I’ve been keen to go out and shoot some film for a while now. Mainly for fun, but also to practice what I teach, in that if we take our time to look and carefully compose, we should end up with better pictures than what we would get by being too keen and taking dozens if not hundreds of pictures.
I borrowed a medium format film Hassleblad off Lee Burton, quite a while back, it’s definitely time to give it back These are the old style box shaped cameras that you look down through the top to see your composition. I asked Daria Iwon if she would like to come and wander around St Peter Port while I faffed with the camera. We went for a bit of a French/Parisian look. Shooting with a film camera is a great test of patience, you compose, have a look, look again, and if you are not sure, you do not press the button and waste one of your 12 pictures! I accidentally pressed the shutter before leaving home so I was left with 11!!! One was out of focus, one Daria was blinking and this is basically the strongest of the 11 pictures I took.
I used a hand held Seconic light meter, it was a bright sunny day so we looked for shade and contrast. The film I was using is Kodak TriX 400 black and white. I’ll try other films going forward, maybe some colour in the future. I did use digital to help me, Youtube! I had to be sure I was loading the film properly, one error here and the shoot would be ruined.
Focussing was fun, none of this modern autofocus lark. I’m used to manually focussing when filming so that wasn’t a problem, I had to be careful shooting such a narrow depth of field, I shot everything at f/2.8 for a nice out of focus background.
Rather than the instant results from digital, these took a couple of weeks to process and scan, John Fitzgerald arranged all this, he is an expert in film and processing, he also shoots a bit of film for fun. Thanks also to Graham Jackson for giving me a few tips over a coffee. Once the pictures were scanned and sent to me I did some basic adjustments to the contrast, not too much as I didn’t want to spoil the look of the pictures.
I’m certainly going to shoot more film, I love the look of the pictures. Analogue at it’s best. I’ll come up with some ideas over the next few weeks and see what I can do. Maybe London or St Malo for an away trip later this year.
If any of you are thinking about film, have a go, it’s great to slow down and have a good look before pressing that shutter.