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markbarendt
01-28-2011, 10:25 PM
Duly noted! I find I spend a lot of time scanning (my lab's scans are nowhere near the quality I'm able to get out of my Epson 4990). But otherwise very little time in the "Develop" module for Lightroom.

That's a lab issue, replace the lab, problem solved.

Jose Villa does a very nice business and provides great quality.

He doesn't scan for himself.


I think the look I go for and the types of environments I shoot in require this approach.

I can tell that you care, but does your market care?


Oh, I've done a lot of bounce flash with my digital. But slowly, that changed to no flash when I realized I was destroying the mood by letting a mini-lightning strike go from my camera ;)

I will use the flash for reaaaaaly dark times (like neither I or the camera can see anything!) and occasionally for other specific effects. But still prefer the natural light look.

I'm going to go back to Jose again.

He says that he "directs" most of his shots, very little is candid.

Candids are fun, even great for marketing, but they aren't where the money is, for Jose his signature shots are where the money is.

Weddings are very predictable.

Jose and every other successful wedding shooter has a set of standard shots that they will get at every wedding, normally they don't even need to meter for these shots. Backlit by sun ISO 400 F4 at 400, next.

These "standards" are what the bride was sold, why she might pick you, and what goes in the album.

The other thing that I've found is that at weddings people expect flash.

dugrant153
02-01-2011, 12:19 AM
I can tell that you care, but does your market care?

To be honest, I'm not sure as I haven't really marketed myself this way too much yet. But it's the way I'm very passionate about shooting and I know it's what I excel at. Film does justice in creating a look that fits it :)
I'm hoping that I'll create a certain niche for myself - more documentary with a couple of posed shots. I'm definitely going to try to shoot that way. We'll see :)
I guess the way I see things is that the market is already flooded with a bazillion "wedding" photographers. I just don't want to be another grain of sand on the beach of photographers, so trying to differentiate my look with very flash-less photography. So far, atleast with my digital, it's worked out.

Speaking of lowlight, I just shot some scanned shots on my Pentax 645 with Ilford Delta 3200 @ 1600 ASA. Wow. I think I found the ultimate low-light beast! LOL



Are you developing at home? If not, how much are you paying?

I have the lab develop. It's about $5.50 + $1.50 for pushing or pulling per roll of C-41 or normal B&W. I then take the roll and spend the evening scanning it. The beauty of my Epson scanner is that it batch scans 35mm (but only two 120 shots at a time. DOH!), so I set the scanner up, let it scan and walk away to do laundry or something.


On a separate note, I just emailed Richard Photo Labs, but I'll have to check on the others. My current lab does decent processing and I just do the scans myself since I find I do a pretty good job extracting all the detail myself. However, would be nice to have someone else do this for me ;)

markbarendt
02-01-2011, 06:38 AM
To be honest, I'm not sure as I haven't really marketed myself this way too much yet. But it's the way I'm very passionate about shooting and I know it's what I excel at. Film does justice in creating a look that fits it :)

Being passionate about your product is important.


I'm hoping that I'll create a certain niche for myself - more documentary with a couple of posed shots. I'm definitely going to try to shoot that way. We'll see :)

I guess the way I see things is that the market is already flooded with a bazillion "wedding" photographers. I just don't want to be another grain of sand on the beach of photographers, so trying to differentiate my look with very flash-less photography.

Just FYI/reality check, the documentary style with just a few posed shots has been the dominant marketing style for years now.

Don't mistake "what client's say" for "what they actually want".

It is my firm belief that whatever you show a prospect when selling the job becomes the defacto "semi-posed/planned shot list" that you better darn well get and that what they really want is simply not to look deer in the headlights in all those "semi-posed/planned" shots.

Jose Villa is obviously a master at this.

bblhed
02-01-2011, 07:18 AM
@Markster The stuff you got off the shelf in the local drug store was probably "Kodak Gold Max 800" that came in a yellow box with a green end on it. That is the same film that they use in disposable cameras, you do not want to use that stuff at a wedding where they have cameras on the tables because your photos will not stand out from them.

Tim Gray
02-01-2011, 07:43 AM
I have the lab develop. It's about $5.50 + $1.50 for pushing or pulling per roll of C-41 or normal B&W. I then take the roll and spend the evening scanning it. The beauty of my Epson scanner is that it batch scans 35mm (but only two 120 shots at a time. DOH!), so I set the scanner up, let it scan and walk away to do laundry or something.


I would seriously consider one of the three labs I mentioned. I think Richard Photo is around $20/roll for dev and scan. They certainly have the reputation for good stuff. NCPS and Precision Camera are about $10-12. NCPS gives back good stuff, 2000x3000 scans at that price with pretty good color. They also have a reasonably fast turnaround. Precision Camera does 4000x6000 scans, but there turnaround seems to be a couple days longer. I've yet to see their scans firsthand. I'm waiting on an order this minute - should get here in a day or two. I suspect they will be good judging by other results I've seen.

With the basic scans out of the way, you can always tweak a couple or rescan ones that you think need it, but the bulk of the work would be done. Seems to be worth it for around $5/roll extra.

MattKing
02-01-2011, 03:02 PM
I don't know that I would want to send wedding films across the international border between the US and Canada - twice!

If you do, you would most likely be looking at expensive shipping and/or substantial delays. Canada Border Services may very well charge, at a minimum, HST on the photofinishing/scanning charges and are probably entitled to charge it on the original value of the film as well!

To protect yourself, you most likely need to declare the transaction as commercial, and that could end up costing time and money and additional paperwork.

Have you investigated other local scanning options?

Tim Gray
02-01-2011, 03:08 PM
Oh sorry, didn't realize you were in Canada. Yeah that does complicate things.

dugrant153
02-02-2011, 01:27 AM
Yar, I'm in Canada. I didn't really think about the HST and all the other stuff. Definitely would cost quite a bit to ship, but seeing as how I've been shipping camera parts to the USA, I'm pretty used to it :). Thanks for the headsup, though. I'll definitely keep it in mind.

I just got an email back from Richard Photo Labs and looks like they have some international clientel! I'll have to give them a shot and see what the costs are.

I've investigated a few scanning options, but I've only found my local lab (Custom Color - Vancouver) to do the best job. All others have had complaints, or the price for scanning is the same... in which case, it's just more worth it for me to do it myself. Or get a V700 and batch scan.


Just FYI/reality check, the documentary style with just a few posed shots has been the dominant marketing style for years now.

Duly noted. I had that in mind, so I'm hoping my images show more than just "less posed shots and more candids"... More artsy, meaningful, impactful, emotional, etc.

markbarendt
02-02-2011, 06:39 AM
I think Mark Twain said something to the effect of, or it was said about him, to "practice to the point where it it doesn't look practiced".

The point that I'm making here is that successful photographers use formulaic processes to make their shots "More artsy, meaningful, impactful, emotional, etc."

The test of a pro is the ability to "do it again".

The pro's money/signature shots don't happen automatically, successful pros have developed "ways" to get their money/signature shots every time.

You can call these "ways", gentle direction or posing or getting the subject's attention; if you want to get more than snap shots, you will need to make that happen.

dugrant153
02-04-2011, 12:42 PM
Appreciate the responses and advice. Think I definitely got to work on my "look" and work that formulaic process.

In terms of low light film, think I'll try shooting Portra at 800 ASA and pushing (or is it pulling?) to that ISO, but may just stick to black and white for a while since I just saw Delta 3200 on 120 format and it looks very very clean.

And also hope for sunnier days!

Hassy120
12-18-2011, 01:01 PM
The pro's money/signature shots don't happen automatically, successful pros have developed "ways" to get their money/signature shots every time.

Good description.:)

Axle
12-20-2011, 09:24 AM
I'm surprised it hasn't be mentioned yet.... use the new Kodak Portra 400, you can push/pull that film at least two stops in either direction without needing a push/pull in development with some very pleasing results. Especally the 120 size. I've shot up to 1600 in 120 and 800 in 35mm. The colours become punchy and you get a great contrast.

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6224/6349526353_b319043565_m.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/axle81401/6349526353/)
Shot on a Rolleiflex 2.8F, Kodak Portra 400, exposed at ISO-1600, no push in development.

dmtry
02-10-2012, 04:01 PM
What about color slides? Which one I can use in low light conditnions and how to use them properly. Really like to shoot indoor portrets.

Aristophanes
02-10-2012, 05:04 PM
I'm surprised it hasn't be mentioned yet.... use the new Kodak Portra 400, you can push/pull that film at least two stops in either direction without needing a push/pull in development with some very pleasing results. Especally the 120 size. I've shot up to 1600 in 120 and 800 in 35mm. The colours become punchy and you get a great contrast.

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6224/6349526353_b319043565_m.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/axle81401/6349526353/)
Shot on a Rolleiflex 2.8F, Kodak Portra 400, exposed at ISO-1600, no push in development.

+1 for the Portra 400.

I would not be surprised to see Kodak dump Portra 800 for this.

Axle
02-13-2012, 01:31 PM
What about color slides? Which one I can use in low light conditnions and how to use them properly. Really like to shoot indoor portrets.

You may still be able to find Fuji Provia 400x, I would not reccomend any push/pull on slide film.

cramej
05-02-2012, 03:52 PM
Provia 400x can successfully be pushed to 1600. The results are a little contrasty, but much better than you would expect.

Roger Cole
05-03-2012, 01:38 PM
I'm terms of real film speed as seen in shadow detail I think slide film pushes better. This was the commonly accepted wisdom at one time though that seems to have changed now. I always had good luck pushing slide film but I was doing my own E6 and got best results increasing development time a bit more than specified.

Provia 400 is a good film but already grainier and contrastier than 400 print films and both will increase with pushing.

dugrant153
06-19-2012, 03:14 PM
I just had a chance to push the Portra 400 film to 800 and I'm actually quite pleased. This was in very low light so the images were less than stellar (probably my fault also) but wow... I"ll have to try them at 1600. :)