Film photography

By liveitshareit on 2014.02.17 In Uncategorized

I will to talk a little bit about why I almost always use film instead of digital when I shoot landscapes. It’s a hate love relationship that you gladly romanticize though it is expensive, complicated, difficult to photograph, print, scan and again very very costly. Is it worth it? I have to say yes.

Here are the steps and the cost of one roll of film. With my camera I get 10 frames on one roll of film. The process from ordering the film to get it digitally on the blog are as follows:

– Order film (one roll) $ 18 + shipping
– Wait for the film will
– Load your camera with film
– Photograph smart and very thought out.
– Remove the film
– Add photo bag and send to lab. $ 25
– Go to a mailbox to post.
– Wait 14 days for slide film, 5 for negative ( the hardest part)
– Get the negatives in the mailbox (the world ‘s most comfortable feeling)
– Scan negatives . ( time consuming )
– Edit images.

This is the steps from taking them that they end up here on the blog. It is time consuming and expensive. Assuming you have all your own equipment as required, otherwise even more expensive.
$ 43 and wait two weeks for 10 frames, where if you’re lucky 3-4 are good that you like. It is about 11 dollars per image that you are happy with.

Step 1, Select the film.

Is it strong sun? High Contrast? Which ISO do you need? Looking for long exposure with a little grain , fast with much grain ? Punch in the colors or more natural?

All these factors you must have in mind for the picture you are taking. Once it is in the camera, you can not remove it and switch to another (possible if you have different backs). However expensive, as usual. The film I use 80% for my photos are Velvia 50 from Fuji . It’s a very high-contrast film with colors that no other film/digital camera can emulate. This film is the reason I chose to shoot with film . Have you ever thought when you look through the camera and think “wow this picture will be really good.” Then, look at the screen and it is flat and dull? This does not happen with Velvia 50. It looks exactly as you see your subject, and a little better.
The disadvantages then? You must set the exposure just right all the time! And remember, each image is around 10 dollars, dont fuck up . During Exposes the picture with 1-2 steps, it will be totally worthless and impossible to use. Overexposing and there is no sky left.
The problem is that you have no screen to verify this and it is a bit expensive to use a whole roll of film in order to ensure that you get the right exposure. So it´s experience and exposure measurements that determines if you go away with a good image. Still want to shoot film? Time for step two.

Step 2, Send film for develop.

You have managed to capture that picture you always wanted to have. That perfect moment you that you’ve been looking and chasing the sun for weeks. You still do not know if you got it completely 100%. Will the roll with your perhaps best picture ever be wasted by the post carrier? Will the lab screw up and your film gets ruined? What happens to the negatives on the way home to you again?
For two weeks you have anxiety, be eager as a child waiting for Santa Claus. This is the best and worst feeling there is. Very hard to explain.


Step 3, The never ending wait.

You wait every day that the lab might be a little bit quicker with sending your negatives so you rush home and get to see an empty mailbox, disappointment. The next day, maybe then? Disappointment. The lab calls and says that they have trouble with the machines and it will take another 4 days before they arrive. You are about to get MAD.
Finally, they are there. What you have been waiting for weeks and worked so hard to capture is now finally in your hands. You tear up the hard box and there they are. The feeling when you see the images you have worked so hard to get, shiny, glossy and perfect. Invaluable. Magical feeling that again is very difficult to explain.


Step 4, Scan & editing.

Upgrade your computer with as much memory as possible, now it’s time to scan. Although this is quite time consuming when images are extremely large in 6×7 format 120 film. The images are over 200 megapixels and take as much as 2 GB of hard rive space. One image. Begin to understand why I like this? You get details you can barely imagine. I was absolutely floored the first time I got to experience this. Without getting too technical. The largest sensor you can get your hands on to date is about half of the negative size I use. The price on that digital back that can deliver half the pixel count? 60 000 dollars. And even if one were to use it I don’t get any wide angle because of the crop factor. So I wouldn’t have any use of it. I stick to my film.

Step 5, Conclusion.

Now I have only talked about the technical aspects. The equipment weighs 16 kg and to get to the places I photograph often requires that one must go for miles in rough terrain. I love the pictures I take. Each box of color and light is something that I worked very hard to catch. There is a lot of thought behind all the images and I do my best to make the nature justice. This is my way of trying to give the most honest, most beautiful version of the amazing places I visit. I am thankful every time for the beauty in front of me. The camera has taken me to places I would never otherwise get to experience. And I am forever thankful forever that I found this medium to express myself. The medium that works for me.
But in the end when you look through the viewfinder, all the noise and pain from the long walks disappear. A calm arises when you stand there in the sunset all by yourself often mil from the nearest human being. Total silence, until you press the shutter button and hear “click” and hopefully captures that moment you’ve been looking so long for.

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        Rickard Eriksson

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