Join Konrad Eek for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding why you shoot film, part of Analog Photography: Shooting & Processing Black-and-White Film.
I think one of the first questions you might ask yourself is, why film? Digital is so convenient, most of us are walking around with a digital camera in our pockets that records wonderfully acceptable images. And heaven knows there's a host of apps out there that provide filtration effects that can duplicate almost anything that's ever been done with film. All that being said, it's not the same. Perhaps you get your first motivation is going to come from finding an antique camera. This was my grandfather's camera. He took pictures for Stereopticon viewing with this.
It's a fascinating piece of equipment. It opens doors to a whole new area of creativity, exploring 3D old school. Maybe you've heard about the romance of a plastic camera. These lenses are just cheap molded lenses put into inexpensive camera bodies, each one with its own unique properties that might fuzz and blur the edges in the frame. All of a sudden your images become more interpretive, a little bit more exciting. Maybe a high speed film is interesting to you, where you get chunks of grain that add really interesting, almost sand-like texture to your images.
One of the things I find personally, digital photography as far as an interpretive method, I feel like I'm using other people's tools a lot of times when I manipulate an image. Or when I'm in the dark room when I'm working with the actual chemical process that involves film, you can alter that very simply by changing the temperature of the chemistry, by changing concentrations, by changing particular chemical combinations to manipulate the results you get from the latent image you've captured on film.
To me there's also a romance associated with it. It's kind of old school. There's craftsmanship. It's a hands on operation. And I think as we go through this course you're going to find that it is really exciting to work with it. And there are a lot of options that you might not have realized were there.
Upon returning home, Konrad processes the film, explaining the chemicals involved and sharing insights for getting reliable results. He also describes the negative-scanning process. Finally, to whet your appetite for the other facets of film-based photography, he demonstrates the process of making a silver-gelatin enlargement and offers up some tips on building your own darkroom.
- Exploring film formats, lenses, and cameras
- Loading films
- Shooting black-and-white film
- Working with colored filters and film
- Chemically processing film
- Scanning and storing film
- Enlarging film in a makeshift darkroom