My Film Workflow

Today I want to give you a down-n-dirty idea of my film workflow. This isn't about shooting technique or even developing, as I now farm all of that out (Richard Photo Lab), but about how I get from the shot to the printed, uploaded, or socially shared final product. This will be a bit boring, as my process to to get to my final post hardly involves me, ha ha, just the lab. But would love to see in the comments what you do for post work on your film side.

Read More

Leica: Buying Vintage Film Cameras

I decided I needed to document my thought process on buying vintage cameras, specifically along the Leica lines. Regular readers know I go through a lot of cameras, trying them out to see if they are for me, then selling them off if they are not. In the past, I have purchased the 1950 Rolleiflex, 1959 Hasselblad 500c, 2012 Carl Zeiss Ikon, 1958 Leica M2 and I am currently waiting on a 1961 Leica M3 being refurbished and CLA'd by Youxin Ye. (Not to mention the piles of vintage glass I have bought and sold over the years.)

Read More

It's Witchcraft: Expired Film

Recently, I took a handful of rolls of Kodak Portra NC (expired) to Salem, MA to see how it would do. I never (purposely) tried expired film before, but sadly this is the only way you can get Portra NC (arguably the best color film ever put out for colors and low contrast that I love) these days. I got my half dozen rolls of 400 and 160 out on the 'bay, so with no guess on how these were stored I didn't get my hopes too high. Salem is a gorgeous coastal town in Massachusetts - just north of Boston. It's full of history - most notably the Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692, its beautiful maritime history and home to Nathaniel Hawthorne. It's bursting at the seams with classic New England buildings and homes (like the gorgeous grounds of the 1668 House of Seven Gables - do the tour at least once) that just beg to be photographed. I knew this would be the ideal location to test drive a couple rolls of my newly acquired NC film.

Read More

Light Meters

I've been seeing quite a bit of talk on Twitter about light meters lately, perhaps because I follow mostly film shooters or simply because it's a trending topic in the photographic community. But regardless of which medium you shoot, you are metering light (if you don't know the difference between incident and reflective metering, do yourself a favor and Google that - I suggest this site). Many people let the camera do the metering behind the scenes while others like to take full control of this aspect of photography.

Read More

On Learning Film Photography

Like riding a bike, relearning film is coming back quick, as if greeting an old friend for the first time in ages. As I promised earlier on, I plan to document what I learn as I return to the field of film photography to help those just getting back or starting to explore film for the first time. Since jumping to digital in 2008, I am pretty amazed at how much I need to remember, though. 

Read More

How To: Illuminate Portraits with Headlights

I really enjoy lighting subjects with non-traditional lighting. After years of playing with off-camera lighting in the traditional ways, I began to think a little outside the box. What's more non-traditional than using car headlights for portraits? I had seen examples from other photographers doing this in the past and began playing around with several subjects. The headlights give some unique challenges that aren't the easiest to avoid, so here are some tips I have gathered over the past few months.

Read More