Films not dead. - F.N.D http://www.filmsnotdead.com - Film Photography Shop, Printroom & Blog Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:46:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.3 Revelations: Ori Gersht – Comparison to the great pioneers http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/23/revelations-ori-gersht-comparison-to-the-great-pioneers/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/23/revelations-ori-gersht-comparison-to-the-great-pioneers/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 10:01:42 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23178 Although Ori Gersht’s ‘Blow-up’ series is not film based we found this interview he did with the Science Museum so fascinating we had to share it. At the current show ‘Revelations: Experiments in Photography’ held at the Media Space, Science Museum Gersht work takes centre stage as the leading image for the show. In this […]

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Although Ori Gersht’s ‘Blow-up’ series is not film based we found this interview he did with the Science Museum so fascinating we had to share it.

At the current show ‘Revelations: Experiments in Photography’ held at the Media Space, Science Museum Gersht work takes centre stage as the leading image for the show. In this 2 minute interview he explains how his ‘Blow-up’ series has been inspired by the great pioneers of photography.

He even mimicked a similar set up to the one Edward Muybridge used to demonstrate a horses movement, proving that they fly when they gallop.

Harold Edgerton is also very apparent in his work referring to the speed that a human eye can’t even comprehend but a camera can.

Gersht explains his ‘Blow-up’ series was taken at 7,500th  speed of a second, he says ‘it is a metaphysical time for us you cannot experience it, it starts to raise questions of the relationship of the camera to truth…’

 

Information courtesy: Media Space

Revelations: Experiments in Photographs 

 

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Revelations: Experiments in Photographs – Science Museum http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/14/revelations-experiments-in-photographs-science-museum/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/14/revelations-experiments-in-photographs-science-museum/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:56:30 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23121   20th March – 13 September 2015  The Science Museum, Media Space Exhibition Road South Kensington SW7 2DD Admission: £8 – Book now For Further Information: info@sciencemuseum.ac.uk/ 0870 870 4868  Since opening only a couple of years ago The Science Museum, Media Space, has set the bar for exquisite photographic exhibitions. Each one we go to we’re left […]

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The Flight of a Baton, 60 Flashes per Second, 1953 - Black & White ?Harold Edgerton, MIT, 2015, courtesy of Palm Press, Inc

20th March – 13 September 2015 

The Science Museum, Media Space
Exhibition Road
South Kensington
SW7 2DD

Admission: £8 – Book now

For Further Information: info@sciencemuseum.ac.uk/ 0870 870 4868

 Since opening only a couple of years ago The Science Museum, Media Space, has set the bar for exquisite photographic exhibitions. Each one we go to we’re left utterly inspired, wanting more. This ranges from the acclaimed ‘Only in England: Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr’ exhibition to ‘Drawn By Light – The Royal Photographic Society Collection to their current show which displays a visual feast of magical photographic experiments.

‘Revelations: Experiments in Photography’, which has been four years in the making, is a stunning three room display full of iconic photographs ranging from Harold Egerton’s unforgettable strobe bullet images, to Man Ray, Edward Muybridge, and then on to Carl Strüwe’s magnified view of a hummingbird’s proboscis.

Greg Hobson the curator of the show says it ‘developed out of an idea about photographs ability to give form to the intangible’ (quote taken from the exhibition ‘Revelations’ book). Photography through time has not only provided us with the ability of freezing what we see in the frame for memory or art, but this show demonstrates that photography has provided much more, by showing us the unseen, and how science has helped the art’s and vice versa.

During the 19th century science photography was extremely popular and our favourite work, has to be the first room. Mostly filled with Victorian era photographs with scientists experimenting with photography to prove known theories.

One series of photographs really caught our eye which were three photographs taken of the Orion Nebula taken in 1883 by astronomer Andrew Ainslie Common. One taken at 60 second exposure, with a clear night sky seen by the human eye. Another taken for 20 minutes revealing the luminous gas cloud burning quite brightly. The third taken with a 68 minute exposure shows the unique powerful glow of the Milky Way which would have probably left Mr Common speechless!

This show will leave you feeling like this too, and there’s no better place that should house it than the Science museum.

X Ray of Angelfish & Surgeonfish, 1896, Eduard Valenta & Josef Maria Eder National Media Museum, Bradford  SSPL The Flight of a Baton, 60 Flashes per Second, 1953 - Black & White Harold Edgerton, MIT, 2015, courtesy of Palm Press, Inc Chronophotograph of a Man Clearing a Hurdle, c.1892, êtienne Jules Marey ? National Media Museum, Bradford SSPL Lightning Fields 216, 2009, Hiroshi Sugimoto, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco Orion Nebula Andrew Ainslie Common 1883. © National Media Museum Bradford Bullet Through Lemon, c. 1955 - Color Harold Edgerton, MIT, 2015, courtesy of Palm Press, Inc.

 

 

Information & images courtesy: Science Museum/ Nation Media Museum 

 

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52 Photo Tips # 11: Forget Your Flash http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/11/52-photo-tips-11-forget-your-flash/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/11/52-photo-tips-11-forget-your-flash/#comments Sat, 11 Apr 2015 17:05:26 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23088   Electronic flash can be a lifesaver. Every smartphone, compact camera and entry level DSLR has one, giving frame filling light when needed. And flash can allow great photographs to be taken in challenging light, or to create the perfect lighting conditions to bring the most out of a subject. If you’ve ever spent time […]

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© Tori Khambhaita 7

Shot inside by window light. Kodak Portra 160 push to 400 © Tori Khambhaita

Electronic flash can be a lifesaver. Every smartphone, compact camera and entry level DSLR has one, giving frame filling light when needed. And flash can allow great photographs to be taken in challenging light, or to create the perfect lighting conditions to bring the most out of a subject. If you’ve ever spent time in a photographic studio you’ll know just how important artificial light can be, and how transformative it can be.

But when you’re starting out, it’s often best to leave your flash at home. While it’s true early flashes required manual input from the photographer to ensure they were exposing properly, most modern electronic flashes are blessed with a computer brain that takes all of the guesswork out of the picture.

Yet many of these modern flashes require a camera with an equally sophisticated brain. If you’re using a no-frills manual camera – the very best way to learn – then you’re often only limited to the camera’s X-Sync speed, which is often far slower than the camera’s fastest shutter speed. So if you’re not getting the best out of flash units – the kind of control that you would with a serious DSLR, for instance – it makes sense to concentrate instead on how to let the light around you work for you.

There are, however, ways you can get by with out flash – and most won’t require buying any more equipment.

Use a wider aperture. Opening up the aperture will let in more light, allowing you to use faster shutter speeds. And the added bonus is that with a wider aperture you’ll be focusing attention on your subject.

Use a slower shutter speed. The other side of the equation, and useful if you want to have more of the scene in focus. As long as your shutter speed is higher than your focal length (eg 1/60 when using a 50mm lens) then that shouldn’t be a problem.

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© Stephen Dowling

Push your film. This works best of all with black and white film, which is the more flexible in this respect than colour emulsions. You can push some types of black adn white film four stops (for instance, turning a 400 ISO film into a 6400 ISO film). This allows you to take photographs handheld in more challenging light conditions.

Use window light. Jane Bown, who recently passed away, was one of Britain’s most respected portrait photographers. Her pictures of figures such as Francis Bacon, Bjork, Mick Jagger and Orson Welles are incredible portraits, all taken on film cameras, black and white film and using natural light. Bown would often sit her subjects in front of a window; her technique was simplicity itself, yet created rightly lauded pictures. One of the great advantages with window light – especially on a cloudy day – is that it gets rid of harsh shadows.

Use artificial light. Sometimes the strong light from an artificial source, a lamp or overhead lights, can be enough if you’re lucky, though you’ll probably need to open up the aperture. If you’re shooting on colour film, be aware of the cast that tungsten lighting can leave on pictures (though this can be rescued in post-processing).

Fill in with a reflector. One of the most useful forms of flash, odd enough, comes into its own during bright and sunny conditions. Fill-in flash is a small, bright burst of light that illuminates the foreground when there’s a bright background fighting for the viewer’s attention (or worse, fooling the cameras meter). It a technique that helps the foreground pop out of a bright background and has often been used by photojournalists and National Geographic photographers. Again, there’s a low-tech solution – bouncing that bright light source in front of you back onto the subject’s face using a reflector. Reflectors come in a range of sizes and prices – you can even make your own if you’re feeling in a DIY mood – and they can shine a surprising amount of light for you to use. And absolutely no batteries required.

 

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England’s Oldest Camera Manufacturer – Gandolfi & Sons http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/10/englands-oldest-camera-manufacturer-gandolfi-sons/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/10/englands-oldest-camera-manufacturer-gandolfi-sons/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 12:28:00 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23075   This documentary is a little gem! It gives you a glimpse into the business of Gandolfi and Sons photographic cameras.  The 13 minute video reveals the beauty of their craft and the legacy of their family. Some say not only is this company the oldest in England but one of the world’s oldest camera manufacturers! […]

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Pubblicità-1920-circa

This documentary is a little gem! It gives you a glimpse into the business of Gandolfi and Sons photographic cameras.  The 13 minute video reveals the beauty of their craft and the legacy of their family. Some say not only is this company the oldest in England but one of the world’s oldest camera manufacturers!

London born Louis Gandolfi, of Italian and Scottish descent, first began work with a firm of cabinet makers at the age of twelve. In 1880, he entered the world of camera-making through Lejeune Perkins and Company, camera-makers of Hatton Garden, London. Five years later he set up his first business at 15a Kensington Place, Westminster, producing and supplying a wide range of cameras and accessories which he had patented.

By 1885 Gandolfi was founded by Louis Gandolfi. In 1928 he handed over the company to his sons, Arthur, Frederick and Thomas, who continued to run the company in the traditional way. They never employed more than a few staff, and were a small craftsman-type operation. They made many cameras as one-offs, to individual requirements. In 1993 sadly the last Gandolfi brother, Arthur, died  yet the Gandolfi company was sold a few years previously, when the brothers retired. The company continued to make cameras, both the traditional mahogany and brass models and the new Variant models right up to the late 2000.

If you would like to see more from this historic company photographer Ken Griffiths made a brilliant 97 minute documentary on them called ‘Gandolfi Family Business’ which was made over a 20 year period which tells the story of the family business of Fred and Arthur Gandolfi as they move from being the world’s oldest living camera-makers into a well-earned retirement.

 

Tom&cameraw01a

 

 

Information: Gandolfi Film

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52 Photo Tips #10: Buy new film http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/09/52-photo-tips-10-buy-new-film/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/09/52-photo-tips-10-buy-new-film/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 09:23:24 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23057 I try and take photos every weekend. Even when the weather is grey and dull, you can still find something worth capturing. And shooting on film makes me stand out from the crowd. The most common question I get asked, apart from “Can you still get it processed?” is “Do they still make film?” They […]

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kodak-professional-film

I try and take photos every weekend. Even when the weather is grey and dull, you can still find something worth capturing. And shooting on film makes me stand out from the crowd. The most common question I get asked, apart from “Can you still get it processed?” is “Do they still make film?”

They do, even if, for many people, the digital revolution killed film stone dead. And you can’t really blame them. The bricks and mortar, high-street photo chains tend to concentrate on DSLRs and digital accessories. Film, if they still carry it, tends to be kept behind the counter, freeing up all that valuable floor space for all those bits and bytes.

The number of films – and even film manufacturers – has dwindled, but appears to be reaching a natural level for those who still want to use it. But this will only continue if photographers keep buying new film.

Buying new film can be expensive. Fuji’s rapidly shrinking range of slide films – Provia and Velvia – now cost around £11 a roll in the UK; slides are a fantastic medium, it’s not something most photographers can indulge in except for special occasions.

Many photographers may only have a limited budget for their photography, and if they shoot film they not have to factor in the cost of the film, but also of getting that film developed and scanned. So how do you make sure that you’re helping keep film photography alive and not running yourself into debt in the process?

© Stephen Dowling

© Stephen Dowling

Buy the films you absolutely love new. When you start shooting film, it’s a good idea to try as many films as possible so you can find ones that suit your style. When you find them, buy them regularly.

I buy a lot of expired film, especially old slide films that are the best for cross-processing. But there are a few varieties I won’t buy secondhand; Kodak’s Tri-X and Fuji Superia 400 print film. Tri-X is the most incredible black and white film (and it’s been in production for more than 50 years) while the Superia captures fantastic golds and reds. I want both companies to keep making those films for as long as possible.

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Fomapan 100 is one of the cheapest black and white films you can buy © Stephen Dowling

Buy them in decent amounts. Don’t just buy the odd roll here and there; it’s better to save your money so that you’re buying 10 or 20 rolls at a time. That your local store or online retailer has to order them again, and that means the factories have to keep churning them out to keep up with demand. Look at this post by street photographer Eric Kim – he’s a big fan of Kodak’s Portra 400, and buys it in bricks (he also saves up all his films to develop in one go, which is something we’ll explore later).

There are bargains to be had, even now. If you’re really strapped for cash, consider shooting black and white on the range of Foma films from the Czech Republic. They can be had for around £3.50 and probably even less if you’re buying in bulk. They’re great films; the 200-speed film is a really useful speed with fine grain. Lomography’s own-brand range of print films are a good call aswell; they come in packs fo three and are available in 100, 400 and 800. Their 100-speed film is fine-grained and has saturated colour, designed very much with the company’s range of cameras in mind, but perfect for any film camera. There’s a richness to the colours that I’d normally only see in slide films.

The resurgence of interest in film photography has had some surprising results; Italian film-maker Ferrania folded in the mid-2000s after the digital revolution, but recently announced it was returning to production, making the old 100-speed slide film that was also known as Scotch Chrome. Former Ferrania employees have got the old factory back working because they sensed there was a gap in the market. Good things can happen when you vote with your pocket.

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FOCUSED…… Laura Pannack http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/08/focused-laura-pannack/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/04/08/focused-laura-pannack/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 12:21:58 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23043   If you went to the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition last year at the National Portrait Gallery you would have certainly seen the striking portrait of Chayla at Shul, a young Hassidic Jewish girl taken by Laura Pannack. This image earned her the John Kobal New Work Award from National Portrait Gallery, and in our opinion […]

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Shey

 

If you went to the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition last year at the National Portrait Gallery you would have certainly seen the striking portrait of Chayla at Shul, a young Hassidic Jewish girl taken by Laura Pannack. This image earned her the John Kobal New Work Award from National Portrait Gallery, and in our opinion it was very well deserved.

Laura Pannack’s photographs have been recognised by some of the World’s biggest photographic competitions and institutions,  having her work extensively exhibited and published both in the UK and internationally. This star studded list includes The NPG, The Houses of Parliament, Somerset House, and the Royal Festival Hall.

We were lucky enough to catch up with her, in Clapton, London to discuss her work before she left for Amsterdam to Judge this years World Press Photo Awards.

 

Film’s Not Dead: First and foremost, congratulations on being invited to judge this years World Press Photo awards, and also for the recent John Kobal Award for New work from the National Portrait Gallery.

How did you start taking pictures and why do you continue to use film?

I actually started painting before I did photography, and I’ve grown up with photography, as my dads a photographer. So from a very young age I was in the darkroom. I remember watching Tom and Jerry on the television with the Red filter and tipping the trays and hanging out in the studio drinking cans of coke, but I didn’t actually pick up the camera until I had studied painting for a bit and wanted to explore which medium I wanted to try out next.

I did a foundation in fine art and when I was 21 I shot my first roll of black and white film which I processed in the darkroom as part as the introduction to photography. But I didn’t really make a connection with it then while growing up, I just thought, wow this is incredible and I really like this and began to see how painting could be transformed into photography, and how I can capture a moment and still paint it, but just with light and very quickly. I am a very impatient person, so photography came across as a much more immediate art form.

And then as I finished studying the digital age came in and fortunately for me it hit after I studied at the Brighton University, and I had already learned how to colour print. I had been shooting 35 mm Black and White mostly and then starting shooting on colour, and then decided to start shooting on medium format, I was shooting on a Bronica 645.

Film’s Not Dead: Do you work with film for any of your assignments that require fast turnaround? How did you work on your first assignment?

I was in my third year when I had my first assignment, it was for the Saturday Telegraph. I didn’t own a digital camera and didn’t have an interest in digital photography, so I started shooting on analogue and I did that for an about a year. I shot on analogue for editorials and of course I lost loads of money, but it was my natural way of working and it was much easier to edit as well, I had the contact sheets in-front of me and found it very easy to quickly select the images that I wanted and spot the duds.

Also I just had to scan the contact sheets in and send it to the editors, so there was no shying away from any mistakes that might have happened, or if I had got my exposures wrong or if I had taken some really bad pictures, then they were still all on there, so it was a very vulnerable position.

Then after a year or two the digital age quickly took over and what I realised was that the painterly effect that I was searching for was only attainable on film. And it must be 8 years since then, and I think the grain and the quality film still has it for me.

I still shoot digital for my commercial work but I really relish the fact that analogue completely changes the way that I work. The process is much more intimate and its much more of a physical process, and the reaction to shooting in analogue is different as well. I now shoot on Hasselblad and I have started using some large format as well. My interest in learning about analogue film has only grown, since I have left university. Now I am exploring lots of different cameras and collecting cameras as well as exploring processes that I don’t know anything about.

Film’s Not Dead: Please tell us about this project that you are working on and about your choice of using film expired the year you were born?

The project that I am doing at the moment is called ‘Youth without Age and Life without Death’, and its set in Romania and based on a Romanian folktale, and I wanted to reflect that this tale, a large part of it, is about death, and exploration and neglect and deterioration, and I wanted to mirror this in the film that I was using, because there was no question that I was going to shoot it on analogue.

I purchased large amounts of film that have expired around the year I was born. Working with this kind of film is unpredictable anyways- I just came back from a trip and 30 rolls of my film was completely damaged due to the fact that I had bought it on the internet and it had been through several x-ray machines, so that risk that you get with film is always quite high, it might not come out, it might be fogged, your exposure might be off, but working with expired film increases those risks so much more, because its like any second hand object – you don’t know who the previous owners were, you don’t know if they have stored it in the fridge, you don’t know if its exposed already, theres so many different elements, to working with such an unpredictable material, which I really enjoy.

I love the fact that you can find beauty in those mistakes, and you can see other peoples influences, and its almost a collaboration between yourself and the journey the film has through up until that point, but it also requires lots of patience. I am also shooting on polaroid, which unfortunately is dying, the film that I am working with is all expired, its no longer in stock and I have to ship it over the internet.

Unfortunately film is expensive, but I do believe that anything that is a luxury, or is of great quality you have to kinda make sacrifices for, and I quite like the fact that I have to spend money on my film and be very precious with it and be very careful it because it makes me consider the shots before I take them, and I know its bit of a cliche but that mentality stays with me as a psychological part of the process. Especially with Polaroid, because it feels like you can’t go to the shop and buy it, once you have run out of film thats it. This is terrifying but it can also make you incredibly self judgemental.

You feel guilt for shooting images that don’t work because you’ve wasted this film. I come back incredibly disappointed and heartbroken it forces me to change my process, much more than I do coming back shooting digital. I don’t know why that is, and I know its not the financial costs, I think its the respect that I have for film and I want to do it justice.

It’s quite easy to hide behind your images in the digital era, whereas when you are shooting analogue, everything is in that frame, especially with polaroid, if you leave something in you have to leave something in for a reason.

When you are shooting with film you’ve just got this small box to play with, and its quite nice to have that discipline of knowing that all you shoot will be on that contact sheet, you can’t hide anything and I print all of my work, cropping things out isn’t something that I really like to do. I prefer that organic process and I like the idea that there is a continuum of shooting with something that is very analogue. It’s very raw, and in a way craft like and that process is passed on to the printing, and the negative that is a physical object it’s not a digital pixel. That’s important to me, I like to be able to hold things, I like things to be tangible. I am really crap at online shopping, I really like walking into shops and feeling things and knowing if they’re right, and this Romanian Project is a nice kind of way to explore the idea of Exploration..and explore the idea of Death, and the meaning of things. The meaning and the value that I place on film. I hope that I can reflect that within the work that I create.

Film’s Not Dead: You probably get asked this a lot but what cameras do you work with?

Lots of people ask what camera I use, a lot of people ask what film I use and I totally get that because when I see work of many photographers, I am really curious about how they get the look that they get or what process they go through. I learned really quickly and my mum always said to me, that the camera is just a box, their great toys but the best advice I can give to anyone is if they are looking to buy a camera is to go into a shop feel it, hold it, and look through it.

I think that, you know people always say that you should definitely get a Mamiya 7, its a rangefinder camera, and everyone I know absolutely adores it. They say its perfect when you are travelling, there is no waste level finder, and you know its a nice format – medium format, but as soon as I went into a shop and held one up and as soon as I rented one, I knew it wasn’t the camera for me. I’ve tried since and I’ll never completely turn my back on that camera or any particular camera for that matter, but I think the relationship that you have with your camera is very instinctive, it’s like walking into a house and knowing you want to buy it. It’s very much a kind of personal thing.

Film’s Not Dead: What formats of film do you work with?

At the moment I am really looking at using large format, it’s something I really wanted to do and I think that time has probably come now because before it wasn’t right for the work that I was doing.

Some of my work is documentary based, and it was very much about capturing a moment, whereas the shots that I am doing in this project are very much constructed, they are tableau images, there is lots of time involved, there are more people involved, which helps because a larger format is difficult to manage with one person, and also I think it suits the dynamic of the way that I am working for this. I am also shooting at the moment on a Hasselblad, and I really like that square format, I bought it about 5 years ago, and it took me couple of years shooting with it just get used to it, because before I was using a Bronica 645, and I was holding it closer to the face, but I do think its just a box.

Film’s Not Dead: What would be an important factor for you to start on a personal project?

Well there’s quite a few things, and one of them, is do I care..and does it interest me and if so why. The second thing is can people relate to it.

There are quite a few projects that I have done that are about my personal life – my family or my relationships, but actually they are not the kind of projects that I actually want to pursue or dedicating large amounts of time and research to because they are more therapeutic not really relevant to anyone else. With my work what I want to do is raise questions and start conversations to hopefully trigger peoples imaginations.

I think there will also be universal themes within any body of work, but its quite nice to explore certain projects where you know, that maybe those themes will really connect and engage with people more deeply, so I tend to focus on things like love, family, relationships, religion or vulnerability they are quite emotional themes that I focus on and for me its really important that someone gets an emotional reaction to my work, whether thats intrigue, curiosity, laughter, anger, vulnerability, there needs to be an engagement and there needs to be a connection

Film’s Not Dead: In any of the projects that you’ve done have you had more success with the Subject ( eg. Hassidic Jewish Women, or Young British Naturists), because you used film over digital ?

I think film, as I said has definitely changes the process and the dynamics in the way that I’m working and also alters the relationship that I have with people.

One thing that it will always do is, I think cameras in general whether its analogue or digital, there will always be a nice relationship in the sense that you can share and you can teach people to how to use a camera, but I think that the flexibility and the potential to do that is much greater with analogue because I think less people have an understanding of it, and its much more of a craft.

Analogue intrigues people more, and I believe they are more curious about a machine that they don’t understand especially larger formats. The main reason I shoot analogue is that it’s more silent and slower I like to take that time to engage with somebody and consider my shot, and when I shooting digital it’s just too tempting to take a picture because its too easy and its free.

If somebody said to me tomorrow that you have to completely give up film and you have to shoot digital forever, it would really break my heart, and I would really have to re-question, If I wanted to be a photographer ,and if I did want to be a photographer how I was going to use that way of working and that process, to keep my passion alive.. which is quite a heavy handed thing to place on a process but I guess it’s because I have always learned photography in an analogue setting and always loved going into the darkroom, and that has been the drawing point that brought me into photography.

© Laura Pannack © Laura Pannack © Laura Pannack © Laura Pannack © Laura Pannack © Laura Pannack

 

Author: Amol Antony Jose 

Laura Pannack

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52 Photo Tips #9: Use morning and evening light http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/03/25/52-photo-tips-9-use-morning-and-evening-light/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/03/25/52-photo-tips-9-use-morning-and-evening-light/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 13:10:34 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=23005 Most photographers end up shooting the majority of their pics in bright sunlight. No great mystery there – we have our cameras with us when we’re on holiday or out on bright, sunny days. Photography needs light, and these conditions present us with a feast. But it’s not the best light for photography. Hard, overhead […]

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© Charlie Abbiss

Most photographers end up shooting the majority of their pics in bright sunlight. No great mystery there – we have our cameras with us when we’re on holiday or out on bright, sunny days. Photography needs light, and these conditions present us with a feast.

But it’s not the best light for photography. Hard, overhead summer sun creates deep black shadows – great, perhaps, if you’re shooting a colourful street scene, but ugly if you’re attempting portraits; the overhead sun creates hard blacks even under eye sockets.

Pro photographers almost never shoot in these conditions unless they can do so in open shade. Instead, they get up early or wait until the sun starts sinking. You should try doing the same.

Early morning and late afternoon sunlight is a much richer source of light. As the sun rises or sinks, its light has to pass through more of the Earth’s atmosphere. That means there’s a lot more dust and haze to get in the way. This refraction results in much warmer light, which gives off mired and gold times compared to the harder, bluer light of noon. The position of the sun also lengthens shadows and the angles accentuates texture.

The benefits of shooting in such light also extends to digital, but for film photographers this lighting really adds extra depth to colour film, in particular colour negative.

© Stephen Dowling. Late afternoon light can make ordinary photos much more impressive

Faster films, like Fuji Superia 400 or Kodak Tri-X, bring atmospheric grain, as well as accentuating grain.

The best hours to shoot change depending on where you are and what season it is. But in summer, a good rule of thumb is to avoid that hard light around midday – if you’re determined to shoot between 11am and 3pm, do it in open shade rather than out in the full light.

Out in the morning, the light develops, so 100 or 200 speed film is fine… But in the evening having a roll of 400 ISO film might be a good idea, especially if you’re handholding. It might make all the difference in capturing the last of that rich, red light.

© Charlie Abbiss

 

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Jaw Dropping Pinhole Camera http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/03/18/the-jaw-operated-pinhole-camera/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/03/18/the-jaw-operated-pinhole-camera/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 09:14:08 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=22913 Have you ever wanted to try a completely new perpespective in the way you take your photographs or have you been trying to shoot complete strangers in the street but can’t seem to find the courage to do it? Well, photographer Nicholas Williams has come up with a very unique solution to this problem, he […]

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Have you ever wanted to try a completely new perpespective in the way you take your photographs or have you been trying to shoot complete strangers in the street but can’t seem to find the courage to do it?

Well, photographer Nicholas Williams has come up with a very unique solution to this problem, he decided to use his face to hold his handmade camera, which he has aptly named the jaw operated pinhole camera!

He told TIME, “As a street photographer it can be kind of intimidating bringing the camera up to your face to make a picture, so I thought I‘d put the camera on my face.”

William’s constructed his basic camera using everyday household items; a matchbox, a tin can and some cheap twine. It works by wrapping the twine around his camera, forehead and jaw, from that William’s is able to control his exposures by simply opening and closing his mouth.

Last July, the photographer visited New York City to try his homemade camera in a brand-new environment. “The camera sort of acted as a mask, people don’t pay attention to you in New York City if you’re doing something strange, most people didn’t even seem to notice me at all.”

Back in Ann Arbor, where Williams is a student at the University of Michigan, people’s reactions were polar opposites. “I stood over a girl and attempted to make a test photograph, but she ran off leaving her books and bag behind,” he says. When Williams later approached her, she told him she actually believed that the camera attached to his face was a bomb!

This summer, the jaw-operated pinhole camera will be back on Williams’ face as he plans to travel to Ireland and use it again, this time to make colour photographs, we can’t wait to see the results from that.


© Nicholas Williams © Nicholas Williams © Nicholas Williams © Nicholas Williams © Nicholas Williams © Nicholas Williams

Information: TIME Lightbox 

All images © Nicholas Williams

Instagram / Tumblr

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52 Photo Tips #8 – Learn the Sunny 16 rule http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/03/14/52-photo-tips-8-learn-the-sunny-16-rule/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/03/14/52-photo-tips-8-learn-the-sunny-16-rule/#comments Sat, 14 Mar 2015 12:13:19 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=22849 Spare a thought for the film photographers from decades past, learning their way without all the helping hands we take for granted today. Few cameras – except the most expensive – had any kind of meter built in. Photographers, if they had the money, had to make do with handheld meters (if they could afford […]

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Spare a thought for the film photographers from decades past, learning their way without all the helping hands we take for granted today. Few cameras – except the most expensive – had any kind of meter built in. Photographers, if they had the money, had to make do with handheld meters (if they could afford one) or guess the exposure.

This was easier said than done considering many cheaper cameras had only a few speeds and apertures. Photography with the likes of a Kodak Brownie or an Agfa Clack could feel like guesswork. But there as a simple trick for taking perfectly exposed pics. And it’s something that still works a treat today.

The Sunny 16 rule might be the simplest piece of technical advice you can learn in photography. What’s more, it’s pretty much foolproof.

Sunny 16 is a mathematical equation that allows you to expose properly in outdoor lightning conditions. The rule means that for bright sunny weather – the kind you’re likely to find on your summer holidays, when most people were taking photographs – you set the aperture to f16 and the shutter speed as close to the ISO of the film you are shooting with; if you have 100 speed film, set the camera’s speed to the 1/125th. If your film is ISO 200, set the shutter speed to 1/250th. “Sunny weather” means bright sunshine with clear and distinct shadows.

The Sunny 16 rule doesn’t end there; the right exposure for other lighting conditions can also be worked out – right down to overcast days. The table below gives a good indication.

 

Sunny
Deep shadows
Hazy Sun
Soft Shadows
Cloudy
Faint shadows
Overcast
No shadows
F-Stop / 16 / 11 / 8 / 5.6
ISO 100 1/125 1/125 1/125 1/125
ISO 200 1/250 1/250 1/250 1/250
ISO 400 1/500 1/500 1/500 1/500
ISO 800 1/1000 1/1000 1/1000 1/1000

The Sunny 16 rule might seem archaic given that, with a few clicks, a light meter app can be downloaded for your smartphone. But learning it allows you to understand light, and confidently expose for the conditions. And getting the exposure right is often half the battle.

In bright sunshine, where your subject isn’t hidden in shade, the Sunny 16 rule will stand you in pretty good stead.

But it’s also a brilliant tool for shooting on overcast days. Living in London, I see a lot more of those than I do sizzlingly sunny ones.

 

Because Sunny 16 is a basic mathematical rule, it is predictable – and flexible. The above shot was taken on 400 ISO film rated at 3200; that means it’s pushed three stops and needs either a shutter speed three times faster, or an aperture stopped down three extra stops…. I double-checked with a handheld meter, but my basic calculation was pretty much on the money. Sunny 16, it turns out, is Cloudy 16 too!

 

 

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FOCUSED…..Taylor Pool http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/03/12/focused-taylor-pool/ http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2015/03/12/focused-taylor-pool/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 10:45:55 +0000 http://www.filmsnotdead.com/?p=22833 Today on our FOCUSED series we’re very excited to have photographer Taylor Pool! Pool has a love for everything analogue from developing his own films to hand printing all his own work, shooting promptly with either a Rolleiflex or Mamiya RZ67 on black and white film. His work concentrates on taking mainly portraits of people who […]

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© Taylor Pool

Today on our FOCUSED series we’re very excited to have photographer Taylor Pool!

Pool has a love for everything analogue from developing his own films to hand printing all his own work, shooting promptly with either a Rolleiflex or Mamiya RZ67 on black and white film.

His work concentrates on taking mainly portraits of people who he encounters on his journeys, he believes that it ‘is an act of honor and justice. Being able to show that they are worthy of a photograph portraying the realism of their life and environment; not hiding anything to the viewer or the outside world.’

We caught up with Pool to find out more about his work:

Film’s Not Dead:  Could you start off by telling us a bit about yourself and how your love for photography began?

Taylor Pool: I remember my love for photography began when a friends mom gave me a very old and small digital camera. I was 13 or 14 at the time and took it to a concert with me and couldn’t stop taking photos of the band. I’m sure I was a bit annoying. My grandfather found out that I was using this camera a lot and that summer when I visited him in Texas he gave me his Canon T50, a film camera that he used to travel around Europe and the States with. I couldn’t believe it! At this point and time this camera seemed to be a lot of worth, not knowing a lot about cameras. From that point on I “seriously” pursued photography at that age by constantly being in my backyard and taking photos of insects, animals, plants, then moving onto bands and concerts. Then two years later a friend from Oklahoma switched to digital photography and sent me his Canon A2 as a surprise gift and encouragement to keep pursuing photography more seriously.

Film’s Not Dead:  Looking through your work it’s clear to see you’re a fan of using medium format cameras. Why do you decide to particularly work with the Rolleiflex and Mamiya RZ67?

Taylor Pool: That’s a great question. I actually used small format for 5-6 years or so, until I was 20. Then when I moved to Germany and after a year of being in Germany all my friends were using Hasselblads and Mamiyas and it really made me curious as to what the difference of medium format film is to small format, why do they use it, pro’s and con’s and all that stuff.

Then there came a point when I was 21 I felt like it was time to grow in my photography and take a challenge and “step up” to a new level, so I pursued medium format. Found a Mamiya RZ67 on Ebay and it was gifted to me fortunately enough!

Since then I haven’t regretted using medium format.More details, more depth, more emotion in every photo.

Film’s Not Dead: Travelling is a big part of your work, you’ve travelled to Ethiopia, London, Romania. How do you decide which places to travel to, is there a specific assignment your going out there for or do you find something when your there?

Taylor Pool: Travelling is not only a big part of my work but it’s a big part of my lifestyle.

In 2008 when I moved to Germany I joined an organization who train people to use arts on the field, in different countries, to help others and raise awareness of what’s happening in the world. Therefore, wherever I travel is for a specific purpose. I rarely travel out of my own personal curiosity. I usually travel because my team or colleagues have a vision to do some kind of work in “this or that” country.

I’ve worked a lot in Ethiopia, I was actually just there mid February for 10 days, because in 2009 a group of people I was with started a relief ministry to help teens find a better and healthier lifestyle than they were living. Since 2008 I’ve been back 5 times to continue to work with what we started.

A few years back my team did a 2 week journey through Eastern Europe because we wanted to work with the Roma people in Romania and also visit this arts district in Ljubljana, Slovenia. That trip was absolutely 100% spontaneous and unplanned. We had no contacts nor friends in Slovania, Romania, Croatia, Hungary, etc to help us with housing or anything. But what I found there, photography and people wise, was one of the best things. I haven’t been back to Sighsoara, Romania since then, but my dream is to go back to one of the roma villages and to offer free family portraits to all the families there. If you’re able to take their family portrait it’s a treasure to them. Their extreme living conditions cause them to not have that long of a life span. At times families will have 6-9 children knowing not all of them will survive, so taking a family portrait of them will help them to remember all their family members for a long long time.

Film’s Not Dead: What’s your typical start up for shooting?

Taylor Pool: My typical start up for shooting is simply me going out with my camera and waiting to meet people who catch my eye or make a relational impact with me. All my photos from my “Stranger” series is with the Rolleiflex. Since the Rollei is so portable and small, I’m able to always have it in my arms as I walk and if I see someone I need to take a photo of then I ask them or try to start a conversation. Often people come to me because they see my old camera and ask me questions about it. So it’s half and half of me going to people and people coming to me.

Film’s Not Dead: Looking through your work, it’s clear you see the world in black & white. Why do you decide to shoot in black & white than colour?

Taylor Pool: I love shooting black and white because I can work with my hands more than I can with color, and it makes me feel more that I am actually creating something. With b/w film I can develop them myself in my bathroom, then take them to the darkroom to print. The entire time working with my hands and producing something physical. When I came to Germany in 2008, the training course I was a part of for 6 months also taught me strictly on black and white film and paper development. They taught me a lot of values as to why black and white is so personal and important and I found I agreed with a lot of their teachings.

Film’s Not Dead: Use one word to describe your style of photography?

Taylor Pool: People.

Film’s Not Dead: What is it that makes you want to shoot on film?

Taylor Pool: For me film becomes a personal issue. If you decide to take a photo of someone with film, then it’s personal and it means something, because film actually costs you something, and it’s expensive! With digital it’s hard to make things personal because it doesn’t cost you anything. Buy one SD card and you can take photos of whoever you want. With film you have to be picky. That’s why I shoot film because it allows me to become personal with my subjects and picky with who I choose, therefore making the photographs more special. I love that I am not able to take photos of everyone. I love that I have a strong say in who and what goes into a roll of film. That’s what makes a roll of film so special because I know I have chosen wisely and not just captured snapshots, but something more meaningful.

Film’s Not Dead: If you could give one piece of advise to an inspiring photographer, what would that be?

Taylor Pool: Your first 100,000 photographs are just the beginning. I read a quote like that a long time ago and I couldn’t agree more. I remember my first two years of shooting in my backyard and shooting concerts and I didn’t really like my photography. Then after 2 or 3 years I actually started to like my photography; after 100s of rolls of film and money down the drain. Photography takes sacrifice, and if you’re wanting to be great, then you’ll need to sacrifice a lot of time, money, patience, and comfort in order to be great. Be flexible and have fun as well. Don’t always be serious with photography. Make sure that you make your photography enjoyable and not always a task on your to-do list.

Film’s Not Dead: What are your plans for this year. Do you have any projects/exhibitions lined up that we should look out for?

Taylor Pool: Right now I am currently working towards printing 10-15 Stranger photos in the darkroom for a (hopeful) exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany where I currently reside. This Fall I will also be part of a collaborative exhibition with my team where we will showcase the story of a childrens home that we will visit in India this Spring. I will be traveling to India in Spring and hopefully to Eastern Europe this Fall, and somewhere in the year find a showcase for my Stranger series.

Film’s Not Dead: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us. Is there anything else you’d like to say to the readers of Film’s Not Dead?

Taylor Pool: I love talking to people and sharing each others passions, dreams, ideas, and artwork. Please message me if you want to share anything. I’m on Instagram, FB, and have a website. Let’s connect! I always am looking to be inspired by others and I want to hear why others create art.

© Taylor Pool © Taylor Pool © Taylor Pool © Taylor Pool © Taylor Pool © Taylor Pool © Taylor Pool

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