Tags Posts tagged with "Film Photography"

Film Photography

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One of the fabulous things about street photography is the myriad of different styles it offers. All different flavours and colours of shooting can fall under the street photography genre umbrella: black and white street photography, street portraits, colour street photography, slow shutter speed street photography, and of course flash street photography and off-camera flash street photography to name but a few! The technique I want to discuss today is a really effective one to use if you are a street photographer who enjoys creating street shots with punchy, powerful graphic quality, often with natural light, but sometimes even with artificial light. It is known as high contrast street photography.

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What I learned from Film Street Photography cover

ATTENTION

The following views do not necessarily represent the views of the whole StreetHunters team.


Still, in 2017 the debate between digital and film rages on. Digital may have won the technological and consumer battle, but the struggle for hearts and minds continues ad infinitum. There continue to be countless street photographers who love shooting with film and maintain that it is the best way to go. Film still offers one of the best bang-for-your-buck initial investments into the world of cameras and particularly street photography (though more on that later), and is a fully traditional process practiced by the great masters of street photography, and a medium that has been refined through years and years of gentle evolution. It is grown-up, mature, tried and tested. Digital, by contrast (and in the grand scheme of things) is still in its infancy. While it has overtaken film in several technical aspects – light sensitivity (ISO) and size (ie the ability to squeeze sensors and cameras into our smartphones) being just two examples – in other respects digital continues to evolve and require finessing. The digital street photographer is still playing and experimenting with a medium in flux, and one where they still (if successfully lured into it) have to take part in the constant arms race and never ending hamster wheel of new gear (read sensors) through gear acquisition syndrome. It’s not necessary, but it’s an easy trap to fall into. No such issues with film. And then there’s that intangible quality. The utterly subjective (and to an extent invented) and the mythical. The glorious analogue nature of a process that as times seems like witchcraft made real. Light and chemistry coming together to create something not alive, but packed full of character and imperfection. Where silicon wafers and ones and zeros are replaced with something altogether more powerful. Something with soul. Or so it goes. As a millennial, raised on 35mm disposal and compact cameras in the ‘90s but cutting my teeth and really ‘learning’ solely on digital in the noughties, I owed it to myself to give film a shot. So read on for my experience of using film in street photography.

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Film canisters

Introduction

These days it feels as if everyone is shooting with digital cameras. The reasons are many, but the basic and most obvious one is that like everything else surrounding us, photography too has been digitised. Digital photography produces great results, just as good as film, and some even claim it has now surpassed film. More and more amazing high quality Full Frame and APS-C sensors are being squeezed into small modern cameras with tremendous abilities. But still, there are Street Hunters out there that prefer film over digital. The Romantics of photography, the analogue masters of light. Why though? Why would someone living in our time choose to still use film over digital in Street Photography? What could film offer that digital can’t do even better? I have thought about this many times, especially during my transition from digital to film 2 years ago and I’m come up with 13 reasons why I think you should shoot film in Street Photography.

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Olympus Trip

Well, I did “it”.

I succumbed to peer pressure. Analog bullying, if you will.

I bought a film camera.

You might be saying, “pfft, what’s the big deal?” Well, it is a big deal. I’ve been a digital loyalist from the get-go. I’ve triumphed the ease and convenience of digital cameras for over a year. It’s all I know. Now, in my second full year of being “into” photography, it’s all I’ve shot. An Olympus e620 and the wonderful Sony NEX 5n and 6 cameras. I’ve been so in love with NEX cameras, that I believed I’d never stray. I own three prime lenses, the Sony 35mm and 50mm 1.8 and the Sigma 30mm 2.8. I love them all, but the 35 stays mounted most of the time. The NEX 6 and these lenses still surprise me to this day. How can this quirky looking camera and these relatively inexpensive pieces of glass produce great images with a novice (yes, I still consider myself a novice) behind the lens?

And the speed and ease of it all. Everything is fast. Fun putting the camera up, to downplaying the images and then to editing.

Ah, editing. So easy. I just adjust a few sliders in Lightroom and voila! Done! And I know squat about Lightroom. I’ve only been using it for a few months and really have no idea of what it’s capable of. Someday, I’ll get on that. I have a book. The free time I have, if not spent shooting, is looking at images or reading about great photographers.

So why, why did I buy a film camera?

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Casper's Yashica

Introduction

Theres been a lot of talk and banter on our G+ community page regarding film over digital. Street Hunters are quite divided on the subject; digital is the lazy art of photography, and analogue some weird ju ju akin to Alchemy or digital shooters are the jedi masters of speed and agility and film buffs doddery relics of a golden age.

I shoot digital, although as an artist I believe having a fixed position, especially when in the early stages of your training is restricting. So with that in mind, a  few weeks ago I happened to be browsing through E-Bay and stumbled upon a Yashica Electro 35. £9 plus £6.15 p+p.( please use a currency converter – in short the camera was being sold for less than four pints of lager) In the description the owner had written ‘ This was my grandfathers, I think it still works.’ As a sucker for the sentimental I was now riven with E-Bay fever. Click, and after 17hrs of waiting, the e-mail arrived! I was now the owner of the Yashica. It arrived 6 days later, and these are my thoughts.

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Marble Arch by Anton Fortein

NOTE: This is a Guest Blog post written by Anton Fortein for www.streethunters.net


It could be that deep down I’m a bit of a hipster, an old-school hipster. I’m certainly old enough (having been born before the moon landings) to remember a pre-digital time. A time before Windows NT 3.1 powered systems invaded the workspace, and commodore 64 consoles were a distant memory. And more importantly, I’m young enough not to be seen as an old fart who goes on and on about the ‘good old days’

It could be that I don’t earn enough money (or been given, won or saved enough) to afford a top of the range DSLR, or a mirrorless system camera. I do however have a few ‘old school’ mirrorless cameras… lovingly called rangefinders. Gone are the days of picking up a ‘like new’ YASHICA 35GT, but a few good deals on The Bay are still to be had.