The Paul Pride Project - Update II

Well that was quick. Another update in less than 24 hours. Just a quick note really. Immediately after posting yesterday's update I went outside with the Nikon FE 50mm f/1.8 Series E mounted and loaded up with Fujifilm Superia 200. I shot all 24 frames in about 5 or 10 minutes as I walked from my back door and up the street a little ways. I just wanted to get this done with. So now I am done - 24 images of StupidCrap™ that I will have processed at the nearest drug store today. Maybe even another update. Maybe tomorrow, we'll see what comes up.

So why the notes? Well a couple of things I thought I would update anyone interested in this little forage into the woods on. First was my feeling as I burned up a measly 24 frames of really cheap $1/roll consumer Fujifilm. I had a pang of regret as I shot StupidCrap™. I felt like it was a waste - and it was. I knew the images were lousy of nothing subject matter than neither I nor anyone else would give a hoot about. I will probably post a few when I retrieve them from the crappy processing. I felt bad as I randomly burned up those 24 frames that I wasn't pointing my camera at anything remotely interesting.

I don't feel this way when I randomly snap shit with digital and I guess that's my point. It's not a question of free pictures vs paid for pictures in film vs digital it's really a case of are you wasting your time… Is what you are pointing your camera at really what you should be pointing your camera at? Whatever it is, it's probably not going to get a whole lot better in the next frame or the next 1000. Shooting film where there is a limit - a small limit at that - to the number of frames you can shoot and an associated cost in time and $ is a really really good reminder that if something doesn't feel right or is not working it's probably a good idea to move on. Not after 1000 shots but after one - maybe two.

It's not a case of the money - it's a case of you could be shooting something actually good right now. I probably could have actually made some good pictures if I would have spent another 15 minutes. If I walked down the road just a little further. If I spent the energy to just push it a tiny tiny bit more.

I advocate shooting film for a bunch of reasons. A big one being that it's sort of a level set that bleeds into your thought process when you are shooting digital. If what you are shooting is just crap - MOVE ON - CHANGE IT, not later, not after 100 or 1000 pictures but right now. I guess yesterday I had the reverse happen. My digital "shoot a bunch of images of nothing" sort of bled over to my film and it felt bad. It felt way worse than if I happened to do the same thing with my X100S. Food for thought.

Moving on, I decided that I am going to send Paul a couple rolls of 24 exposure consumer Fuji to get started. Why? Well, he seemed to like the image at the top of this post. Just something random I shot the other day on the same Consumer Fuji Superia 200 at my communities annual 4th of July celebration. It's kind of hard to screw up shallow depth of field ice cream, waffles, and strawberries in open shade type lighting. Actually it's impossible to screw up… More pertinent to the discussion though is a cheap, easy, foolproof way of getting acclimated to this whole film thing with something that most 1 hour mini-labs can process and correct with very similar results around the world.

The answer to that is Consumer Fuji. Cheap, ubiquitous, a known quantity that drug store type processing will find it hard to screw up. I tweaked the white balance a hair in ACR for the above shot. I do mean a hair. It's typical of Fuji colors which Paul is used to and pretty much achievable world wide. I also felt Paul would feel better and more at ease knowing that each roll is only about a buck along with the fact he can shoot 50% less images and get cheap processing for his first few rolls rather than the pressure of expensive Pro film that may have iffy results unless he uses matching expensive pro processing and color correction.

The shot at the top is a perfect example of something that seems to happen with film. That shot was the very next one after this one…

Both look pretty good. I only shot two. Not two hundred but two. The first one I shot a little further back and wanted some menu context along with the spoon and the hand at the top of the frame. I actually didn't see the kids hand in the lower part of the frame when I shot the image. I saw it immediately after as he pulled back thinking he just ruined my shot and I would be mad or something. Instead I though that it would actually work better if he were to grab it. So I told him to go ahead and take it - I would take a picture of that. Hence the shot at the top which I like better. Two shots and done. I know I would have shot 20 with digital. Why bother? Would they be better - they would probably be about the same. Here I was done and I moved on to shooting something else instead of wasting time shooting a bunch of the same shots. Again it's not a matter of if you can - it's a matter of if you should… While you are shooting similar or exactly the same shots of something you obviously cannot be shooting something else which in most cases is probably a far better idea that will net you more diversity and most likely a far higher percentage of images you actually like.


Ps. On another interesting note - The FE I chose to send to Paul actually had an old roll of Konica VX100 film loaded and shot in it. It's not mine. It's whoever owned the camera before I did. I am a little on the fence as to whether I should get it processed or not. I am curious. Well I won't decide today. What do you think?

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