Istanbul in October. The days are drawing shorter. The tourist hordes – trains of slow-moving sightseers snaking their way from Byzantine church to towering mosque – have begun to dissipate. The hotels start reducing their rates. The calls from the quayside to join a Bosphorus cruise become a little less frenetic.
But you couldn’t exactly call the city is quiet. There might be fewer selfie sticks and maps being unfurled on street corners, but it is still home to as many as 18 million people commuting, shopping, eating, smoking. Stand on the quayside at Eminonu during rush-hour, and you might think that half of them were trying to push past you.
The light’s not as strong and long-lasting as you find in the summer, but the overcast conditions are perfect for black and white film.
(Pic: Khanh Hmoong/Flickr)
This is the 20th article in a series in collaboration with Film’s Not Dead.
Film costs too much. Film itself is expensive. You can spend a fortune as a beginner with no guarantee that your talents will reward all that expense. And then it costs to get it developed, and it costs to get it scanned. If you’ve come from digital, the expense can be eye-watering.
The thing is, if you’re going to get the most out of shooting film, you’re going to have to shoot a lot. Shoot consistently, but above all shoot continually. Like practising a musical instrument, great results rarely come from dipping in once or twice every six months.
So how can you ensure that you’re shooting enough to get encouraging results without breaking the bank?
The FED 50, the Soviet answer to the snap-happy Olympus Trip (Pic: Roman Yesipov/Wikimedia)
The Olympus Trip 35 is one of the most famous film cameras of all time. It came out in 1967 and production didn’t end until 1984; not bad for a camera that still metered via a selenium cell.
The Trip was designed very much with holidays in mind, hence its name. It had only two shutter speeds – 1/40th and 1/200th – and its automatic exposure system would choose one and match it with the right aperture. It was a pretty simple, no-frills camera, but it had a secret weapon; a truly exceptional lens.
More than 10 million Trips were sold over the 17 years it was produced. Millions upon millions of pictures were taken on them. And like many other Western cameras big and small, the Japan-made Trip inspired another camera from behind the Iron Curtain – the FED 50.
This is the 19th article in a series in collaborations with Film’s Not Dead.
Filters might seem a bit old-fashioned now; the effects that photographers used to get with a thin piece of glass on the end of the lens. Editing software like Photoshop can replicate them – so why bother with filters?
Well, there are plenty of digital photographers who do just that – keeping their old-school glass lenses with their digital kit. Why? Because you can see the effects while you’re composing and shooting. It becomes part of the photographic process and not something added as an afterthought.
One of the most useful filters, especially if you’re travelling at the height of summer or near the sea, is a polariser.
(Pic: Yutaka Tsutano/Flickr)
This is the 18th post in a series in collaboration with Film’s Not Dead.
One of the big stumbling blocks that prevents people trying film – especially with older cameras – is metering.
We’re used to taking perfectly exposed pics time after time these days, either on our phones, digital compacts or DSLRs. To give that up and try and get well-exposed photos on a 50 or 60-year-old camera seems like a pretty steep learning curve.
Many film cameras built towards the end of the 20th Century came armed with excellent meters. Enthusiast SLRs like the Nikon F100 or the Canon EOS 5 boasted metering that would still be impressive on a DSLR today – they made shooting perfectly exposed pics a cinch. But what if you’re shooting on an old Leica rangefinder? Or a Lubitel? Or the old folding camera that your grandparents had? You can use your phone (there are plenty of accurate light meter apps around these days) or another camera that has an accurate meter. But by far the easiest way is to invest in a handheld light meter.