What are commercial limits for 35mm film photography?
What I wanted to ask about is pretty broad subject (I'm a simple person, so I tackle complex problems easily )
I'm usually on the artistic side of photography, chatting about aesthetics, meaning, communication, visual language, and relations to other works or media. Besides that, I'm living frugal life and I'm working in a different way (typesetting). I don't care about making money with my photos, so I can do what I want within some time frames and budgets, or the lack of it. But I'm trying to imagine how life of a "professional photographer" looks like nowadays. Not the bottom line feeder, not a full time job in advertisement (shooting sausages or weddings or models portfolios are the things I can imagine painfully well). How about a not-so-busy freelance photographer, or a landscape photography enthusiast, like me? I'm thinking if and how it could be possible to mend how I live into something more adventurous (to take the subject really broadly). Or what to avoid to help myself in the future. I know marketing techniques (having galleries online, exhibitions offline, creating a bit of a buzz, publishing albums)... Is there any reasonable way to actually work with 35mm film (that's shooting for money, not with own artistic creation)? Any advantage? (I feel like being banned ASAP for asking this)
What can be and what shouldn't be done with 35mm format? I don't mean creatively, but professionally. Is it reasonable to work (and earn money) in the analog way with 35mm format? How one can "sell" traditional film photography attitude nowadays, where people carry DSLRs that take more photos faster with better quality (raw file has greater contrast range recorded, I think) and can process photos in multiple ways, some of which were unimaginable before the 90s? I believe this idea just has to be treated differently, than just pushing scans on stocks... I'd bankrupt on scanning in no time this way, and any decent scanner is more, than year's worth of my salary.
What are the strong points with the 35mm film? Ethics, I guess, doesn't count where the industry starts. And the fact, that 99% of digital photography should simply be treated like a pollution, whereas we care for every single shot on film. We can't care more, than a guy with a camera hooked to his laptop, taking a closer look rightaway, in second or less. Film doesn't make the image any better or worse (or?), but it looks like a lost battle in terms of both quality and quantity, and we're left behind with our mindfulness as an only virtue. Mindfulness and Velvia.
What are technical limits of 35mm? Again, limits not from creative perspective, but for the industry (whoever buys the images or pays to make some)? I know it would be good enough for a magazine cover if it's not cropped much, but not enough to advertize coffee brand worldwide. I guess it's good and reasonable to make photos on film when I make "not many photos" (which is how I roll with my landscape work), as opposed to taking burst after burst (sport, journalism) and fighting to deliver the photos before anyone else. I hope the age of natgeo-ish surplus is over in our silver world, with the attitude of having "film carrying and loading assistents", using helicopters where it's hard to walk and shooting thousand of photos per hour.
Finally, are there any professional do's and dont's with small format?
I know some already:
As for a "don't", I expect that slide film is pretty much obsolete due to excellent Ektar and Portra color reproduction and fine grain. Or maybe not, and Velvia is the standard sometimes?
As for "do's" - small grain films 90% of the time, best prime lenses one can buy, accurate exposures, light covers, moderately tight framing (my 92% coverage focusing screen seems to cheat plastic scanning frames in the right way), best scanners (not flatbed), good archiving startegies (light-tight boxes to store color materials, avoiding moisture and dust). And making plenty of quality photos (isn't it against the medium?).
But what I know is from creative standpoint, I don't know how the other side rolls and what they may expect, want or demand to see.
Final rant: I have a feeling, that what I ask is not the question, that should be answered. I hope you're wiser than I am.
Last edited by q_x; 05-18-2013 at 04:47 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Use the Force, Luke!