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PatB last won the day on April 6 2016

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  1. Some excellent insights in the article which ring true - thanks very much for sharing! Especially regarding the exploration/discovery of the subject through shooting and taking risks in the creative process without a fear of failure. A while back, I decided to simply skip the obvious angle (for personal, not commercial, though), often raising the camera to my eye and not even pressing the shutter (film or digital, no matter), to move to the less banal angle. The evolutionary 35mm format as the 'digital' when it hit main stream photography when it comes to ease of shooting is a good analogy too. Although, digital as a medium has had an even bigger impact overall no doubt. Phone photography could be at a similar evolutionary stage now as 35mm was back then for the casual shooter, as in the old: "the best camera is the one I have with me".
  2. Really enjoying reading the contributions to the thread. @conrad_hoffman mentioned something I originally expressed in my reply earlier but decided to delete no to muddle the thread. It just confirms it was perhaps relevant. Yes, "the promise" with film. That's yet another interesting aspect. Looking at the digital file could in fact dampen your (or the collaborators) spirit during a shoot if the results are not quite what you were aiming for. With film, as you rightly point out, you just ride that dragon to crash and burn in the end. 🙂 The instant feedback of being able to look at the photo to make sure everything is right is invaluable for commercial work. I always had packs of Fuji FP100 instant film to check the light. And when you got an amazing fleeting expression on the instant print you then had to try to replicate it (if you were lucky) with film, digital, it is just there. first try. I think it is more challenging to get a decent photograph with film, the artefacts, the grain, the low iso resulting in blur, lack of sharpness inherent to less-than-perfect focusing mechanisms etc. With digital, on the other hand, it has never been easier to take a stunningly detailed & sharp image. I feel that photographers pursued a "digital look" (clean, sharp and rainless) during film era, while, ironically, a lot of people look for an "analogue look" with digital. The first wave of ditching analogue equipment en masse in mid 2000s demonstrated that the benefits (sheer image quality and convenience, especially with full frame sensors) simply outweighed everything else. No one wanted the film aesthetic any longer. Remember analogue equipment prices then? A lot of current film photography I see on flickr is "sloppy" by analogue era standards I feel. But, I think it the inherent imperfections are now seen as more desirable. I have met a few younger photographers who jumped into film in recent years to label themselves as "artists". Suddenly you had an influx of "analogue photographers" not just "photographers". Some came out disillusioned after a year, as the results were nothing like they were hoping for, the film failed to bring credibility to their work. Just costly, blurry snapshots and a lot of hard work. I think this wave is subsiding now but I also hope the established analogue crowd (including myself) will be enough to justify film manufacturing for decades to come. I love B&W look. I develop & scan everything myself. I also love analogue colour but it is prohibitively expensive I think (maybe because I remember the normal film prices). Fuji 400h was my favourite negative stock for people photography but digital colour can be manipulated at infinitum and modern sensors certainly get me there now and I no longer feel I am compromising anything. When I shoot for myself I try to avoid chimping (I am yet to tape the screen a la Leica M-D though) & only review after the moment has passed or at the end of the day. But what I also do is leave the photos on my hard drive for some time and try not edit immediately. This allows me to distance myself from my work emotionally and analyze it afresh later, just like rediscovering photos on a roll of film you had forgotten. I think digital also lacks that reflection stage, where the sheer quantity of photos taken just puts you off, a lot of people flick through them to never revisit. Scanning/printing allows you to contemplate the results more perhaps? @Jochen1664876637 Hah, darkroom... developing & scanning is enough, thanks. I used to print B&W but I can't see myself doing it again. I do have a dedicated BW-only printer with a carbon ink set that feels that void. @Edwin Barkdoll Went similar route to yours. Also ended up with a Z7, also used to shoot an XPan :). Sold all MF equipment in the end, including a P1 MF digital back I used with my favourite Mamiya RZ system for almost a decade. The quality of modern 35mm combined with modern (Z) lenses and AF precision of mirrorless is astonishing really. So do not get me wrong, I fully recognize digital but because I missed the B&W MF look I decided to get the last & only analogue camera - the Rollei. I am toying with the idea of repurchasing a 35mm compact but my Ricoh GRII has met all my 35mm-look yearnings. The B&W-loaded Rollei in my bag and the Ricoh in my hand for "off the cuff" shots are hard to beat for personal work. Sometimes it's just the Ricoh that goes. @Ricochetrider I know exactly how it feel to be "that guy". I recommend ThinkTank Rotation backpacks, this has been a game changer for me. No longer having to say, "hold on, I just need to take my camera out" or "go on I'll catch up with you" just rotate it on your hip, stop, shoot, done. It is a revolutionary idea in the photo backapck game, I think. @samstevens This merely a casual photo conversation, not constructed to torment myself 🙂. I still continue to shoot but need a tweak as both the image characteristics I described and the "oh I should have pressed it" moments I have had lead me to this self-analysis. @httpwww.photo.netbarry Sounds about right Barry.
  3. Thanks for the replies & thoughts. I placed the observation in the context of people photography & personal documentary as something like sport or wildlife photography is driven by different techniques and, like you guys pointed out, trial and error & high frame rates due to extremely rapid changes are extremely beneficial and inherent to that genre of photography, this is where digital shines, no doubt. But coming back to my friend’s shoot, the photographer asked for an expression/pose and then ‘machine-shot’ that at a horizontal or vertical axis with sight angle changes as the actress was coming in and out of it. It was 1800 frames without blinkers which must have been excluded as you are bound to get those with such an approach. So 1800 frames in 35mm terms = 50 rolls of film, 112 rolls of 6x4.5 film, 150 rolls of 6x6, 180 of 6x7 etc. unlikely during film days for a low profile commercial shoot, completely unfeasible financially now. Don’t get me wrong I am not criticizing that approach just making an observation. For an actor’s shot, unlike for a model who should be able to hold a pose / expression naturally and on cue, actors expressions are more dynamic and in constant flow, perhaps the photographer was emulating camera movement? Which creates another issue on whether the actor would be able to repeat that expression or was it merely captured by accident? Models, for instance, sometimes put happy smiley accidents in their portfolios where you know this was definitely a one off, not a true reflection of their posing skills. But, for an actor, it might get them the audition they are after, so, again, it is the end result that counts (despite the fact that giving a client 1800 frames to sort through could be considered lazy or even self-discrediting by some). I have witnessed the positive effect of the shutter clicking away in portrait/people photography first hand many times. Sometimes pressing the shutter when the expression is not even there is a way to relax the subject, to give them reassurance that they are doing fine. It loosens them up and often contributes to much more natural results. I once had a bit of a model meltdown when she thought she was not performing well because my frame rate was low. We were working on expressions, I was directing her, trying different poses, moving in and out of them, and I had communicated that approach ahead of our shoot. It turned out she was not used to that mode of working, explaining that generally people just shoot away even if she is not ready, often even when she is merely preparing/changing. As she specialised in nude photography (working mainly with PurplePort crowd) that triggered some unnerving thoughts… I think that both the financial aspect of shooting film and the amount of work that goes into developing/scanning to even consider a frame inhibit my instinct. I definitely see as some sort of an interference which I feel I should try to counter to develop as a photographer. It is not going to stop me using film but will be a tweak to the way I shoot analogue. On the flip side, the amount of keepers I tend to get per roll of 6x6 film is 40-50% on average already. Not necessarily technically good shots, but ones that elicit some sort of emotional reaction from the viewer, ones that are engaging. I think an obvious way forward would be to simply allow (force) myself to take at least a couple of frames when the instinct dictates (2? 3? 4 shots?) and the shooting opportunity lasts long enough, without any remorse at the editing stage, take it as experimentation, to see if the dynamics in the analogue photographs change through that approach. It took 28,000 initial shots to produce Robert Frank’s “The Americans” (83 final photographs), but then there was no digital alternative, I wonder if it had been any different if it was around then. Some good insights into both the shooting (working the scene/subject) and then the editing process are: “Magnum Contact Sheets” and “Contact High: 40 Years of Rap and Hip-hop Photography”. It is obvious that the photographers certainly did not rock up and with their brilliant eye took a single “money shot” and that it was always a process which involved multiple takes, but not excessive amount of photos.
  4. It’s something I have been pondering over. I feel like I definitely take less risks when I shoot film, the photos are less dynamic & safer compositionally, expressions more static. I feel like I should specify that this musing of mine is around people photography and personal documentary, not landscape. I do not have the habit of spraying when I shoot digital but I was looking at a friend’s actor portfolio shoot she had done recently where she received 1800 photos (from what was a 2-hour shoot with a few changes for different looks) to sort through – made me think that there was no way you could do that on film… Were the results worth it? Probably, she did get some good shots, but was it a calculated method or a controllable(?) accident? And does it matter, if the results were good in the end. These days I do not shoot film for assignments, sold all film equipment when it suddenly resurfaced and gained popularity in late 2010s. It became too ubiquitous for the wrong reasons, a medium for the medium’s sake, a mannerism which was perceived as a way to turn into an artist. WHile it contributed to the decision, this was not the main reason, though, I simply felt analogue got in the way. Suddenly, shooting digital only felt liberating: lower costs, not having to change rolls and spoiling the flow, iso limitations, spending more time on scanning and processing than on the creative process/research/generating ideas. These days I only have a single analogue camera which I use for personal people photography or travel. It’s a Rolleiflex: one camera, one lens, one film stock (BW), own processing & scanning – eliminating choices and focusing on the subject feels like the right approach to me at this stage, but the results are still much, much more careful when compared to digital. When shooting film, I frequently feel I should have pressed that shutter even though the framing/moment/expression was not quite perfect but the gut feeling was there; as a consequence, with analogue I seem to wait longer, sometimes missing the shot entirely. What about you, does shooting film make you shutter shy?
  5. I do have an Epson 1500 printer with a dedicated b&w carbon ink set for matte printing (so no paper hardener residue) and ink waste tank to minimize waste pad saturation and, like you said, when it gets clogged I sometimes need to run 2-3 consecutive cleaning cycles (I allow a few hours between each one if it does not immediately clear) and I have probably printed more test prints (due to clogging mainly) in the printers lifetime than I have of actual end prints. Canon's Selphy on the other hand is a quick and full proof process, without any ink and media waste, but less satisfactory in terms of colours. The comments regarding sub-dye printer profiling are certainly worth trying. I am not surprised that both technologies have their quirks when you want to achieve truly optimal results, yet the experience with Selphy has been far less frustrating. I also need to get hold of test prints from a DNP printer to compare directly against the Selphy, which I am trying to obtain at the moment. Glossy 4x6 (so like for like) prints.
  6. Thanks for your thoughts and signposting to the other thread. Certainly a few things to consider.
  7. Hi All, I have always had issues with Ink jet printers due to infrequent use (clogged heads mainly); not printing daily but more like once a week or every other week. I use a Canon Selphy CP1300 printer for editing work (shoot selection) & printing odd personal snapshots but I have never been entirely happy with the quality (colours of the print mainly); however, I do appreciate the hassle-free nature of sublimation technology. I should probably mention that I have tried custom profiles for the Selphy which improved things a bit. I have also set up some PS actions to adjust the colours & contrast prior to printing but it is still less than optimal. Has anyone had a chance to compare/use the Selphy and a more professional dye sublimation printer such as DNP DS620 for example? Leaving aside the obvious difference between size of prints between the two, the output, printing speed etc. Would the print quality be improved going from the little Canon? Many thanks! Best, Pat
  8. I could not match the FOV in the previous examples as I was shooting from a window and had to change the magnification level instead. We are talking about 25 meters in the case of the chimney and infinity for the tower block. However, for the sake of completeness, here are some examples at just a couple of meters, where the FOV was matched by moving the 135mm further back to where the 85mm was. All crops at 100% now. Nikon-Left-vs-Sigma-Right-at-f1i8 Nikon-Left-vs-Sigma-Right-at-f2i8 Nikon-Left-vs-Sigma-Right-at-f4 Nikon-Left-vs-Sigma-Right-at-f5i6 Pretty much identical now so one more for diffraction at f11 Nikon-Left-vs-Sigma-Right-at-f11 Both are amazing lenses
  9. I tried to embed the images in the post but failed, here are some links instead: NikonZ85mm1i8S-at-f1i8-L-and-Sigma-135mm-1i8-Art-at-1i8-R-at-25-meters NikonZ85mm1i8S-at-f1i8-L-and-Sigma-135mm-1i8-Art-at-1i8-R-at-Infinity
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