In my last article, Adventures in Large Format: A Beginner's Perspective, I talked about some of the things I noticed upon purchasing and attempting to use my first 4x5 large format camera. As fun as fiddling with some knobs and taking a photo of a stool was, it was time for me to point my camera at some actual people. After lugging the camera upstairs and taking portraits of some of the awesome characters that work at the bar, it was time to see how I did.
Slowly but surely, I find myself shooting more film. It’s getting to the point where my digital cameras are almost strictly for video. They may offer better resolution and more versatility, but there’s a look to film and a fascination with the cameras that pull me to it. The one man that took me into the bottomless hole in my wallet that is film photography is Mat Marrash, a coworker and an avid large format photographer. It's some of the most gorgeous landscape photos of the Ohio Valley I've seen. A few weeks ago, Mat, myself, and the good folks at Rooted Content traveled to Hocking Hills, where Steve and Kyle from Rooted created this short of Mat’s work.
Flying a drone indoors is always a challenge. You have to remain absolutely calm and collected, and generally, I highly recommend not flying a drone indoors, especially if you're new to them in general. That's also the warning that Filmmakers Guillaume Juin and Joris Favraud give anyone wanting to recreate this feat. They are a pair of rather brazen drone operators if I've ever seen any, coming together to form their company BigFly. Normally, the risk of flying a drone inside of a structure is already high, but usually, the highest risk is to the safety of your equipment, as the ease with which your drone could come into contact with any number of disastrous endings is increased exponentially.
It happened. After years upon years of drooling over large format photographs in books and on the internet, I finally pulled the trigger. I got a 4x5 camera. Many of the masters I've looked up to used large format for their portraits and I've always wanted to try my hand. Here are my first observations of trying to tame the beast. First thing I noticed: this isn't easy.
In November 2015, my mom came up with some old photos of my deceased grandfather, which were negatives printed on film. She said that she had asked several photography studios if it was possible to get normal prints from the printed negatives, but the answer was always no. As those were some of the only photographs left of him, she had kept all of them with a hope. Years after, it was my turn to try. The process to get some decent prints and move my mom to tears was ever so easy.
Kodak made big waves at this year's Cannes Festival announcing 12 features shot on Kodak film. Including Olivier Assayas’s film "Personal Shopper" staring actress Kristen Stewart, where he took home the award for Best Director and was given lengthy five minute standing ovation. This was a huge milestone for Kodak since the rise of digital technology combined with the ability to shoot 4K footage film looked to be a medium of the past. Kodak defied the odds and not only secured film as a viable creative choice, but has rebranded themselves into a thriving film market once again.
Slowing down while taking pictures is not always an easy thing. For those of us that learned with digital, the idea of shooting only a limited number of frames per session seems unthinkable. However, doing with what we have, and pressing the shutter only when we are sure to have a picture we are going to appreciate, is a very refreshing approach. Having just recently started shooting film, here are five tips I could give a digital portrait photographer to get better results, spend less time working, and slow down a bit.
Bro, sick shot! We all know those iPhone photographers (yeah, we are looking at you, Andrew Griswold) who may sometimes take their photoshoots a little too far. The team over at AwesomenessTV perfectly captured what it's like to get a cup of coffee with an Instagram Bro. Please Bro, quit embarrassing us, and just drink your coffee.
Not too long ago, I remember going through a phase when the process of building up a camera rig was, for me, the most exciting part of owning gear. My decisions were based less on functionality, and more on the question of “will this item make my rig look more like a cinema camera?” Big and bulky was the order of the day, and if people ever advised cliches like: “the best camera you have is the one that’s on you” or “it’s not about what gear you have, it’s about how you use it,” their advice was taken with a pinch of salt.
The choice of colors in a scene can be one of the most influential factors in giving a film its signature identity. Whether you're looking to recreate an iconic look or simply seeking new inspiration, Cinema Palettes is making it incredibly easy to replicate your favorite films.