There are many times film has had me feeling l didn’t know what the heck I was doing. How can I who has been shooting for so long feel like such a novice when shooting this medium?
This year I sought to improve my ability to shoot on film with the same skill and expertise as I shoot my digital images. Many of you might be wondering what’s the big difference…
Well, shooting Film vs Digital is a lot like shooting day vs night, and it also involves so much more focus and precision. Oftentimes I feel like I have to unlearn everything to relearn the ancient ways of the masters before me. Digital is less forgiving of Highlights (bright areas); so to combat that I would shoot darker than I want it, then fix in post. However, Film is the opposite; it’s unforgiving of shadows so there were many shots in my first years of shooting film that I wasn’t able to use because they were too dark. So to combat that I had to shoot overexposed by a half to a full stop (brighter) than I want the actual photo to come out. Additionally, because I can’t shoot and look at an LCD to check if your exposures are correct, I had to take the time to double-check my light meter or be able to look at a scene and know what settings to use based on the “Sunny 16” theory. Lastly, shooting on this medium is expensive, you don’t have the leisure to shoot 100 images and pick and refuse which images are great. With film, you only have up to 36 exposures and as such, you’ve got to make each shot count.
One of my goals from last year is to photograph personal projects solely on film, so around March I realized for this to be a reality, I had to increase the number of shoots I was doing. I also had to move away from shooting candids and landscapes, and into actually planning and executing editorial, styled photo sessions. So I reached out to a few people who I’ve either wanted to work with or they had expressed interest to work with me for quite some time.
The whole process was actually very fun and I learnt so much. With each session, I found it less tedious to think both creatively and technically. Which was important to me because I felt one side was always lacking, which in most cases was the creative side because my mind was so fixated on getting everything right for each shot. Between March and July, I completed about 9 photoshoots. Some of these I need to rescan, as I’ve since purchased a new film scanner. The previous scanner I learnt wasn’t scanning the full tonal range or details of my negatives. I also wanna shout out my fellow film lovers who have either aided or adviced me along this journey; lizzy brown, Donnette Zacca, Phvrvoh, Kid Bazzle, Yuan Francois, Radiant Sun and Justice Mukheli.
Anyhow, here is a preview of what I been up to.
September 09, 2019
The Visual Ninja
Peace, Perfect Peace.