While I don’t condone the use of this technique on a dSLR (oh ok, I’m not THAT much of a luddite…), it would certainly work well on a film SLR too. Advantage for film is that you get all the shutter-speed flexibility of the dSLR, but don’t have to worry about getting dust on your sensor.
I’ve been seriously considering switching my professional photography from purely digital, to some mix of film and digital for a few months now. I shoot almost exclusively film when I’m shooting for myself (family snapshots, ‘fine art’, street etc). So why switch, and why not?
It’s a little scary to contemplate, because a) film seems to be dying and b) I’ve gotten used to ‘chimping’ my images and seeing them in real time. It’s one thing to shoot “fingers crossed” when it’s your own project, but when there’s a client with demands and time constraints…that’s another story.
And yet, and yet: I love the way film looks. I love the analog way it handles extreme contrast, deftly compressing highlights that would clip in digital. Much like an analog synthesizer or tube amplifier—hey, I come from a music background!—there’s a certain warmth and texture that you can’t quite get with digital. Even when you record with film and then scan it, the benefits remain.
So why is this a good time to shoot film? Go read this blog called Twin Lens Life. Specifically this post, but the whole site is great as well. These guys are great wedding shooters, and they do it all on film. The images are friggin’ gorgeous. I want mine to look…well not like that, but I want them to evoke the same feeling.
The big fuss is that Kodak is releasing yet another film technology, at a time when many say film is dead. The new Portra 400 is based on Kodak Vision technology from their cinematic film division. If it’s going to be the same thing the Wright brothers have been testing at Twin Lens Life, then this film is going to be amazing.
The only bummer is that you have to wait until next month to get your hands on it.
I stumbled across Jonathan Canlas work recently. He’s a wedding photographer out of Utah, and he shoots exclusively on film! Brave soul in this day and age, although I wonder if clients even stop to wonder about this anymore. Digital was cool until it became the default, now…film, what’s that? Well if you’re reading my blog, you know what’s what.
Jonathan’s blog, which contains weddings and personal work, is here (link). And his official site is here (link). Check it out!
Very nice set of pinhole images from Neil Hall…be sure to check them out! He’s using both medium format and 35mm format cameras.
Although I like the uncertainty of it all, a camera is a camera and anyone with a slash of technical knowledge can plan and get some good results. A quirk of a pinhole photograph is the incredible depth of field (i.e. everything in the shot is in focus) and wide angle. It makes for good landscapes or interiors like the Natural History Museum (above). It also means that little things like models can appear bigger than they are and you can make mini-scenes like my fish and my radioactive ant.
See the rest of the images here (link).
Below, one of my favorites from Neil’s series.
Nice collection of pinhole images, showing a variety of styles and looks.
The fact that a friend of mine is doing a pinholes photography exhibition inspired me to start looking for some more fantastic examples of pinhole photography in the deepest depths of the FlickrWebs.
I discovered two things: I need to get back to low-fi photography, and there’s a lot of talented people out there.
But what am I doing waffling – I’m sure you just want to look at photos, don’t you? Can’t blame ya. Here you go!
See all the pinhole images here (link).
River Typewriter by Sean Duggan
I’ve been shooting medium-format film for long enough that I forget how different it is from 35mm film. If you’ve never shot medium format (i.e. 120/220) or any roll-film format for that matter, it might seem a little intimidating. Here’s a good post for the medium-format newbie that I found.
For those who want to dip a toe into shooting the real thing, there is much to recommend a basic Holga 120N camera. It’s cheap, widely available, and gives images with a distinctive dreamy flavor. And in general, any camera with the same large film format will give a noticeably different feeling from digital (something I’ve written about before).
We’re talking about shooting the 120 film size, often referred to as medium format.
Even if you’re an old hand with 35mm film, 120 has some quirks which can trip you up. So today I’ll give a visual step-by-step on how to load it, and how frame-counting works with 120 cameras.
Read the entire post here (link).
This is a really nice effect, given as a tutorial by Bill Hansen. Sort of Holga-esque, sort of Lensbaby, but probably a little more extreme than both. And finally a use for all those useless Brownie Hawkeye Flash cameras floating around! I’ve always avoided them like the plague, but now I’m actually bidding on one so I can flip the lens for that dreamy effect. And I’ve also modified a camera in my possession in hopes of achieving the same thing in 35mm (more on that after I’ve developed the film as a test). So check it out, but stay away from my only-bid auction that closes soon!
Anywho, an unmodified BHF [Brownie Hawkeye Flash] takes a relatively normal photograph, but something magical happens when you flip the lens. It’s like the soft focus of a vintage Diana multiplied to the Nth degree. The lens’ focal point shifts from infinity to about 3 feet in the center, while the edges just melt away into blurry goodness. The effect can be quite surreal.
Read the article here (link).
Annual photo contest at holgapalooza.com. Cash prizes, cheap to enter! Send ‘em your best Holga shots before June 27th.
Here are step by step instructions for building a pinhole camera that uses three rolls of 35mm film simultaneously to get an image you would normally need a 4×5 sheet of film for.
The main Battlefield body which looks like, em … a naval destroyer is the enclosure that holds all the pieces together, as with any camera the body has to answer several functions:
Firstly, it needs to have a place for the film cassette, then it needs a photographic chamber and lastly it needs to house the winding spool or spools.
“Traditional” pinholes this size usually carry photo-paper or sheet-film as what we computer age babies call sensor. The Battlefield, however, uses three rolls of film so it needs to have a winding spool and knob, a rewind lever lock mechanism and button and three (yes THREE) different rewind spools and knobs.
Read the entire article here (link)
I tried this before a few years ago, with a bad result. Looks like I could have used this tutorial!
I was fortunate enough to have found my Instamatic camera with a 126 cartridge inside. After reading up on the film format and it’s (lack of) availability, I thought I’d just bought a showpiece. About a week later, I stumbled across an article explaining how to reload the 126 cartridge with 35mm film.
First thing I had to do was sacrifice the film in the cartridge. I didn’t want to, but developing someone elses 126 film would have been expensive and a waste of money anyway. I’ve made a youtube video of how to do this procedure, it will do a better job of explaining how this part works.
Read the full article here (link).