Film Photography

[Video] How To Take A Photograph On A 4x5 Camera
10 years ago shooting on a 4x5 camera was pretty common among professional photographers. Today, many young photographers not only haven't seen a 4x5 camera but they have probably have never even heard of one. In this video Simon Roberts takes us through the steps of using the camera, editing the images, and the printing the final file. How do you guys feel about shooting on film and then processing the images digitally? Does that defeat the whole purpose?

[Video] Why You Might Need a Mattebox
For any of you DSLR video shooters out there, you might not know why you may need some of the equipment you often see on some of the larger rigs found on major studio sets. Well the guys over at Cinevate show you exactly why you might need one of those tools called a mattebox. Matteboxes are essentially barn doors for your camera lens and allow you to control flares and the subtleties of light that make a good film into a great film. Cinevate also shows you how using different filters can really make parts of your movie stand out. Read the full post to see some side by side examples so you can really examine the differences closely.

Zacuto Camera Shootout:  Which Cameras Perform The Best At Video
Have you ever wondered how DSLR cameras match up when compared to film and high end HD video cameras? Last year, Zacuto brought together some of the biggest names in the movie industry to see how well the first round of video capable DSLRs compared to the industry's standard film and HD video cameras in The Great Camera Shoot Out of 2010. This year they have started another series which compares some of the top cameras including 35mm Kodak 5213/5219, Arri Alexa, Red One M-X, Phantom Flex, Sony F3, Panasonic AF100, Canon 1D Mark IV, and Nikon D7000 (where is the D3s?), and a bunch of other professional video cameras. The Great Camera Shootout is a must watch if you are a gearhead or simply enjoy seeing how well the current crop of DSLR cameras are at video. It's pretty amazing to see the consumer Nikon D7000 holds its own against such a competitive group; I can only imagine what the next crop of Nikon cameras is going to do! Check out the trailer below and hit the full post for the first episode that outlines exactly what sort of tests Zacuto is going to run.

A Technical Explanation On How Film And Digital Films Differ
One of our trusted Fstoppers readers sent us this video, and I found it really interesting. Digital cinema specialist Rob Hummel recently gave a lecture at Cine Gear Expo 2011. In his lecture he described exactly what is going on when both film and digital mediums capture light to form an image. The graphics in his presentation help explain why old fashion film can still produce more aesthetically pleasing images than digital. He also describes a little known secret about how gamma rays present at high altitudes can actually destroy camera sensor's pixels. I've personally flown with a bunch of cameras dozens of times with no pixel problems but maybe my cameras are able to mask the destroyed pixels through software? Either way, the exciting news I took from this video is that digital sensors still have a lot of potential gains that can make our images even better in years to come.

A Look Into San Francisco's Past: A Trip Down Market Street 1906
Just like the story of Vivian Maiers, every now and then a discovery is made that not only brings a smile to your face but also sends a chill down your spine. Such is the story of the famous 1906 black and white film A Trip Down Market Street. For almost a century, historians have been trying to accurately date the short 13 minute film, and up until recently it was thought to have been shot in Sept 1905. When historian David Kiehn unveiled the truth about the film's date, everyone was shocked to learn that it was filmed in San Francisco just days before the devastating earthquake and sequential fire of 1906. The behind the scenes story on how the origin of the film was created is quite remarkable.

Sitex Computers:  The Photoshop Of the 80s
Every now and then it's fun to go back in time to see how photographers approached photoshoots requiring a large amount of production. Back in 1988 Brian King was on the cutting edge of digital photography with his use of Sitex imaging computers. Well before the advent of Photoshop, Brian was able to piece together multiple images by scanning negatives and turning them into primitive digital media. By today's standards, the final product is pretty comical but this is what the first results of 'digital photography' looked like in the advertising world. I have to say, if a single photograph took this much effort and planning today I would probably have given up on commercial photography a long time ago.

Art or Pornography?  The Life and Work of Sally Mann
Sally Mann is an American photographer who has pushed the limits of black and white fine art. Early in her career, Sally captured both real and staged moments of her children's youth that quickly became subject of much controversy. Immediate Family, a collection of images of her children under the age of 10, showcased mainly normal, happy childhood moments. However other images featured her kids unclothed with themes of depression, anxiety, and even death. Obviously Sally's work sparked strong emotions, and the debate about what is exploitation and what is art became synonymous with her name. The acclaimed What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann is an interesting documentary that focuses on Sally's work and how she approaches her craft. Now a praised nature photographer, Sally discusses her contraversal early images as well as many of her current projects including landscapes in the deep south and portraits of her husband as he deals with muscular dystrophy. Check out Sally Mann's bookstore for great reading material from this revolutionary photographer. Click the full post for the full documentary.

How To Create The Lomo Photography Look In Photoshop
Lomo Photography or Lomography has gained quite the cult following in recent years. And it’s no wonder. These little Lo-Fi cameras, such as the Lomo LC-A, produce some really cool and compelling images. Aside from the Lo-Fi look of the Lomo, the other main feature of Lomography is the cross processing of the Color Slide Film. Check out the video below by SLR Lounge and then view the full post to see the Photoshop tutorial.

Helmut Newton: Portrait Of A Fashion Icon (NSFW)
Recently over at the forum, a conversation came up about shooting nudes and glamour style images. One of our readers recommended a short documentary on famous fashion photographer Helmut Newton. We've all seen Helmut's images but if you were like me you might not have known the man behind the images. This 5 part documentary, filmed by June Netwon, shows Helmut working through his shoots with such famous models as Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer as well as the legendary Luciano Pavarotti. It always amazes me how images I would consider 'snapshots' can become iconic images in the fashion world. Fashion photography today often involves studio lighting and extensive photoshop, but as this documentary shows, Helmut was able to cut through the heart of his subjects with nothing more than a film camera often times in auto exposure. Check out more about Helmut over at the Helmut bookstore.

Alex Prager Was Born In the Wrong Decade
I have to admit, I really enjoy the bands, artists, photographers and other creative professionals I discover watching Carson Daly's show Last Call. One such artist is Los Angeles based photographer Alex Prager. If I had to describe her work, it would be very editorial in nature with a lot of retro clothing, fashion wigs, and classic Americana references. What I find most inspiring about her work is that she holds nothing back when creating the bright and simple world found in her photographs. Almost every one of her images looks as if it was actually created in 1967 whether it be the hair style, the makeup, the clothing, the cultural references, or even the lighting and film grain. What's even more remarkable is her humble story on how she became a photographer with no formal training at all. If you enjoy this interview from MOMA then click the full post to watch more candid video of Alex talking about her work.

The Invisible Camera: Your Mind Will Be Blown
Chris Marquardt has developed a really mind blowing new camera called The Invisible Camera. Using ground breaking technology developed by the Max-Planck Institute in Germany, Chris has designed a camera that can properly expose an image even when the film is exposed to ambient light. The special film uses a technique called "directional desensitization" which prevents the emulsion from capturing light; the only light registered is from the very small projection created by the tiny pin hole. What's even more mind blowing is this technique might allow for images to be captured at ISO 1/500th or 15 stops lower than ISO 100! Chris estimates that this increase in resolution would be equivalent to about 3,000 5D Mark II cameras which I can't even imagine. Hopefully some of our more technical readers can explain this to me since I have a feeling it's going on sale a week from this Friday and The Invisible Camera has offered a demo model to Fstoppers.

Bara Prasilova Is More An Artist Than A Fashion Photographer
Bara Prasilova is a photographer and artist from Prague with quite a list of awards to her name . Recently she teamed up with Quicksilver Women in Europe and began photographing some of their ambassadors. What I love about her work is that she creates a very dreamy mood with muted colors and often unorthodox poses. Click the full post to view more photos from this session and head over to the news section of her website to view the entire collection.

A Tour Of Ansel Adam's Darkroom
One of our readers just emailed us this great video of landscape photographer Ansel Adam's darkroom. Michael Adams, Ansel's son, gives us a full tour of Ansel's home studio and shows some of his prints as well as much of his equipment. I currently have Adam's Moonrise, Hernandez hanging in my kitchen and it's really fun to see what the untouched negative looked like before all the dodging and burning. What's always amazing to me is that these prints were all done before the days of the computer, and every area that was altered had to be done by hand and with extreme precision. If you don't already own some of Adam's work, head over to the Ansel Adam's store and pick up a book or print.