Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Black and White *Repost

This is a repost as I thought it might inspire some film Usage!

As much as I love the ease of digital photography, believe me I REALLY love it, I still have an undying passion for black and white silver prints. During this semester I have been working only in film. I have been learning many darkroom and lab techniques that have been used for years and years.

The difference between digital and film photography is that with digital there is so much room for "faking it". If you don't really possess technical skills or knowledge of photography you can still take a great picture and if you can't you can always make it look great during post with photoshop or the like. With film photography you may be able to get a nice shot but you'd better be able to process that film and print it well or it will be very clear you don't know what you're doing.

Film photography is a craft. From the time you capture the image you are thinking about the light and the end result you want. You are planning the process time before you even capture the image. You plan how to print each image and try over and over to get the result you want. You dodge and burn and choose your filters and what paper to use. You time everything from your exposure to your developing to your final wash. I love the quiet time of print spotting to remove that lone piece of dust off the print...

This is the true meaning of the word Craft. Pouring one's heart into creating a piece of art that will never be made exactly the same again. It's a one of a kind. So when you see a black and white photograph, especially a masterfully printed image, take a moment to ponder everything the artist went through to bring that image to life.

I am, in no way, close to being a master printer. If I could have anything it would be to have the time to attempt to become one. Here are some images I created as a self portrait and later I may post a digital image of how I presented them as a sun-shaped clock of the 12 hours that fill my days.

Be true to your craft whatever it may be!

First Love

This morning I sat and had my coffee and read through my google reader. Seriously, I follow some amazing bloggers. I never realized there were so many clever people out there. Anyway, I came across a guest photographer who shoots in black and white quite a bit. Her images had the breath, you know the one that I'm talking about. The one only film pulls out.

It continued this thought that has been haunting me. I've been thinking about how I started out in this profession. All film all setting up for that one portrait. Since then, I have gone to digital and really, I shoot a ton of images. I do this because I desire to capture a story about a person and I think I can do that during a shoot and many images.  What about all the Photography greats that were able to tell a story in a single black and white image? Amazing images. Capturing it in the decisive moment...

Shooting film really does make me so much more deliberate in my framing and shutter control. It really does require more "looking" on my part. Intentional is the word I'm looking for here. I want to be intentional in my shooting.

This week I think I'll set a goal to have my beautiful Hasselblad serviced and cleaned and see what I can do with it. I have an interior marathon shoot coming up in Las Vegas in less than 6 days so I'll have to wait to get started.  I miss film, I miss that feeling of surprise when you pull the film from the canister in the darkroom.  I love seeing the contact sheet for the very first time.

During my photo gathering for this blog I am forced to go through my files and I continually come across old images that I remember taking me forever and required a huge set up and hours in the darkroom printing, and it makes me feel a bit like I've sold myself short.

I think a project may be brewing in my future...

This little image reminds me of the hours I used to put in to get a single image. It's funny to look back and see what you would do differently, I always see so many things in old work.  I think that's good because if you never grew you'd never see what you didn't see before.

Let's shoot some FILM! Who's in?