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  1. #51
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chan Tran View Post
    I saw this post over Photo.net and found it very funny

    "I'm taking a photography class in HS and I'm really into it, especially film. My pictures, however, when they're printed traditionally on B&W photo paper don't appear have the 'film look' to them, or at least that's what it looks like.
    Is it something that has to do with the contrast? or possibly the (cheapy) film and/or paper? The Exposure?

    I'm using a Konica Autoreflex TC with the Standard Hexanon 50mm f1.7 lens. The film is both 100 and 400 ASA Arista EDU Ultra. The Paper is RC VC Arista as well.

    Thanks in advance for the help."

    So it looks like we have to define the film look.
    Sounds like a wildly misguided person, focusing on completely the wrong things.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #52
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Sounds like a wildly misguided person, focusing on completely the wrong things.

    Maybe not. The first rule is to look at and review the teacher and his/her methodology. This is especially critical in arts education. It's not always the students who at fault (it's common, but not universal — remembering that not all students will learn at the same rate with the same take-in rate). When I did uni/traditional arts/photography there were no teachers in the "school" sense, but a Professor (a bit more common now is to have an Associate or Adjunct Professor downstream of Year 3). I'm not sure why he/she posted to photo.net — in itself a little misguided...
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  3. #53

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    I just wonder how a photo shot with film and doesn't have the film look?

  4. #54
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    At least he has a concept of a "film look" and seeks to achieve it. I find that encouraging.
    I shoot digital when I have to (most of those shots end up here) and film (occasionally one of those shots ends up here) when I want to.

  5. #55
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    I wish I could just shoot film, but the necessities of business make total avoidance of digital impossible.

    But there is nothing emotionally satisfying to me about digital. That is reserved for film. I wouldn't have said that a year or so ago, but since my "re-awakening", its taken hold. I was thinking about this today, and one of the big factors for me is that I just do not like the gestalt of modern digital cameras. They are too complicated. A camera with 83 menus/submenus, not to mention three dozen (or how ever many it is) buttons just offends the senses. I spent years "mastering" all that (and I have...I can make my Nikon do about anything I want), but something in all that just leaves me cold. The Nikon has a manual that is 348 pages long. That is insane.

    I now have a Mamiya and an Agfa. Simple. Clean. Pure. Easy. It puts the photography back in my head, where it belongs.
    I shoot digital when I have to (most of those shots end up here) and film (occasionally one of those shots ends up here) when I want to.

  6. #56

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    Film is for hobby and digital is for work.

  7. #57

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    Depends on work two examples

    - I see a hot news PJ at demos we have mutual friends so we talk. He asks me film questions - so I ask why? He says his marketing portfolio is normally mono silver prints! It gets him work for his dcams...

    - I bump into B Guilden ocassionally - he has always had a Leica M (film) and a Nikon FM2n both with 28mms and flash long coiled up synch cord 28mm lenses all beaters.

    For your interest he has called me 'sneaky'.

  8. #58
    Jaf-Photo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chan Tran View Post
    I just wonder how a photo shot with film and doesn't have the film look?
    The student is probably thinking of prints that have been developed with some specific technique that he isn't using. Maybe litho, as many high profile photographers use it?

    In that sense, it is actually easier to achive a "film look" digitally as you can emulate a lot of different materials and darkroom techniques, eg in Silver Efex. It's not entirely convincing but to the untrained eye it probably looks entirely analogue.

  9. #59
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
    Maybe not. The first rule is to look at and review the teacher and his/her methodology. This is especially critical in arts education. It's not always the students who at fault (it's common, but not universal — remembering that not all students will learn at the same rate with the same take-in rate). When I did uni/traditional arts/photography there were no teachers in the "school" sense, but a Professor (a bit more common now is to have an Associate or Adjunct Professor downstream of Year 3). I'm not sure why he/she posted to photo.net — in itself a little misguided...
    I didn't say that it was the student's fault either. I just said that the person seemed misinformed. What does 'film' look like? Give two experienced photographers the same film, paper, and developers, the same camera and lens, and the same light meter, and I will guarantee you they will create completely different looks in their output.

    Usually if you look online at places like Flickr, where many photographers spend a lot of time, you will see that a lot of discussion, group topics, and the like focuses around a particular film, particular lenses, or particular cameras, which in no end really does any service to the art form. It just gets into what films look like after they have been scanned, where layers and layers of information that isn't even there in the film to begin with, gets added to the image content, in the shape of digital artifacts such as grain aliasing, automatic contrast correction, etc etc. I think a lot of young people refer to 'that' as 'film look' today. Everything is too easy to find these days, not forcing enough self exploration and seeing for yourself. Just google it, as they say.

    An art student focusing on what the 'film look' is, should probably be nudged in the direction of focusing more on the photographs themselves, and all the things that make them better, before they go grain/pixel peeping. I think that the important aspects of photography have to do with content, project development, editing, composition, lighting, expression, gesture, light, light, light... All the stuff about cameras and films and developers are so far down the list of importance. Look? That's what you create with skill and experience in using the materials. 'Film' does not have a look. Artistic intent, hard work, application of self and imagination does.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  10. #60
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    I've noticed that a great many chicken soup recipies on the internet call for adding a cube of boulion to the stock that has already boiled a carcass. This stumped me for a long time - why do people feel the need to add a boulion cube to something that is already, by definition, chicken soup stock?

    Then my wife reminded me that many people these days (and for the past two generations) associate "chicken soup taste" with campbell's canned soups. So, even thought it is chicken soup, and thus tastes like chicken soup, people expect something else and go to extra effort to get the flavor they are used to.

    What's my point? This high school student's exposure to film probably includes a very wide range of film images; high contrast old school b&w prints, washed out old c-41 prints, the always imperfect polaroids, and of course, the uber-common instagram-style conversions that really amp up the characteristics seen in all of the above; but all of those have a fairly extreme element to them (high contrast, desaturated colours, or something else). He's probably expecting something extreme, when most prints made from a modern emulsion and good glass just don't have those glaring effects/defects unless you add them back in (high contrast filter, etc).

    I know I was initially disapointed with Plus-X for exactly that reason, I wanted scans that looked like Karsh prints. Instead I got images that could have been taken on my dslr. The issue wasn't with the film, it was with my lighting. My best 'Karsh" shots to date were done on Delta 400 and printed on Ilford MG RC- hardly the "old school" approach I though I needed.

    Going back to the OP's point of VSCO, I've never used it, but I do enjoy DxO Lab's filmpack. When they released Filmpack 4, they gave away filmpack 3 for free, and I am very glad I downloaded it. I now use it with DxO's RAW tool as my main digital workflow. My images still look digital, but I'm able to tune them to how I like my images to look, which is closer to Porta than the super-saturated look that is popular on places like 500px. I had thought of using the filmpack software as a way to "window shop" film emulsions to see what film stocks I should try, but I found the effect given by the software didn't line up with my actual scans close enough to make that a good option. Much better to just buy a bunch of film stocks and shoot them myself.

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