Discussion in 'Portraiture' started by Douglas Benton, Jun 2, 2012.
After years of digital I'm shooting 4x5 film again for fun.
Welcome Home Douglas !
Welcome to APUG!
Thank you much. I have indeed been made to feel welcome. This is a great forum.
Welcome to A.P.U.G Douglas, you just don't get that sort of quality and tonality you get with 4X5 with digital.
That may be true eventually, but right now, for me, I have a lot more control and I know what I'm doing with digital. I started shooting digital professionally and stopped shooting film in about 2002. Prior to that I shot 2 1/4 and 4x5, a little 8x10, mostly E6. Even though I was shooting it every day, I didn't process and print my own work, so it was really a lot longer since I have done much in the dark room.
Even though I liked digital, my decision to shoot it was not really a personal choice. The market I was working in, pretty much demanded it. There were a couple of hold outs who continued to shoot film for a while, but they were losing clients who wanted the immediacy of film. Art directors had always been willing to wait for their images to run through the lab, but once they had the taste, they often wanted to take the files with them at the end of the shoot. It was a huge shift in what and how we did things. I actually started creating better images than I did when I shot film. It wasn't that digital was better, but that I had more control. I don't have that control with film yet with the processing and scanning. I'm shooting film that's more than a decade out of date, and developing in my bathroom, and I'm just figuring out how to scan.
If I am the end user, It's all about the image. I don't necessarily care how the image was created. However, as the creator, the process is a big part of it.
I'm having a great time rediscovering the love for the process (most of the time).
I hope you enjoy your return to film. Digital really has transformed life over the past decade or decade-and-a-half, I very much agree. This isn't even limited to photography, but really much of our technology and culture has changed as a result of digital technology, particularly the internet.
The portraits you made are just stunning. They both have a very certain magical quality to it that I've never really seen before (I'm not very well read on large format, though, I just know 35mm and 120). I hope to see more of your portraits on here!
Welcome to APUG! Nice portraits.
Some of the "you don't get that with digital" factor is the lenses available for larger formats - especially when you get into the bigger-than-4x5 formats. Very little can hold a candle (in a modern-ish lens) to a Kodak Commercial Ektar for a portrait lens, something you'd never be able to take advantage of with digital in any currently available format (well, maybe a BetterLight 4x5 scanning back, but you get the idea). And a Verito, Vesta, Vitax or Heliar? Fuggedaboutit!
Welcome back to analog large format. And don't stop at just 4x5! I shot 4x5 for a while, then size creep kicked in, and now I'm mostly shooting 6.5x8.5 (yes you can get film for that) and 5x7, but I have a 14x17 in my arsenal. Nothing quite like a life-size headshot, contact printed.
Nice work! Keep shooting 4x5 film!
Welcome, fun stuff there.
Really nice portraits!
*apologies for resurrecting an old thread*
Hey folks, I'm not very familiar with medium format gear. In the photo of the girl with the glasses I'm having trouble understanding the focal point. It's her eyes, sure, but then her shoulder is out of focus yet her lower sweater remains focused. How does that work?
Her eyes are well forward of her shoulder; she may even be doing the turtle move (to prevent double-chins; I try to do it in every frontal portrait I'm in). Shoulders are probably a good 7 to 10cm behind the eyes, so well out of focus. Arms come forward a bit and back into the plane of focus.
Secondly, these are 4x5 portraits (not medium format), which means they were probably shot with a view camera. Such things allow you to control the plane of focus by tilting the lens, which allows (for example) a photo with the eyes in focus but everything else (below the nose and above the fringe) dramatically blurred. Not the case here, but it's an option.
Her eyes are essentially the same distance from the camera as the lower part of her sweater.
Her shoulder is farther from the camera, so it is out of focus.
The only role played by the film format is that medium or large format will have less inherent depth of field then 35mm or smaller formats, because the lenses used for the larger formats need to have longer focal lengths to achieve the same field of view from the same camera position.
EDIT: oops, as polyglot mentioned ahead of me, as these are 4x5 portraits there may also be some camera movements involved
First of all, i would like to say that your work is so nice and appreciated after a long time. Keep your work spirit as well as you have.
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