Posts Tagged ‘Photography’
I was shooting in DSLR and mobile phone for quiet a long time, I started with D40 and some years ago moved to D7100. Photography is my hobby and I am not a pro. One of my long time wish was to shoot in Film but I never got a chance to realize my dream. Thoughts that kept me away from buying an SLR was
Is it worth to spend money on some thing that is difficult to use
Cost of the film
Who will process the films and cost involved in processing and digitizing
A month ago, my CEO Simon Weeks visited India and he gave me a very surprising and one of my most valued gift, a Nikon FM3A along with couple of Black and White films. It’s one of the greatest Camera ever made, Ken Rockwell has a great post about this camera. With this Camera, my journey starts in Film photography. At first I didn’t knew how to load a film, Simon gave me a short introduction about loading the film and theoretically he take me through the processes of washing the film.
As a DSLR user, I am habituated to check the LCD to see the preview of what I captured and adjust the exposure settings, if I am not satisfied. In film world I have no preview, so I should be very clear about the metering techniques and exposure. I have a good knowledge about Exposure but I refreshed my knowledge once again to make sure I will not do any mistake while capturing in film camera.
Photographing in FM3A is quiet a new experience. This camera will not autofocus, but the split screen focusing system is a great feature, which allows me to focus easier. Still I get some out of focus photos and learning my focusing skills. I really enjoy photographing with FM3A, it’s a very simple system, not many settings to fiddle with. Adjust the exposure and Aperture (if needed) and click shutter release, as simple as that.
Note: Shouldn’t try film SLR, if you are shooting in DSLR with Auto mode dialed in. It’s like sitting in a driverless car, in this case camera adjust Aperture and Exposure by itself, photographer only need to do is simply click the shutter release button. Instead in SLR world, you need to adjust the exposure yourself.
I went through a lot of articles and videos explaining the film processing. First thing to do film processing at home, is a developing tank, I checked most of the Indian ecom sites and they were pretty expensive or I didn’t like it much. From one of the facebook group I came to know about fotosingstore.in and ordered a Paterson Developing Tank
In my searches I come across film photographer named Prasanna Subbarayan, in one of the post he talk about developing film using XRay developer. I contacted him via email and later I talked to him via phone. He gave me the chemistry of developing using XRay developer. I got some developer from my Dentist and developed the first film roll. The result was good. First of all I cant judge my developing skills yet, learning from mistakes.
For developing my second film roll I bought Sterling Universal Film developer from GG Wellings, Sterling developer cost 60 Rs, to create 1 litre stock solution. I used XRay fixer to fix 35mm film.
Ofcourse I need a dark room to load the film, as of now I used one of my room at night with all light switched off, to make complete light proof, I cover myself and film using a blanket. It’s too hot : ). My father is making a setup to load film, I will update the photo of it later.
I used my DSLR to photograph the negative, then invert it via any processing application. But I didn’t get a good quality from it, to get good quality I need a macro lens. Then I tried with my iPhone camera and started getting satisfactory images. To capture the film, I created a small light box using an empty cardboard box. I felt like, I am getting a better result than anticipated, I decided to buy a dedicated Film Scanner. I got a good deal in Amazon.in for Canon 5600f and bought the scanner too. I did some scanning and I am getting pretty decent photographs.
How to reduce cost in Film photography
Every one knows film is the costliest part in film photography. In India, an ILFORD 100 cost around 800 INR. It’s pretty expensive. One way to reduce cost is to buy bulk 100ft films and use a day light film loader. This will reduce the cost to around 60INR per roll. My next item to buy is a Film loader and couple of reusable cassettes. Then I can be a full time Film photographer 🙂
What I love about Film photography
When I edit my DSLR photos, mostly I convert my photos to Black and white, I tried to achieve a film feel with a bit of grains. Now with film, I got what I really wanted. Also the process of developing, and after 15 to 20mins of development process, the moment you see the washed negative, it’s all real fun. I really didn’t get that anticipation in Digital world, I know what I got from the Preview screen of my Digital camera.
Some of the photos I shot in FM3A
You can also see more photos of mine at lumiagraphs.com
I always hunt for more and more apps related to photography for my Lumia920. One of the recent hit to the store is Hipstamatic Oggl, an awesome app for any photography enthusiast. One of the great feature of Oggl is I can download Lens and films from the Oggl online store and give my photos a unique style. In simple words these Lens and Films are like Filters, we can mix and match Lens and Film to give a unique effect to our photo.
Like Instagram, Oggl is a community driven platform. I can upload photos to Oggl web, I can follow and comment or like photos of others. Using Oggl I can upload photos to Instagram aswell.
One reason I fell for Oggl is, it’s capability of reapplying a different Lens/Film after the shot is taken. For e.g if I take a photo using Matty Lens with a Black and white film, I can change it to color later. I can apply a different color Film and make the same photo in color, without out reshooting it. To apply a different Lens, go to Library in Oggl, select the photo you want to edit and click the Gear icon (center icon).
In most other Camera app, if you shoot in Black and white, then no way to change it to color. By default the app comes with five predefined set like Portrait, Food, etc. I can add my own preset by choosing a Lens and a Film.
Oggl has an online store where we can download new Gears (Lens and Films). As per Hipstamatic they add more lenses every month. Oggl app is free and comes with a limited set of Lens and Films. To get full collection we need to subscribe for a Quarterly or Yearly subscription, subscription options are Quarterly for $2.99 & Yearly for $9.99. For Windows phone users there is a 60 day trial, in this period we can use the all the available Lenses and Frames.
One of the issue I have with Oggl is, it will be very slow if the phone is connected to Data network. I assume the app is trying to connect to the server before showing the camera app. I feel this is bit annoying and I might miss an opportunity because of this delay. Normally what I do is, I open Oggl and keep it running, I use the Back button and select Oggl whenever I required it. I reported this issue to Oggl support.
Oggl team is working on it to fix issues and adding more features. I like the customer support of the team, they provide a very fast response to our queries and suggestions.
I think most of the photographers out there faced this comment once or more in there life. Some time this comments are intended to degrade you or some times it’s out of curiosity. The fact is not every one can come up with a better photo even if post processed or with a great camera, other wise our world will be crowded with photographers. I like that curious minds, they wanted to learn.
Did I do post production, hell I do. I do post production to give the feeling I wanted in a photo. As humans we do a lot of post processing on our self. We go to beauty parlors, or we trim or comb our hairs, in my terms these are post processing. why we do that? to make our self presentable or feel confident.
I am software engineer, like every developer I also do a lot of refactoring. We apply patterns or practice OO. Why we do that? compiler can understand and compile any code even if it’s not refactored or not having any patterns. Still we do it, we are doing it because to give an aesthetic to our code, to make our code readable to others.
Then why post processing of a photo is not right or considered silly in peoples view. In my opinion they are doing it because we didn’t want to accept that guy have a talent, we are saying he is not talented but his tools got talent. Then why can’t you go and take a photo using your camera and you also have access to the same tools that guy has. Still if you can’t come up with the kind of photos he produce, then accept it he got talent.
Is Camera matters?
To some extend yes, the camera matters, rest is the talent of the person behind the view finder. Some time people say your photo is good, because you have a great camera. It’s like telling that my friend Senthil is an awesome developer because he has the world class IDE from Microsoft. The fact is, he can code even using a notepad.
A great tool is a must for any professional. A blunt axe in a wood cutter’s hand, will it help him? obviously not. Like any other profession, photographer also need better camera. But a great camera will never make you a great photographer.
"A photographer went to a socialite party in New York. As he entered the front door, the host said ‘I love your pictures – they’re wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera.’ He said nothing until dinner was finished, then: ‘That was a wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific stove."
Do I care if people comment like this? not at all. I take photos because I am passionate about it. I am not doing it to get likes, I am doing it for my own satisfaction. If I get likes or comments, it’s a motivation.
Photoshop is a tool for post processing, so please don’t call all edited Photos as Photoshopped.
I like to hear your thoughts, please leave your comments in the comment section.