All posts filed under: Feature

Guide: Getting your first film camera

To start, there are two kinds of people that get into film. Those that inherit a camera and those that don’t. If you were given one from a family member or friend or whatever, I would suggest moving on to picking out film stocks or general advice for film photographers. There is no real reason to replace a fully functioning camera for something ‘better’ for a first camera. For those that need to pick one up, please read on. The most straight forward advice I or anyone else could give on picking out a camera would be to consider first and foremost opportunity and cost. If you were to really think through what you need or want out of a camera and search around at camera shops, on eBay, craigslist, etc… you’ll probably find a great deal. Since this is how I suggest approaching all things of this nature, I’ll start to lay out some things that should be considered when identifying your first film camera. Cost Some serious consideration should be made for what …

Guide: Double Exposures (Multiple Exposures)

The first time I experienced double exposures, it was my grandmother showing me some of her old 6×6 photos in her retro photobooks.  Following that, I found myself going through IG and would be particularly attracted to these photos.  Accordingly, I hit Google and searched for ‘How to take a double exposure’.  There are some resources out there, most of which is for PS and not film.  Having experimented with it enough now and discussing the physics of it with a friend over a beer, I have a much deeper understanding for what’s happening and that has translated to better images. So here we are… I hope I can help you take double exposures you love. For those looking for a simple how-to: If your camera has a multiple exposure switch, engage the switch and take photos to your heart’s content (I would start with a double exposure before going for something with 3 or more). For those that don’t, no fear – you can do it just as easily.  Take your first exposure and …

Review: Ilford XP2 Super

Much like Illford Delta 3200, my feelings on this film are laregely dependant on whether I’m shooting 35mm or 120.  There are only a handful of shots I like that have been in 35mm format but I’ve mostly liked all of my 120 stuff. This film is, of course, the most peculiar to try and categorize.  It’s a B&W film that’s processed as color (C-41 processing).  I started giving this film a go when I was living in Charleston, SC and there was a film lab across the street but they could only do color.  Since I was shooting half color at the time anyhow, it seemed only natural that I shoot a B&W film that could be processed at the same place.  That said, after having a couple rolls get ruined at the shop across the street and already not being a huge fan of this stock, I moved on and haven’t used it in a while. In sunny outdoor conditions, this film is very boring.  Almost every shot felt like a grey blob …

Hocking Hills: Pushing Portra 400 1 Stop to 800

To see Kodak Portra 400 pushed to 800 exposure tested and compared with Portra 400 at box speed and Portra 800 at box speed, follow this link. To get to a review of Portra 400, follow this link. This is an article about an experience of mine pushing Kodak Portra 400 one afternoon when I was going through Hocking Hills in Ohio. On my way home in Columbus, OH from Charleston, SC, I have to pass through one of Ohio’s prettiest areas – Hocking County. As it happens, I was also going to be driving through at dusk and on a day following several snowy days. Who could pass that up? Not I says the cat. Then it hits you… It’s not just going to be dusk but you’ll be in gorge where it’ll get darker earlier and you realize you didn’t bring your tripod on the trip… No matter. You’ve got Portra 400 loaded in one of your spare film backs of your medium format camera and you go for it. Once you get …

Review: Kodak Portra 400

To see Portra exposure tested at box speed as well as pushed 1 stop to 800, follow this link. For a journal article where I pushed Portra 400 1 stop to shoot Hocking Hills at dusk (at 800), follow this link. To see a more formal comparison of Portra 400 with the other two members of the Portra family (Experiment 2), go here. Portra 400 was one of the first stocks I tried when I started getting back into photography and it’s been my go-to for color negatives since then. By and large, I’ve experimented with it more than any other film. I’ve overexposed it, underexposed it, pulled it, and pushed it. It is such an incredibly versatile film, you would be hard pressed to find conditions it can’t work with that other films can. For this reason, it has become one of the most popular film stocks in the world and arguably the most recognizable branding and color palette of any color film. For all these reasons, the hype around Portra 400 has been …