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  1. #1

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    Greetings from Richmond, Virginia

    Hello, all. I've been lurking here for awhile. Found out about the place from a customer who came into the eponymous camera shop at which I work, and I've been a regular reader ever since. It's a tribute to the depth of conversation around here that most questions I've had have been answerable through the search function instead of having to post.

    Anyway, a bit about myself. I'm 25, a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University's school of Mass Communications (with a degree in News/Editorial). After graduation I worked at a local daily (but not *the* local daily) newspaper for a few months as a part-time photographer, but the pay didn't justify the commute, so I got a job at said camera shop.

    Being a film shooter working at a camera shop that sells mainly digital equipment is an interesting experience. I hear a variation on "does anybody still shoot film" (usually said in a condescending tone) several times a day.

    Even though we do carry a pretty good assortment of film and paper for a shop our size (Ilford papers from 5x7 up to 16x20 in most types, Ilford and Kodak chemistry, and Ilford, Fuji & Kodak films of most types, but only 135 and 120 formats, we've phased out large format and 220 due to a lack of demand), I have a feeling we'd not be carrying any of it if the local high schools and VCU didn't still have wet darkrooms.

    Sadly, I consider it a good day if I have one customer who's a darkroom printer come in for supplies or a chat.

    I haven't been shooting very long, having gotten into photography through a photojournalism class and the opportunity to work as a press photographer at the Virginia state capitol during the 2005 session. I started with digital SLRs but moved to film shortly thereafter. I think I got into photography 10 years too late.

    Most of my friends think I'm nuts; I can't really put into words why I shoot film over digital. Partially because I'm a curmudgeon, partially a sense of personal accomplishment (as anybody who's spent hours trying to get one print right in a darkroom can attest).

    Anyway. I do keep a Flickr page of mostly film work, a lot of my digital stuff is in a separate archive. I shoot 35mm with a Canon EOS 620 and a Tamron 28-75 f2.8 lens; my medium format camera is a Mamiya RB67 Pro-S w/ 50 and 90mm lenses. I use a Beseler 45M enlarger in my darkroom at home.

    Hopefully I'll be more active here than I have in the past; I've been looking for like-minded people who can help me develop my technique, being entirely self-taught. You guys seem like a great group of folks.

    -Tom

  2. #2
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    Greetings from Glen Allen. So, which location of the "eponymous camera shop" do you work in? I usually go to the dowtown location when I need my slides developed.
    ____________________________________________
    Searching my way to perplexion

  3. #3

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    Travis: I've been at the Carytown location for the past year or so, but I've filled in at all of the Richmond area stores as well as the location in Charlottesville.

  4. #4
    roteague's Avatar
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    Hi Tom, welcome from Hawaii. Glad you found us and decided to hang around.

    Oh, BTW, take care of my friend Travis when he comes in - I'm trying to convert him to large format.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  5. #5
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    Actually, the Carytown location is closer to where I work now, but I've just always gone to the downtown store because until about 2 years ago it was within walking distance from my previous job. I'll stop in the Carytown one next time.

    Robert, I'm almost there, I swear. A good friend of mine just bought a 4x5 so.... Next time you see me I'll have my LF. Unless of course you're going to be in Wyoming next month.
    ____________________________________________
    Searching my way to perplexion

  6. #6
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t_nunn View Post
    Robert, I'm almost there, I swear. A good friend of mine just bought a 4x5 so.... Next time you see me I'll have my LF. Unless of course you're going to be in Wyoming next month.
    I wish I could be there. But, I'm my current contract expires on August 13th, and there is no guarantee that I'll be renewed (there is a good possibility of it, since I've been on this contract almost 2 years). So, funding a trip to Wyoming isn't someting I'm comfortable with at the moment (especially, since I'm already committed to Australia in Sept/Oct).
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  7. #7
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Tom,

    Welcome from NYC.

    We here all hear the "condescension" at times from digi shooters. It seems to stem from a need for some people to obtain "certification" that they are "with it" by proclaiming they are part of a herd. I guess it "works" if you like being a follower.

    I see no reason the "apologize" for preferring film photography. As far as I am concerned, if we are comfortable in our shoes - we can walk forever. So enjoy hanging out here where the decision to use film is never questioned condescendingly and always celebrated as a wise choice!

  8. #8
    jmdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifein2x3 View Post
    Being a film shooter working at a camera shop that sells mainly digital equipment is an interesting experience. I hear a variation on "does anybody still shoot film" (usually said in a condescending tone) several times a day.

    -Tom
    Hello Tom. Another Richmonder here. Another VCU Grad as well (Though I left Mass Comm to pursue a degree in film).

    Indeed it is ironic that digital shooters constantly compare their resolution to film but only to 35mm or 120 film. 10MP digital compares very favorably to these formats at least some of the time. But when it comes to 4x5, 5x7, 8x10 and larger, IMO it doesn't compare at all. One sheet of 8x10 contains as much raw information as a roll of 35mm. But I probably forgot that no one uses large format anyway

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmdavis View Post
    Hello Tom. Another Richmonder here. Another VCU Grad as well (Though I left Mass Comm to pursue a degree in film).

    Indeed it is ironic that digital shooters constantly compare their resolution to film but only to 35mm or 120 film. 10MP digital compares very favorably to these formats at least some of the time. But when it comes to 4x5, 5x7, 8x10 and larger, IMO it doesn't compare at all. One sheet of 8x10 contains as much raw information as a roll of 35mm. But I probably forgot that no one uses large format anyway
    I don't use large format... yet. But it's on my list, as soon as I land a better paying job.

    I also enjoy telling people that, when scanned, I was able to get the equivalent of 125 megapixels out of a 6x7 negative. Kinda takes the wind out of their sails a bit.

    When were you in the Mass Comm department? If it's been in the last 7 or 8 years, we probably know some of the same people. I think, had I known in 2000 when I started what I knew later in college, I would have tried to get into the photo department. I'm looking now at the Master's in Art Education program to possibly get the credits and certifications I'd need to teach photography/journalism at the high school level in Virginia.



 

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