Images on Film
Pictures from my revisiting of film ….
If you have been following my Camera Notes Blog you will know that I began shooting film in some of my old cameras to try them out and to take a trip back to a time where B&W film was all I shot. I expected it was to be nothing more than a side trip to enjoy some of my old equipment. It has turned out to be much more.
To cut to the chase, I am finding some of the images I am taking to be very pleasing and so I am creating this portfolio page of black and white images I have taken with my old cameras. I am not giving up digital; not at all. But I am enjoying the black and white and I can see a place for it in my ongoing photographic adventures.
I don’t really like giving details of how a photograph was created because I believe it detracts from the impact of the image which must speak for itself. But I will make an exception here because the cameras I am using are old and interesting in themselves. As in all of these images, I process the film myself and then scan it to create a digital file. From that point on the workflow is purely digital. I hope you enjoy the results.
In the Backyard
I take many many pictures at home in the yard. Susan’s garden is such a wonderful spot and her flowers are always incredible. So it is a great place for photography.
These few images were taken with my Canon EF SLR using an FD 50mm f/1.8 S.C. lens. The film they are captured on is Ilford HP5 exposed and developed at ISO 400. An old camera from the 70’s and yet it takes fantastic photos!
I like the grain in these pictures. It adds a grittiness to the images that I find appealing. Not every image responds well to this treatment and it is surprising that flowers seem to.
“La Madonna dei Fiori”
My scanner is a Canon 9000F Mk II and these images were scanned at 2400 dpi. The scanner says that it can scan at much higher resolution but for the internet the 2400 setting is ample and it is much faster. More is not always better!
Once scanned I am back on digital ground where I use Photoshop and OnOne plugins in the main.
It is all a time consuming process and I am not happy with every image. I work a bit with a file and at the first suggestion it is not going to result in magic I put it aside. Many are called but few are chosen.
I found the time to go for a walk along a forest trail through a park in Surrey near the end of September 2016. It was a sparkling day with blue sky and wonderful yellow sun. But the Canon Pellix around my neck didn’t care about the color. It was loaded with Ilford FP4, a B&W film. So what the camera was seeking was texture, lights and shadows, shapes and composition. These two and the first picture above in this section are three of the resulting images.
Christmas 2016 came with snow and I didn’t miss the opportunity to get out in it with my camera. In this case I was using my Canon L1 with a Serenar 50mm f/1.9 and 35mm f/3.5. I was shooting Ilford PanF Plus 500 and I’m pretty happy with the result.
Kodak Target Six-20
In March of 2017 I was out with my then recently acquired Kodak Brownie Target Six-20 camera using a roll of Ilford film. I was curious to see what this camera with its one piece lens could really do.
I took eight pictures, which is all you get on a roll of 620 film, and this image is one of them. I could not be more impressed. This picture contains everything I love about black and white film. It has contrast, tone, detail and real depth.
Sure it’s not as sharp as we are used to but that is not the issue. It is a good photograph. The increasing lack of sharpness as you come out from the center gives a pleasant effect. It focuses your attention down the street into the distance. Looking at this image, don’t ever tell me you could take great pictures if only you had a better camera.
Images on Film
I begn my photography with film in the late 1950ès and continued to shoot film, and process it myself, until I switched to digital.