Sean Lotman photographs the people of Japan's streets and beaches. One of the main reasons he shoots film is because he shares a darkroom with his wife, Ariko Inaoka. For him the advantages of physically printing the images has it's advantages, he can lay them out on the floor, rearrange them and figure out what the project is about and where to take it. You can do the same with the digital photography workflow too, but I must say, it's something I have never done.
Parabolic softboxes are all the rage in the lighting world. It seems like you can't check out lighting videos on Youtube without coming across one. But with price points all over the place, I was reluctant to pick one up for fear of spending too much money on a modifier I wouldn't like or use. Then, I came across the budget-priced Selens Parabolic Softbox. With a price of about $100 and good reviews, I was ready to pull the trigger. Here are my thoughts and video review.
There's something absolutely wonderful about holding a piece of film fresh out of processing. The feeling of accomplishment, that indescribable rush of holding something you created in your fingers makes the difficulty of dealing with the medium worthwhile. However, once you're done processing the film, the next phase begins. Scanning can be, to put it lightly, a royal pain. From dust-spotting to tweaking color and levels, there are challenges that must be addressed. This is how I do it!
When touting the many virtues of film, people frequently mention the power of negatives in the highlights. But what does that mean, exactly, and how does its strength compare to its digital brethren? To find out the differences, I shot a demanding subject with both digital and black and white film, severely over and underexposing. How did they stack up against each other? Read on to find out!
When you're shooting film, especially large format film, you have a lot of time to think. When your hands are in a bag and you're loading or unloading many sheets of film, the mind tends to wander and probably the subject that crosses my mind the most is "why?" Shooting digitally would be so much faster. I could be out having a beer somewhere! I could be editing some images in Photoshop from an editorial gig that I've been putting off. Hell, I could be practicing my juggling skills (or learning to juggle). So, why am I instead up to my elbows in this bag, enduring the necessary tedium of film life? Here are some common doubts I have and the reasons I push past them!
In 1948, far before Photoshop was introduced to mankind, there was a painter and photographer dynamic duo that created outlandish portraits. Of course I'm talking about Salvador Dali and Philippe Halsman. Time Magazine recently released this awesome video explaining just how the team was able to get these great shots.
In the world of newspaper photographers, you'd be hard to find someone consistently making more exciting and interesting portraits than Jay L. Clendenin. You might have seen his Land Camera Polaroid images from the Toronto International Film Festival, or his 4x5 black and white/digital color diptychs of California Olympians. For this year's Olympics, he decided to go even bigger and bring out his 8x10 Tachihara view camera to capture some amazing photos of American athletes.
There are certain images that have become so ingrained in our psyches, they are almost dismissed outright. If you've ever been in a bookstore, browsing the photography section, you've seen the docile faces of the Weimaraners of William Wegman. The images are always clean, crisp, and have become immensely popular in the last 20 years, gracing coffee tables and calendars alike. The temptation to dismiss them as commercial drivel is strong. But that would be a mistake!
Ah, vacation! As photographers who shoot to put food on the table, it's exceedingly difficult to unplug. The temptation to jump into post-processing as soon as we take a photo can be overwhelming. The image is never done! If we just push this slider or that, tweak this or that, or crop here or there, the image would be so much better. At some point, though, shouldn't we be experiencing our vacation instead of documenting it? Enter the ultimate in quick and dirty memory-making: the 35mm film camera.
One man's trash is another man's treasure. This statement is proven true in the recent New York Times video. Reporter Deborah Acosta was walking around New York City when she found an odd trail of old Kodak slides. The trail lead to a big bag full of slides, notes, and letters addressed to a woman named Mariana Gosnell. Who threw away these photos? Who was Mariana?
"The idea for 'RAGE' was to show a build-up from a busy city that is packed with people into an outburst of anger, frustration, and violence, depicting a society that is spiraling out of control." Such is Tim Sessler's commentary on the current issues of gun control, race, and violence, a striking achievement with a unique filming style.
This low-tech alternative to digital photography can produce stunning art. Last year, I've recovered five out of ten “cameras." Some are found by others and stolen, others are simply blown off by a passing storm. Yet others are removed by bomb squads... I'm sharing these pictures with you, which are scanned negatives of black and white photographic paper. The brightest parts are the sun's streaks, burnt and etched in the paper - along with bubbles, rips and sand that texturize the images in bizarre ways.