A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

The Superia - Four Door Convertible Soon
Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lauren Stewart & Meredith Kalaman at the Firehall Theatre

The most obvious similarity between film and digital is that those of us who have been accustomed to shooting transparency film (also called slide film) and serious digital photographers is the knowledge that the shared bête noir is that both slide film and digital cameras have poor tolerance (or margin of error) in handling wild differences between the very light and the very dark. We call this in film, film latitude, and my guess is that digital photographers simply call it latitude.

For those who shot slide film most of their lives and still do (me) I avoid pitfalls of exposure by trusting my very good Minolta V-F (it is both a flash and continuous light meter) and I have an almost identical IV-F just in case. Digital photographers use a method called Raw which is an exposure that is a very large file so that the photographer at a later time can correct if corrections are needed.

One of the reasons I shoot slide film now is mostly because of a lifetime custom and discipline. I do not like to guessimate my exposures and I pride in exposure accuracy. Another reason, and really the most important one is that until the advent of scanners and digital printing in the late 80s magazines (art directors and photo editors) demanded slides. Slides were originals. What was in a slide was the photographer’s intention. There was no room for interpretation, something that could happen in shooting with colour negatives. Printing that colour negative involved subjectivity.



I was smug in my shooting style which was always with transparency (when colour was needed) and I looked down on those “slipshod” photographers who played it safe with negative film. Two things changed my mind.

One was to find out from an article in a now old National Geographic where the photographer took his/her usual slides but always carried an extra set of cameras (the very reliable Nikon FM-2) loaded with colour negative film for shoots in very remote situations (on top of Mount Everest or the Antarctic) where you knew you might not have a chance to return.

The second event that warmed me towards the colour negative was at trip to New York City in the early 90s where I saw prints from colour negative film (called C-Prints) at MOMA.

But I still shoot slide film and my film of choice is the now discontinued (but available for now) Kodak Ektachrome 100G. The colours are accurate and not contrasty (against most trends in digital photography). Since many who shoot digital see most of their images on monitors they are keen to look at very colourful, Lots of contrast which some call punchy. I may accept this soon but for the time being I am an old dog with few new tricks who understood that extreme contrast was difficult to reproduce in magazine and newspapers of the past.

A year ago a model friend of mine moved to Ottawa and gave me about 40 rolls of 24 exposure colour negative film. I almost threw it away when I noticed that it was 800 ISO President’s Choice No Name . I tried a couple of rolls and when I scanned it I observed that the results seemed to imitate poorly restored Technicolor film. I was amazed and delighted. I liked the off colour that would not scan accurately.


Alas I used it all up and Fuji (the original makers of the No-Name) discontinued it. They have sort of replaced it with Fujicolor Superia (they promise to come out with a four-door convertible soon!) 1600 ISO film with something they call four layer technology. This is very good film and after about three rolls I have yet to get a handle on how to use properly (in my case improperly!). In the pictures you see here I was a bit too far so that the grain inherent to this fast film reduces the clarity. I have to get closer. I also used a Nikon FM-2 that had an architecture focusing screen that is very difficult to focus (I don’t own auto-focus lenses) because of my rapidly aging eyes. Since this last shoot I have found a replacement screen for the Nikon that will make focusing easier.





     

Previous Posts
A Case For Excitement

To Visit, To Browse, To Share

Lusty Leanne

Security At The London 2012 Olympics Solved

Miss Mew Revisited

Ashtray Heart

Decker - Cat & Nick Hunt - 19th Century Amateur

George Bowering - Poet

There Is A Willow Grows Aslant A Brook

2001: A Space Odyssey - An Appreciation Of Sorts



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8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17