I recently received a challenge from a FB buddy, Sehlem Sebik, whom I’ve never met, to post 5 black and white pictures, one-a-day.
I decided I’d dig out some old BW negatives instead of just converting what I have in my digital archives into grayscale.
This was a worthwhile challenge.
It gave me an opportunity to take stock of what I pointed my cameras at when I started my formal education at Kent State University.
If it isn’t obvious to you, I didn’t pay as close attention to lighting as I do now.
That’s only natural because back then I was strictly an available light photographer.
Not knowing how to light meant I couldn’t visualize a scene any other way.
Now that I know how to light, I can visualize my scene exactly how I want it because I decide where the highlights and shadows will be.
Exactly how hard or soft the shadows are, I decide by my light placement or the light modifiers I use.
Is Shooting Film Necessary?
To become a better photographer, is it necessary to shoot film?
I have no real easy answer to this other than to base my response on my own experience.
I believe it helps to shoot film at some point in a beginner’s learning curve.
The one major reason is the cost per frame of film.
Except for those instances when you expose the same frame multiple times intentionally, you have a finite number of shots you can make in a roll–36, 24 or 12.
This forces you to be more selective and thoughtful before you push the shutter button.
You don’t mindlessly fire away.
You take a moment to check your meter, your ISO, shutter speed and aperture settings then study each corner of your viewfinder before pushing the shutter button.
Also, because you’re never entirely sure you have the shot, you learn very quickly those specific instances when you have to shoot a lot.
You become very good at anticipating potentially problematic situations which you have little or no control so that you actually will shoot many, many frames or exposures during those critical times.
The print development area left to right: wash, fixer, stop bath, paper developer. You work right to left towards the big washing basin which has running water (that's why a wet darkroom is expensive)[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/analog-film/thumbs/thumbs_img_2121.jpg]2220
A timer which controls the time an enlarger stays on [img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/analog-film/thumbs/thumbs_img_2122.jpg]2160
A grain focuser. This allows you to peer right down to the grain of the film and focus the enlarger.[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/analog-film/thumbs/thumbs_img_2129.jpg]2130
Another type of enlarger for timing film or paper development [img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/analog-film/thumbs/thumbs_img_2132.jpg]2090
Plastic envelopes for storing all your hard work your precious negatives.[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/analog-film/thumbs/thumbs_img_2157.jpg]2070
A steel reel to load your exposed film for development. You shouldn't be able to see this at all. LOL because this step of loading film on the reels is done in complete darkness[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/analog-film/thumbs/thumbs_img_2160.jpg]2040
After your exposed film is loaded in total darkness on the reel, it goes into this special tank which is light tight. You then pour in your chemistry, agitate and time [img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/analog-film/thumbs/thumbs_img_2166.jpg]2040
The negative carrier houses your dry developed film in the enlarger[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/analog-film/thumbs/thumbs_img_3265.jpg]2010
Filters under the enlarging lens help you control the contrast you choose for your prints[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/analog-film/thumbs/thumbs_img_3275.jpg]1980
A changing bag which is light tight for loading your film on to the reels and then placing it into the light tight tank. This stage is always done in total darkness but by placing your exposed film, tank and reels inside, those afraid of the dark can work in daylight.
Peter Phun Photography
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