On the subject of what labs will do for you, both of the labs I mentioned (ABC & G King) give you a choice - either traditional optical printing, or digital. You can even get both - optically printed proofs (individually colour corrected) and digital scans. They also do E6, and B & W, including optical B & W prints. A Google search will reveal both of their websites, and they are full of info.
If you would like a film recommendation, be warned, I am a Kodak "brat", and therefore somewhat biased.
I'd suggest Kodak Portra fim, either the NC or VC versions. The NC colours are more muted (NC is intended to mean Natural Colour). Many also like the Kodak Ultra film. The Portra films are, to a great extent, what the Kodak professional processing systems are calibrated to.
I have had excellent results with the Kodak amateur films as well.
If you are fortunate enough to find a one hour lab that has good staff and policies, you can get good work from them too, but that is more hit and miss, and almost certainly will involve a digital component.
I agree with the recommendations above to shoot a lot of film, and go back to what you like. It is just that using a good lab will make that process more rewarding, because it will greatly reduce the variability that can be induced as a result of inconsistent processing.
You have a lot of fun ahead of you - enjoy yourself.
Thank you SO much for your kind offer, but I'll decline. I'm not really into fine grinding the "technical" information behind the construction of color - or any other - film.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
I "need" it? Oh, great one - I am so glad you enlightened me about what I need and what I don't need. I'll take the "head exploding" comment for what it is worth - nothing - and I'll ignore it.
Tell you what ... I've been working with a *very* experienced Art Instructor now teaching at one of the prestigious Universities in Boston. A "killer" resume' in Art and Art Appreciation. I'll talk to him and I'm sure we can arrange an eight or even forty hour course in Aesthetics and Art Appreciation.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Ed; You are quite welcome. Sorry you declined my offer, as it does seem that you are not aware of some of the nuances between reversal and negative film. This is not strictly a technical matter either, it is a matter of appreciating the quality of ones images. But, quality is subjective - see below.
It is a large subject to get ones head around, and I was not excluding myself from this difficulty when I first started work in this area, nor was I accusing you of having any lack of ability to understand. I'm sorry that you seem to have misunderstood my comment.
The only thing I can say in return is that the people in the motion picture trade use negative film, and they do it for the technical and artistic reasons I described above. That is a recognized superiority which I point out. Long latitude and good color with excellent detail, all of which reversal film lacks in one way or another.
A teacher of art is different than a teacher of photography in may respects although they also overlap. Their goals may differ. My goal in photography and system design was to reproduce the real world as closely as possible with minimal loss in detail and color accuracy. In art that may not be the case. Reversal film engineers had the same goal but were more limited by physics and chemistry. That is why there are some problems in reversal films.
So, you are right, you choose the film to suit how you want to reproduce the subject and what the final viewing venue will be. If the 'defects' or 'deficiencies' of prints from reversal film give you the arty look you want, then it works. That is all that matters. If you want accurate tone scale in prints with accurate color, then negative film is what you want.
In the final analysis, testing a broad range of films with the final conditions of your viewing the primary criterion is the best way to judge what you yourself want.
There is nothing quite like "beating a dead horse."
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
I'll contemplate two things, first your assumption that "I am not aware" - I'm not quite sure how I gave that impession. I *know* there are DIFFERENCES between transparency and color negative film - where the @#$ did I ever say anything different?
That brings me to the second area for contemplation; How did I communicate my opinion so ineffectively that a person of your obvious intelligence could not understand what I was saying... I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE TECHNICAL minutia. I have seen EXCELLENT, BEAUTIFUL, OUTSTANDING Cibachrome work ... however the hell it came into being.
If I don't meet your (??? YOUR ???) criteria for expertise, I am sorr .... wait ... no, I am NOT sorry. I'll just keep on plodding along ...
I am signing off ... this has really been pointless.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Thanks for the info everyone. I'll definitely look into color neg film. I guess I've just seen lsides so much in the past that they were first in my mind.
As for why I'm looking at shooting color, well, just for a change. Like I said, I've only been shooting b&w so I'm curious how my particular shooting style will translate over to color. For the most part, I find color to simply be a distraction, but I'd like to see how it goes nonetheless.
At the moment, I do my own b&w printing. My developing I have done by ABC. I would do my own own developing as well, but I use my father's darkroom at his studio, so my time there is limited. I'd much rather spend what time I do have there printing as opposed to developing. I plan on moving into the same building sometime next year, so I'll have 24/7 access to the darkroom and will then do the developing myself as well.
Now comes the toughest part: will the rain subside long enough to get out shooting?
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First, siroi, I'll apologize for fueling the fire here.
Developing film is IMHO rather easy ... I think printing is more difficult and time consuming.
Waiting for the rain to stop? Uh ... why? Some beautiful images have been, and are waiting to be, made in the rain.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
No worries Ed. I've been on more than enough forums over the years. Threads constantly go off topic. It's to be expected.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
I agree. Developing is quite easy. But, I have a very limited amount of time available in the darkroom each week. As I'm currently focusing on getting my portfolio together, producing prints is far more important than developing film. plus, I feel that developing is a fairly cut and dried process. There's small tweaks you can do of course, but for the most part it's all the same. Printing can take a lifetime to really learn it. So I think that printing is again, just a better use of my time.