Let's face it, smartphone cameras are getting better and better with every release. Mobile photo editing software is getting better too, and with the rise in popularity of Instagram over the last four years, sharing vintage-looking photographs have become quite the trend. Online content studio Rubber Republic produced the #PictureBelfast campaign for Tourism Ireland featuring fashion and lifestyle blogger Donna Ross going head to head with Belfast based photographer Andrew Rankin. Their challenge was to take photographs showing off the best of Belfast – half with a smartphone and half shot on film – where Internet users would try to guess which method for each image was utilized.
I’ve seen the future of film... and it is bright. In the next few weeks I will be interviewing companies that are pushing the film photography industry forward. As the large film companies cut film stocks from production, these people are pushing forward. Developing new films, cameras, products, and services. This week, I start with CineStill.
The old photographers’ saying, “It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer” sounds like a self-serving flattery when it comes out of the mouth of a photographer, yet has never been more accurate than today. Its ironic how, as a professional photographer, I posses the knowledge of manipulating the most sophisticated gear and cameras available, yet when I shoot an image on the iPhone the resulting image is an embarrassment. Rushing to my defense I’ll utter each time, “I’m a terrible iPhone photographer…” So when I see amazing images, shot with the iPhone, I’m impressed with what can be achieved.
They guys over at CineStill have released CineStill bwXX (double-x) in a limited run of 2000 rolls. They are available as of last week so you’d better get over there before it’s gone. The film is a high speed, classic black & white film emulsion, with an EI of 250 under daylight and 200 under tungsten lighting. It can also be pushed up to 1600 with some developers.
A few days ago Apple released a new promo video titled "Perspective" which aims to send the message that Apple sees things differently. In an ironic twist, band OK Go is claiming that Apple has stolen the concept from their recent music video "The Writing's On The Wall".
You might have heard of Stu Maschwitz before, possibly from his work on these Red Giant video projects, or perhaps the Plastic Bullet app he made a few years ago. His latest creation is a custom set of presets that integrate with Lightroom, and gives the user a set of vintage photo looks to choose from.
If you've had a chance to check out Framed Network's fabulous mini-series, Film, you'll be familiar with the awesome, inspiring work of Ryan Muirhead. Ryan's career as a photographer started only around five years ago, since then he's made quite a splash in the film-shooting (and otherwise) community and become a constant source of inspiration for me. In this interview he chats with The Artist Report about the importance of living in the present, embracing (or at least learning to live with) failure, and how he's gone about weighing what he wants to do against what he needs to. If you have an extra 25-odd minutes this afternoon I'd highly encourage you to check out this video, you may be a better photographer for it.
Christiaan Welzel and his wife Kseniya have trekked across the world adventuring for the majority of the last eight years. They decided to start exploring places that were extremely hard to get to like Antarctica or various ghost towns, but they finally decided on traveling to Ukraine where Kseniya is from. It was in April of last year, days before the 27th anniversary of the nuclear disaster, when months of preparations finally came to fruition and they headed off to Chernobyl.
Legendary photographer Douglas Kirkland has worked with some of the most influencial celebrities in the world since 1961. Starting his career at the age of twenty-four, he was hired that same year by Look Magazine to photograph Marilyn Monroe for their 25th anniversary issue. His process and gear were simple but what he talks about to capture perfect seductive moments with Marilyn is brilliant.
Mathieu Maury and Antoine Pai are two photography and filmmaking enthusiast who decided to launch a production and advertising company called Maison Carnot. They are passionate about finding new subjects and ways to explore what surrounds them. Based on this philosophy, they came up with the short film "Paris through Pentax".
With Kodak's release of another discontinuation notice, one more high profile film bites the proverbial dust. BW400CN has a reputation for being a creamy toned, tight grained film. The smooth grain is a nice balance to the Tri-X stock, admittedly I prefer the latter but still sad to see it go. A collective sigh was seen throughout film shooter groups, some even soliciting Kodak reps for stockpiles of the film.
Our DSLRs have confused us. We obssess over the wrong things. Sharpness at 400%; bokeh characteristics of lenses produced from what-must-surely-be prancing magical unicorns; high speed burst frame rates that make cameras sound like gatling guns; 4k resolution to shoot better cat videos; 100 auto focus points that still won’t focus on what we need them to; and noise performance at 400,000 ISO. Absolutely none of these will make your photographs better. Shooting film will though, here's why.
Every one of us, in some way, has had our lives impacted by George Eastman. Founding Eastman Kodak in 1888, he set out to change how people photographed. He began by creating the first roll of film in 1884 - a departure from the traditional method of using glass plates and a sink. One year later, he put that roll of film into the first Eastman camera. These were the first steps of a 20-year quest that would lead him to his most iconic camera...the Brownie.