Rants: Shoot Film! (and other stuff)

[Photo Info: Kodak Portra 160 NC, Minolta Maxxum 7000, Minotla Maxxum 50mm f/1.7]

Okay, I still have not written an actual article, and I don't want to release a preset tonight as I have released quite a few this week...I will have a new black and white preset up tomorrow however. I did want to take a few minutes though to say s few things that dropped into my mind today.

So, today I opened my freezer and saw rolls of film that I have shot over the past year, awaiting development. The picture above is one of the frames snapped on the rolls I had developed. I also had my roll of Fuji Press Film 800 I bought a while back developed finally, so an emulation is a week or so away, but I digress. As I dropped the film off at Wal-Mart, as I told them "develop only, no prints" I got a look of confusion from the clerk at the counter. Almost like, why are you even shooting film if you don't want prints. I didn't say anything, it just jump started my brain.

On the drive back over to my mother-in-laws house to pick up my wife, I was asking myself "Self, why did buying a fancy new DSLR lead your right back into the world of film photography?" Now I know the answer for the one roll of Press Film, I am going to emulate this film for LIDF so I can get a look similar to this film on any of my digital shots. That did not explain the other three rolls I just got processed. It had me wondering, and I came upon my answer, shooting film makes me a more disciplined photographer. Shooting film also keeps me firmly in touch with the past and makes me appreciate the advances in the field of photography. Plus, shooting film seems organic, like a natural determined act. That makes no sense, but its how I feel.

I think it is refreshing to get out with a film camera and a roll or two of film. I know I only have 24/36 photos to take, and that each one has a defined cash value. I think about my shots, I don't take 20 frames of the same subject to find the right one later, I take time to find the correct shot and take it....then I move along. I am not saying there is anything wrong with taking a long series of photos to get the right shot, but it forces you to think more when those same 20 shots esentially end your shooting for the day.

I love the feeling of opening the envelope and seeing my photos for the first time. I still can't develop C-41, so i can't say pull the negative out of the spool, but it is the same feeling. This is the first time my eyes have seen these images. On my DSLR, I can see everyimage instantly, there is no wondering. When you have that perfect shot, you smile and move on, you are out shooting after all. With film, the second your mirror blocks out your viewfinder, that is the last time you will see anything approximating that image until you open the envelope. And when you are sitting in your car in the parking lot and see that you got the perfect shot, you rejoice...celebrate even. The time removed from the act of shooting allows you this luxury. You can enjoy the beauty of your shot for the first time and breath it in. Your LCD does not go black, reminding you to get shooting again. This is Zen.

Then when you look at the images, the color and tone, the feel of film is different. Which that is what LIDF is all about, bringing that feeling to digital. But it is only inspired by the original film. Making your perfect shot look like it was taken on Velvia is not the same as actually capturing it on Velvia. Both feelings are great, but there is just something about the old-fashioned way...Not saying that using my presets is not also great...but it is not the same. But it may soon be the only way to live that moment with your favorite film.

Please, take some time and shoot a roll of film if you have not done so lately. Get back in touch with the past. You don't even have to have a great SLR, a good point and shoot film camera works great...hell, even a disposable will remind you what it felt like before. If you have never shot film, give it a chance. Take a film camera out for a day, maybe even learn to develop the film yourself. It is really fulfilling, but that is just me.

Well that ends my rant, on to some items I want to cover before I log off for the night.

First I would like to ask you to take a jump over to profiPhotos. Markus just posted a new video tutorial today on making HDR images using HDRSoft's Photomatix Pro plugin with Lightroom. It is very informative, as is his entire site. If you love Lightroom, this is a definite must visit. Just make sure to give him a visit!

Speaking of both Markus and Photomatix, I want to remind you that there is only one week left in the Presetting Lightroom photocontest on Flickr. Markus and I both adminstrate the group, and have been trying to kick up the activity level there. We have a photocontest running currently with HDRSoft's Photomatix Pro as the grand prize and three copies of my Cold Storage collection floating around for the top 3 finishers. There are not many entrants thusfar and the odds are pretty good to take home some type of prize. So please, come by and enter one of you preset processed photos...and by all means, feel free to enter a photo of your's processed with a LifeInDigitalFilm preset, I have no supporters entered in the contest so far. Follow the link HERE TO ENTER!

So that is it for the evening, come back for a new preset tomorrow.

Until then,

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