I would have to say that at the moment, I get them because of price and convenience. I am lucky enough to have a really responsive local shop just up the road from me so I end up with a digital proof set and shots that I can send around. I develop myself and then hand them the strip. I only print the ones that I feel are "worth" it but some of the others are still good enough to be seen or pass around to family etc...I'm finally in a place where I can, and am, building my own formal darkroom so things are going to change for the better but prints from a scan are a perfectly acceptable alternative. The Getty may not buy them but the will get plenty of praise on your wall. Just check with various printers, people may laugh at me (and I do myself) but depending on who is running the machine - even drugstores can make a decent print if the person running it cares. That's your task to find one.
Just take pictures....enjoy it...if you don;t think they are good, keep looking and taking more. You will get better.
"There is no such thing as objective reality in a photograph"
and (gasp!) dpug photos
- take a look if you like.
All of these suggestions are helpful. Perhaps I should say that I am a beginner, but I have spent enough time with a digital camera to have learned a little bit before jumping into film. I shot a roll of PAN F Plus 50 in the studio and sent it off to Reed in Denver. When I saw the proofs I realized that many of the best images were almost all highlights and all shadows with not enough grays. It is possible that the subject was improperly lit by me, and it is also possible that the film was improperly handled by Reed. (For the record, I am much more likely to blame myself than blame Reed, who seem to be trying to do the best they can and otherwise did an outstanding job printing my old sRGB digital files.)
MV Labs in New York City does all their developing of film by hand and are meticulous when it comes to printing. The Master Printer, Jim Megargee, will use whatever developer and dilution you want for the film you chose to use. He has taught film photography for over a decade and used to print for Annie Leibovitz for years. He will also give you feedback on your negatives as well as your images if you call and request it, which will help immensely when it comes to proper exposure, lighting, contrast, film type and developer combination (a lab that runs C-41 with black and white film won't be of much help in this area and will not help you grow very well or fast as a film photographer). At $25 for a roll developed and contacted, it can get pricey. But, what you learn will be of great help to you in the future and be well worth the money.
When it comes to film, I would recommend something widely available wherever you travel that will not likely be discontinued in the next 5 years. Some Kodak film and Ilford black and white might be your best bet. This way you can get predictable and consistent results every time.
When it comes to printing, any Master Printer will take your image and interpret it to the best of their ability. Printing can also get very pricey, but if you have the money, go for it. Even the greatest photographers don't do their own printing -they hire an assistant or a professional printer for the job.
For the record, my opinion is biased. I Intern at MV Labs. However, even when some interns leave the lab, they send their work to Jim because he's just that good. Photographers for Rolling Stones, Magnum, VII, etc. use him regularly because he's one of the best in the country.
Personally, if I were you, I'd do a mix of what you're suggesting. I would shoot a couple rolls, send them to a pro lab for processing, get feedback and then use that feedback to develop your own film. Once you "nail it", get a professional printer to do your selects if you don't have access to a darkroom. I would also consider a cheap 35mm negative scanner to get a better visual of what a "positive" will look like from you negative. From there you will have a learned a lot in a very short period of time and possibly saved a lot of time and money from a DIY trial and error approach. Also, read lots on this forum, but keep in mind this is all just opinions and starting points. You have to find out what works for you.
(and yes, whatever lab you choose, you will have to pay for shipping to and from the lab for film, prints, etc, etc. unless you can get there personally).
Digital is different than film. Unless you learned f-stop, aperture, composition and lighting on the digital, which most people don't, you will get different results because the digital camera does all the work. You have to know the basics to take good pictures even with a digital. Can you tell me what the f-stop was for those images? How long was the exposure? What was the aperture setting? These are question that most camera users today could not tell you unless they looked at the histogram.
Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy
Of the bawbles that it may.
Hello and welcome to APUG. It will take time for you to learn analog photography.
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Welcome to Apug, and bravo for wanting to enter into the service. One of my daughters is considering the Coast Guard, we are pleased with her choice. Listen to guitstik, he's been there, and knows what he's talking about.
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
Found this bit of advice on YouTube :