Need to learn more - have I come to the right place? ;-)

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the APUG Community' started by portrait_giver, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. portrait_giver

    portrait_giver Member

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    Hi folks, just wanted to introduce myself. I'm Jennifer, hailing from Adelaide (South Australia). I'm a professional digital photographer, but when it comes to film, I get nervous. If I may be honest. I've come here with the hope to learn more about film, and to get inspired all-round.

    If you could only have one tip for someone that is about to make some serious mess with film, what would it be? ;-)

    Nice to meet you all. Cheers.
     
  2. segedi

    segedi Member

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    Just give it a shot! Or 36 :smile:
    I have a lot I'd fun trying different things out - you'll learn a lot here. Welcome aboard.
     
  3. nhemann

    nhemann Member

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    Just remember that the rabbit hole is pretty deep, and getting lost is most of the fun....
     
  4. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    My advice would be:
    Buy an all manual decent 35mm SLR.
    Learn how to use the meter. (when I taught, my students spent a week just metering, before they loaded film- some of them regretted signing up for the course- until later... :wink:).
    Take notes on every single exposure you make. Record the f stop/shutter speed/filter/ etc. (anything influencing your exposure choices).
    Bracket your shots. ( I had my students do bracketing the same way, everytime. -2, -1, N, +1, +2).
    Carefully compare your notes to the images. You will learn a lot from this routine.
     
  5. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    Do you already have a camera? Will you be doing your own processing? Are you interested primarily in B&W or Color (neg or slide) or both?

    To get over your nervousness, pick one camera and one film and use it as much as you can.
     
  6. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Welcome home! You will love analog! Take your time, as Eddie so eloquently outlined, and get the basics down. All too often when one learns digital, the process (i.e., photographic triangle, metering, etc.) is overlooked for the immediacy of snapping the shutter in auto and uploading to print is the process. Get the fundamentals down, take some shots, wash-rinse-repeat, all-the-while making improvements to the process (tech and artistic). The approach in analog is akin to incremental improvements as opposed to immediacy of getting an image back and deleting the 9 out of 10 that didn't work when shooting digital.

    You can do it!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2011
  7. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Hi Jennifer,

    One tip only?

    As a general rule, traditional film-based photography is a much slower and more contemplative endeavor. The machines do a lot less thinking for you, so you have an opportunity to do a lot more of it for yourself. While you will still be looking to record fine imagery, that process often occurs as a much more measured exercise.

    So immerse yourself into and experience that deliberate pace. It's one of the most enjoyable and distinguishing characteristics of this medium.

    Best of luck and welcome to APUG.

    Ken
     
  8. Grif

    Grif Member

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    As somboby else implied, one film ( lots) and lots of notes. One film one camera one year

    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk
     
  9. portrait_giver

    portrait_giver Member

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    Wow guys, I feel so welcome already. Thank you for all the tips so far.

    All manual: I have the Pentax k100 to start with...
     
  10. Dshambli

    Dshambli Member

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    Welcome to the dark (room) side of photography. I'm pretty new here too, and I have found this to be an extremely helpful and supportive (or is enabling a better word?) group of people.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Welcome. I think you have come to the right place.

    The one tip I would have would be to not be afraid. Using film and using digital are remarkably similar in most of the ways that really count.
     
  12. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    The K1000 was what my students used. Good choice...
     
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  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Welcome:

    One tip?

    "Pay close attention to the light!"

    That isn't just for film though.

    How about:

    "Approach your photos carefully, and don't be hesitant to trust your instincts."
     
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  15. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Ask for help, read what you can about the processes and be prepared to make some small mistakes. We have many people here who can help, and many of us are here in Australia. Oh, and welcome to our group. :smile:
     
  16. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Hello and a warm welcome to APUG! Take your time, is there a library near you? If so check out some books. You might look up some community colleges.

    Jeff
     
  17. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Tip? Along with all the others: one big difference between film and digital is the delay in getting feedback with film. Use this to your advantage. After firing the shutter, there is no LCD to look at. You are stuck with continuing to look at the scene, to prepare for the next shot, to make notes on what you just did... 'stuck' thinking about what you are doing rather than being immediately jerked into being a viewer. Enjoy this, relax into it, take the time to evaluate what you are doing, what you think you are doing. And then later that day or week, the film comes along, oftentimes with its own ideas of what was happening :smile:
     
  18. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    The single best thing you can do is study light metering. That is an area where analogue photography is quite different from digital.
    Study (also here on APUG) the problems relating to how the reflective light meter responds to the reflectivity (darkness, lightness) of the subject.
    I suggest you buy a second-hand hand-held incident light meter, learn how to use it (easy) and start using it.
    If you want to use slides, then a hand-held spot (1°) reflected light meter can teach a lot on how to exploit best the dynamic range of slides.
    An incident light meter correctly used will give you very good results in most situations with slides, only occasionally you might find you have some burned highlights.
    Not being always possible to use an incident light meter learning exposure with a reflected light meter (hand-held or in-camera) is important.

    In general, negatives are to be exposed following a different "logic" than slides. With slides it is imperative not to burn highlights. With negatives you are more concerned with not blocking shadows, and will have a lot of room for highlights.

    Also in general negatives are very forgiving, so all the exposure theory is less important with negatives than with slides. If you don't want to deal with exposure problems as a first thing in your analogue journey, then I suggest you start with negative film.

    Slides are similar to digital in the sense that in both cases you are especially wary about not burning highlights. With digital you do this, while shooting raw, using the histogram and applying the ETTR technique. With film you do this when the subject is contrasted and you risk burning highlights, ideally by using a spot lightmeter and by measuring the highest highlight that you want to salvage and "placing" it around 2.7 - 3 stops above middle grey.

    If you learn proper exposure techniques you will find yourself bracketing only in tricky situations. Normal situations don't require bracketing but bracketing can be very good as a learning tool when using slides, bracketing at 1/3 EV will show you how the film behaviour changes by small exposure variations.

    The second thing I advice to do is to learn developing. That will make analogue photography quite less expensive, and - depending on your shooting habit and upgrading frequency of gear - somehow even cheaper than digital.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2011
  19. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    Jenn - hello and welcome to APUG from western Massachusetts USA. My one tip... have fun! :D
     
  20. A Sabai

    A Sabai Member

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    Welcome to the forum. Enjoy your dive into film photography.
     
  21. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    (1) Try a bunch of different kinds of film cameras: the very best thing about film is that there are so many wonderfully different kinds of cameras to use. TLRs, press cameras, RFs, SLRs... paint can pinholes....

    ...and (2) buy film now! Lots!

    (3) Gene is right, remember that it's meant to be fun! Enjoy yourself first, worry about the technicals later.

    There you go, three tips, two unsolicited. Take your pick :wink:
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    don't forget to have fun !
    john
     
  23. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Just remember, every time the film advances your camera gets a new sensor.
     
  24. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    One tip, hah. :wink:

    Three in order of importance.

    1- Understand that it is different, don't try to duplicate digital. Embrace the differences. This is true of the look and the workflow. Jose Villa's business is a great example of how to use film and a lab to get client ready, color corrected stuff (including scans), without doing any backend work.

    2- Understand it's flexibility. Buy a few disposable cameras and a Holga and go shoot something. Do a good job of composition, shoot at noon, shoot in early evening. Notice that you can get really fun stuff over a wide range of brightness without adjusting f-stop or time. The Holga is basically 1 step up from disposable, you get to set focus by scale and choose the film. Mine rewards me nicely every time I use it. The lens for me is the magic, quite sharp in the middle, softer with a vignette around the edges, no computer required.

    3- Given your bias toward portraits I'd get and use a handheld incident meter for everything. This will allow you to accurately use any film in any camera that can adjust aperture and time without guessing or learning a new system. This opens up a whole range of choices on what lens to put in front of your film.
     
  25. portrait_giver

    portrait_giver Member

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    Hi all, thanks so much for the responses, and I'm sorry it took so long to come back in here and post. I just got back from a one week holiday and I took the plunge and LEFT THE DSLR AT HOME. I was pretty nervous but excited about the possibilities. Took the old Pentax K1000 and Pentax SF10 - the latter I hadn't used before on manual. Left my light meter at home by accident though. Lol. Took 8 rolls. However, towards end of holiday, the K1000 konked out! Couldn't believe it. Shutter stopped opening. :sad: (Not sure whether I should try and get it fixed or just move on.) Anyway, film-wise, I kept it simple and just used Fuji film, and then Ilford b&w for the camera that broke. Looking forward to seeing the results but if they suck then I ain't posting anything here. Hehe. Cheers!
     
  26. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    You are in good company.

    I think it was Henri Catier-Bresson that said "the first 10,000 shots are the hardest." At least something close to that.

    We all struggle.