohan
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« on: April 24, 2012, 08:08:11 AM »
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When I joined this forum, I made the mistake of assuming it was another all-digital forum. As it turns out, and I guess I am gathering this information by looking at the "For Sale" thread, a good many of you are still shooting film. Does anyone have an idea what the ratio is film to digital or to the overwhelming advantage each sees in the medium?
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Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 08:25:35 AM »
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Ratios? No idea - maybe we are all closet filmies.

Advantages to disadvantages? With film you learned hard lessons you never forgot; with digital I don't believe you learn much at all: it costs you nothing. What you do pick up is an exaggerated sense of your own value as a photographer because the camera technology is so advanced that it becomes almost idiot proof.

However, what neither medium can do is put ideas into your head. You have to educate yourself by looking, trying to understand why you find something attractive and, ultimately, just how much the concept of making images is going to mean to you in your life.

Rob C
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 08:33:29 AM »
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I am a reluctant convert who still takes his film cameras out into the field and shoots to remind himself of how nice it is to see an image emerge from the developer. Unfortunately, so many years in the darkroom has made me allergic to most of the chemistry and my time there has to be limited. Recently, I've taken a different approach and am using the digital image to make a digitally curved negative and doing alternative processes such as Salt, Albumen, Platinum/Palladium and even an odd excursion into Cyanotype (mostly for an underlayment to a salted and toned print).

It is a good marriage of technology and filmic technique/understanding.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 09:59:09 AM »
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I'm working hybrid:
120 film -> scanner -> digital print
Its a lot of work, but IMO rewarding.
Digital printing if done right is superior to enlargements (with some very special exceptions) and shooting film I still can keep the film look.
And the quality/cost ratio is quite good if you're shooting under amateur conditions (pro's is a different calculation).
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David Sutton
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 05:53:35 PM »
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Hello. I have started shooting 120 film again (scan-digital print). It's been interesting going back to antique processes. I find it a fun sideline but tedious for serious shooting. I develop my B&W film myself and send out the colour. The quality of the colour processing is now on the whole poor, it is nearly impossible to get a dust-free scan and apart from having to be careful not to touch the chemicals (I'm now really allergic to them even though it's 40 years since I last developed film) the big drawback for me is the limited palette, for want of a better word. I place strong limits on what I will do to an image, but I want those limits to be further down the processing pipeline than at the point of capture. With digital I can easily shoot enough frames “in the field” in order to realise what I visualise in ways difficult or impossible with film. Christoph must be getting better results where he lives and with his scanning than I am able to achieve.
Good luck to you making your own digital negatives and  doing alternative processes. I am quite keen to try that as well. Especially as my two film cameras are a 1915 Kodak Autographic Special and a 1911 Thornton Pickard Imperial Pocket Folding. The files  have a look that would suit early techniques.
Rob- you hit the nail on the head with your final comment. But I have to say that what I mean by now finding film tedious is that it sucks. But I rather suspect that is not a very polite term, so I have come up with the following synonyms: tiresome, wretched, execrable, unsatisfactory, perverse, miserable, inadequate. Wrong. Feel free to use any of these terms for referring to this post. Smiley
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2012, 12:33:33 AM »
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Hello. I have started shooting 120 film again (scan-digital print). It's been interesting going back to antique processes. I find it a fun sideline but tedious for serious shooting. I develop my B&W film myself and send out the colour. The quality of the colour processing is now on the whole poor, it is nearly impossible to get a dust-free scan and apart from having to be careful not to touch the chemicals (I'm now really allergic to them even though it's 40 years since I last developed film) the big drawback for me is the limited palette, for want of a better word. I place strong limits on what I will do to an image, but I want those limits to be further down the processing pipeline than at the point of capture. With digital I can easily shoot enough frames “in the field” in order to realise what I visualise in ways difficult or impossible with film. Christoph must be getting better results where he lives and with his scanning than I am able to achieve.
Good luck to you making your own digital negatives and  doing alternative processes. I am quite keen to try that as well. Especially as my two film cameras are a 1915 Kodak Autographic Special and a 1911 Thornton Pickard Imperial Pocket Folding. The files  have a look that would suit early techniques.
Rob- you hit the nail on the head with your final comment. But I have to say that what I mean by now finding film tedious is that it sucks. But I rather suspect that is not a very polite term, so I have come up with the following synonyms: tiresome, wretched, execrable, unsatisfactory, perverse, miserable, inadequate. Wrong. Feel free to use any of these terms for referring to this post. Smiley

We have at least two very good labs here in Hamburg (One of them is developing the IT8 targets for Lasersoft).
They even do push developments (+1 or +2 stops) if I ask for that.
Concerning dust - with IR dust and scratch removal together with the wet scanning technique I use I couldn't care less - its almost a non-issue.
The exception is  black and white silver halide film, since IR techniques don't work here due to IR diffraction at the the silver grains.
But for color negative film or slides I do really very little spotting.
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David Sutton
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2012, 01:31:00 AM »
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Hi Christoph.
You are lucky to have such good labs.
I think wet scanning is probably the way to go, but for the small number of scans I do in a month it isn't worth the effort for me. I'm using a Betterscanning holder and glass to keep the negs flat, and that tends to rule out using IR dust removal. I think I'm happier spending a little time cloning rather than having to re-scan because the image isn't sharp!
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Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2012, 02:54:23 AM »
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I'm working hybrid:
120 film -> scanner -> digital print
Its a lot of work, but IMO rewarding.
Digital printing if done right is superior to enlargements (with some very special exceptions) and shooting film I still can keep the film look.
And the quality/cost ratio is quite good if you're shooting under amateur conditions (pro's is a different calculation).




As we discussed: you are no longer a simple photographer, you have become a hybridisist. That'll look far more impressive on any future A.S.!

;-)

Rob C
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Chris Pollock
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2012, 08:08:09 AM »
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Advantages to disadvantages? With film you learned hard lessons you never forgot; with digital I don't believe you learn much at all: it costs you nothing. What you do pick up is an exaggerated sense of your own value as a photographer because the camera technology is so advanced that it becomes almost idiot proof.
I don't know about that - there are still plenty of ways to screw up with a digital camera. One popular technique is to shoot handheld in a dim room with a slow lens and no flash.
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Rob C
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2012, 10:41:59 AM »
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I don't know about that - there are still plenty of ways to screw up with a digital camera. One popular technique is to shoot handheld in a dim room with a slow lens and no flash.



Couldn't agree more: was a time that the BJP used to publish 'Portfolios' from, mainly, students trying to start off in the business. (Quite why any magazine would be so cruel as to encourage embarkation in/on such an unseaworthy craft I fail to fathom!) Anyway, those portfolios often featured wonderful images made from those initial, exciting, challenging 'film wind-on' exposures folks used to make when loading their 35mm cameras with film.

In an attempt to prove that nothing had been lost to the digital seductions, I did the same thing here when winding on the sensor in my telephone-equipped camera (or is that the other way around?): exactly as you suggested - low light, slow shutter and definitely no flash.

Rob C
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William Walker
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2012, 02:38:48 PM »
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Couldn't agree more: was a time that the BJP used to publish 'Portfolios' from, mainly, students trying to start off in the business. (Quite why any magazine would be so cruel as to encourage embarkation in/on such an unseaworthy craft I fail to fathom!) Anyway, those portfolios often featured wonderful images made from those initial, exciting, challenging 'film wind-on' exposures folks used to make when loading their 35mm cameras with film.

In an attempt to prove that nothing had been lost to the digital seductions, I did the same thing here when winding on the sensor in my telephone-equipped camera (or is that the other way around?): exactly as you suggested - low light, slow shutter and definitely no flash.

Rob C

Hey Rob

I'm pleased to see you have not lost your touch...you should put that one up next door so we can give it the critique it deserves!

William
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2012, 04:29:03 PM »
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Rob,

I was surprised at the title on your latest photo. I would have expected something more like "The Triumph of Good over Evil" or possibly "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire."

I think it expresses both of those nicely, but I'm not sure of the significance of Iberian Chairs.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 03:54:26 AM »
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Rob,

I was surprised at the title on your latest photo. I would have expected something more like "The Triumph of Good over Evil" or possibly "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire."

I think it expresses both of those nicely, but I'm not sure of the significance of Iberian Chairs.



So what's wrong with referencing Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2012, 03:55:19 AM »
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Hey Rob

I'm pleased to see you have not lost your touch...you should put that one up next door so we can give it the critique it deserves!

William



I have stress enough already!

;-)

Rob C
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2012, 07:39:58 AM »
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I'm working hybrid:
120 film -> scanner -> digital print
Its a lot of work, but IMO rewarding.
Digital printing if done right is superior to enlargements (with some very special exceptions) and shooting film I still can keep the film look.
And the quality/cost ratio is quite good if you're shooting under amateur conditions (pro's is a different calculation).


www.clydebutcher.com  Look at his 36" x 46" enlargements and tell me an equal sized digital print will stand up to Clyde's standards. His work is stunning, to say the least; it is freakin' magnificent to get closer to the truth. However, in fairness, Clyde aslso does 30 x 40 digital prints which are almost flawless.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 07:41:57 AM by chrisc » Logged

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