52 Project – 3: Return of the Film

OK, I am now 2 weeks behind schedule in the 52 project, but quality counts right?

Am I inspired by Daido Moriyama…?  I am not so sure, I didn’t go to his exhibition earlier (I really should have, but just didn’t).  Yet with the high contrast, grungy look, seems like this is another copycat work of his…

The truth is I was using a roll of ISO50-200 Lomography Redscale film.  Its the first time I used it and I wasn’t expecting it to be sooooo red!  Anyway its not a bad try and achieved some decent results.

This roll was mostly street snaps, as you may realise…  Given the convenience and the autofocus of the modern day DSLR, using the old Nikon F3 on the streets make it this much challenging and rewarding.  I still love the feeling of anticipation, waiting for the film to be developed and seeing if I got any good (or bad) stuff… unlike the DSLR world where you just see what you shot, and re-shoot if needed.

This is also my first go at multiple exposure with film (I never really tried this with photoshop either).  Great fun.  Colour temperature was awful, still need to work out how to use the film.  Another excellent experiment.  Enjoy and comment!

TL

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Film in 2012

Back in February, I found my dad’s Nikon F3 camera and started playing with it.  After a months time, I have finally finished a full roll of 36 frames, and collected the developed negatives today!   For the past few years I was able to see the shots I have taken immediately on the camera’s LCD screen, and they can also be examined closely back at home on my computer at day end.  It is truly a special feeling when you have the anticipation of not knowing how well the photos will come out, and have to wait for a few days for development before getting the negatives back; the sensation of holding negatives in hand is just like bringing myself back in time, maybe 15 years back where all cameras just use film.

The above photo was taken by the Nikon F3 with a 50mm f1.2 lens, using Lomography’s ISO400 B&W lady grey film.  It has then been scanned directly from negative to digital.  The scanned quality is not perfect, and the resolution is rather low, but somehow it feels different from DSLR outputs.  Maybe its the low quality which gives it the “retro” feel, or maybe its just my own experience which makes it look different (or just a photo taken by a low quality digital camera with basic sensor!?)

My point is even though I have been shooting with DSLRs for quite sometime now, I am always able to learn new skills and tricks when going back to SLR working with film: the manual focusing lens, the confidence of shooting a few frames in your mind without the “luxury” of checking the result immediately etc.  I highly encourage DSLR shooters to find a film camera to experience how photographers shoot back in the 80s.  The feeling of waiting for the photos to be developed (unless you have your own darkroom) is certainly very interesting.  You may not like it, buy there is no harm in trying!

TL