Film Film Film - blah blah blah

Film costs money - processing cost money - cameras cost money. All true. I am preparing to shoot some crappy images again for my community's Fourth Of July picnic. Somehow I get elected to do this every year. Most of the time I shoot digital and get home, upload, done. Last year I shot a little bit of film and mostly digital. I wasn't trying to do a bake off. For some reason or another I just wanted to blow through some remnants of old shit that I had laying around. I felt "iffy" about using it for anything that was really important to me… I felt guilty about letting it go do seed, more guilty about chucking it in the trash, and even apprehensive about spending good money on processing bad film.

When shooting some snaps of the fourth of July picnic came around I figured I would just blow through the mixed bag of crap and be done with it along with some shitty Walgreen's process and scans. Honestly I am there to have fun - not shoot like I am working or something… I will treat it the same way this year with a slight difference…

Last year I had only one roll of expired (dozen year out of date) Portra 160VC and a mixed bag of expired Fuji 200 I don't even know where they came from. Specifically 4 rolls of 24 exposure. I ended up using all of it up save a few frames on one of the Fuji rolls. I had 10 times more digital images. Some of the better scenes were on digital. Guess which images actually "looked" better. The film. Film is really great at real world light - specifically negative film is. All of it looked good. Not the greatest pictures but they looked good.

Just random crap in random real-world light (usually sub-optimal). Heck even the totally forked Portra looks pretty darn good in lousy overhead light…

It has to do with that "contrast in all the right places" vs all the wrong places thing… It's also as easy as falling off a log to shoot in just about any light with a couple of really broad techniques like - make sure you give liberal exposure. It has a saturation vs contrast curve that I find far more natural and attractive than non-forked with digital…

When you actually point it at things in light that looks great it get's even more better still…

The really really cool part is that when you point it at light that looks really really good that's NOT flat it still makes nice pictures…

You see - the above is one of those extremely rare circumstances where you have sunshine and deep shade in one scene (sarcasm in the extreme). I like that property of being able to take a picture that looks good of a scene that looks good. How strange a concept??? For those of you that rather futz around making 5 exposures and then blend them in HDR fad of the day for something as basic as this - have at it. Me - ummm rather just shoot the stinking picture. You think an X100 in DR400% looks this good in sun + shade, think again…

Okay so, I am thinking this year of actually shooting film and digital again. Only this time using actually good film and a decent lab and treating the film with a bit more respect. While I was going through this in my mind I started having a chat with a photographer that I very very much enjoy - Paul Pride. I like what he points his camera at we had an enjoyable little conversation regarding the X-cams, etc. and one thing led to another - film.

I made an offer and so I stick to it I am going public - I offered to send him an SLR and some film on my dime (his processing dime) if he would shoot film - just a little bit. Like one roll a month - 36 pictures. That's nothing. He says he'll hit me up tonight and we'll discuss details (like me figuring out the best starter kit for him that I have laying around). I hope he does take me up on it. Maybe I will make it a little more fun and spice it up so we can follow what he's up to , here his thoughts on the whole deal good bad or indifferent as well as give him some feedback on what we think of his little film excursion.

Thoughts?

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