Why Film?

Firstly, it’s where I started. It was several years before I tried a digital camera and even then, I kept using film. But nowadays, digital is so easy to access. I’ve been guilty of trying to decide whether I shoot one of the other that day and going for the digital camera for ease of use. After all, I just download the photos and edit them in Exposure X4.5. Easy, right?

But here’s the thing. There’s magic in shooting film. I love opening the developing tank to see if I have got images. Not whether they’re any good… whether I’ve cocked up and not developed them properly (and I’ve been doing it long enough to not mess up). There’s a rush when I take the film off the reel and see negatives. After that, it’s all gravy!

OK, so once the magic of getting some negative is out of the way, what makes film so appealing? For one, it’s tactile. Holding your negatives and looking at them on a light table feels good. A print, made on good quality paper, has weight… has presence. There’s the process itself too and creativity.

It also leads to my love of lith printing, where I feel I can be creative. Where I can build and trust my instincts to get a certain type of print. I can’t do that with digital. I can edit an image, get it how I want it, but I don’t “feel it”.

Maybe all these reasons are superficial, maybe not. It all boils down to “because I like it”!

Captures Of The Day (30/4/19)

We went for a very long dog walk today. There were lots of photographic opportunities . I’ve wanted to photograph the graffiti at the entrance to Los Altos park, but wasn’t sure how to approach it. I’m quite happy with how it turned out.

Blue graffiti with white stars on it.
Graffiti stars

Just things like this padlock jumped out at me. Using the Edge 35 Optic I took an interesting slice through it.

A padlock.
Padlock

One of the best pieces of photographic advice I’ve had was to always look back the way you came. Things have more potential if you look again. That’s what I did for this image of trees in Los Altos park.

Trees in black and white.
Trees in the park

Sometimes the imperfections in something so bold can make for interesting photos. This was a bollard that has seen better days.

Luminous yellow background with cracks through it.
Luminous Cracks

And finally, more trees from Los Altos park.

Vertical trees with curving horizontal branches behind them.
Trees at odds with each other

Captures of the day (26/4/19)

A macro photo of some red berries. Lots of green leaves.
Sweep of Berries

All taken on a dog walk today. It’s amazing what you can find to photograph if you just look. Still using the Edge 35 Optic at the moment. Went to change it out yesterday and couldn’t find my Sweet 35, so left the Edge on. Kind of glad I did now, as I like how these turned out.

A false colour image of trees
False Colour Trees

I also like playing with false colours when an image just doesn’t “pop” for me. I found the structure of this shot to be really interesting, but the feel of it was quite dull. While I could have pushed the saturation, I felt it just needed something else, so started with one of the presets in Exposure X4.5 and went from there.

A black and white photo of a tree trunk.
Elephant Leg

I was very tempted to crop out the top of this image, but I think it’s better balanced by keeping it in. Lots of gnarly texture to enjoy.

Lensbabies…

… Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the blur.

A distorted photo of a pier
Totland Pier (2008) – Lensbaby Composer, probably Double Optic with the distortion caused by the Wide Angle Adapter

What are lensbabies ? Essentially they allow you to create certain effects in camera. They come as lenses or as optics for a lense, having a modular approach. I have only explored the optics for the lensbaby composer series, the other lenses being currently outside of my price range. The Lensbaby Website can explain better than I can.

A dog and hand
Our dog looking adorably up – Lensbaby Composer, Sweet 35 Optic

They create distortion and imperfect images, which I fine very appealing. Different optics give different effects, some more subtle than others. You can also use certain lensbaby optics with extension tubes, to create interesting macro effects.

A close up of a daisy flower
A raggedy daisy flower – Lensbaby Composer, Sweet 35 Optic, 12mm + 20mm Extension Tubes

If you can afford the initial purchase, lensbabies can give you a lot of pleasure as a photographer, as long and you’re not in pursuit of the “perfect” image.

Sweeping trees
Trees from a dog walk – Lensbaby Composer, Sweet 35 Optic