Shooting film like digital - or not.
Forgive me if this topic has been covered elsewhere, I've been doing research on the forum and haven't found a topic like this.
I've been feeling a little odd lately, like my mind is trying to sort itself out.
I might ramble a bit but I'm trying to explore a topic.
I wish I could afford to shoot film like digital. 15 years ago, burning through 20 rolls of 35mm in a short weekend wouldn't get a second thought.
Now things are different, yet I can't help sometimes get ahead of myself when shooting film. I think the problem for me is that while I grew
up on film, I also learned digital. Somehow those trappings of instant society are encroaching on my film shooting the smaller the format.
4x5 and larger takes time no matter what, and while you can be careless, It's not the same as firing off quick shots with my rangefinder,
flipping the film advance like is a habit, not thinking to check the aperture when you walk back inside. Crap, 1/50 f22 is not going to work well
in this restaurant. I think the most automatic camera I own is my Yashica GSN.
The interesting thing is I find myself shooting slower on my digital camera, not ever using the display (Canon G12 with viewfinder diopter!).
I own one digital camera and perhaps it has ruined the way I shoot 35mm. Or perhaps in my mind, I am blurring the lines of how to deal
with the medium. I find I force myself to slow down, write every little detail down for each frame. But that's not really fun when you're
out with friends and you want to "shoot film like digital". Should I leave the film at home when out and about? I would feel worse about
something happening to my $500 digital camera than something happening to my $10 Yashica. I do however treat both with the same
respect. How do you feel about the way you shoot small formats?
- J. Richard
4x5 Speed Graphic, Looking for another 8x10.
Many used to do what you are suggesting before digital existed. Point-and-shoot cameras were good for this, or setting up a rangefinder correctly (f8 or f11, infinity focus, just snap a picture). Not the same as taking your time, but you still get your photos. I used to have a 35mm P&S with the thumb-wheel advance and it served me well in those situations for years. Think outside the SLR.
I do shoot film like digital....
Arista Premium is less than $3.00 a roll. I have lots of chems. I have lots of paper. My only concern is shooting a photograph that's worth processing and spending days in my darkroom. I do slow down when I shoot medium format. WLF and everything manual nature of RB forces me to slow way down.
Unless situations truly call for it, I don't machine gun my cameras regardless of mediums in use.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
Shooting digital is not like shooting film and vise versa. When I shoot digital, I shoot more and more carelessly. When I shoot film I shoot with more thought. When there's more at stake, I'm more careful. Digital also offer more post production possibilities like retouching and HDR. With analog, there also more of the element of chance and surprises since there's no preview of what I've shot. I never feel that I've accomplished he shot until I have the processed film in my hand. With digital, I always preview the shot and I know I have the shot I want. Digital deprives me the pleasure of anticipation. I look forward to processing the film and bringing the image to fruition. There's no immediate gratification with analog. With is perfectly fine me.
"Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
I suppose it's partly forty-plus years of conditioning, but I tend to shoot digital more like film. I'm sure there are people who shoot as many digi-shots in an afternoon as I shoot in a week's vacation. That said, just as if i were shooting Polaroid, I do chimp and will correct and repeat if it appears warranted. Yet I often shoot both technologies side by side without significant problem. Guess I'm either very adaptable or not very discerning!
My "most serious" work is done with a Bronica SQ-A, with a Yashica 124G, Perkeo II and an Ercona II as backup, depending on the specifics of what I'm attempting to do. The two folders are manual to the point of a separate lever to cock the shutter, so they encourage the slow and deliberate modus operandi.
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Some days I wish I could shoot film like I used to shoot digital. For me, there is a psychological barrier - I know that each time I trip the shutter and advance a frame, its going to cost me some money. This often leads to me looking at a scene and going ".......nah". If I was shooting my pixel exciter, I'd press the shutter anyhow. The biggest issue is that quite often, these spur of the moment "I wonder how that looks" pictures are often some of my favourites.
Maybe I need to see a shrink
there will always be more film, shoot it and buy more.
I think the key is to not own a digital. So the other weekend my wife (who shall I say would be over at DPUG if she hung out online), wasn't feeling well, though she asked that I shoot some photos with her camera of an important holiday family event. So I put her camera in manual, did the shots, looked through the shots on the display when it was all over, deleted all but about 5 pictures, she was thrilled, these 5 photos made her day....
Shoot film like its film, some days I might go to the park with the kids/my wife and get through a few rolls. If I've one print outa that session, I'm grinning ear to ear....
If the volume of rolls is a financial burden, get yer bulk loader out HC-110 or Rodinal cost next t'a nothin....
I did the math once (I don't get along well with math). A decent digital approaching the quality of film for my admittedly poor snapshots would cost quite a bit - more than the rolls I'd buy and have processed before I'd upgrade to a new digital camera.
But, do you ACTUALLY need to upgrade to a new digital camera? Think about it - 100,000 actuations on a digital camera is not totally uncommon - heck, even more. Thats over 2500 rolls of film. If you shot your digital like most people have shot film over the last 100 years, I think a digital would last a very very long time! The last digital camera I bought cost me $1000, around 6 years ago. Apart from the batteries not holding charge as long as they used to, there is absolutely no reason for me to upgrade it......
Originally Posted by Truzi
But, yes, I do get that many film cameras produced before the mid 80's are pretty much indestructible.....but those electronic 35mm wonders produced since then probably won't last as long as many of todays DSLR's...... Just a thought!