MONTERREY–Part of our mission here at Field Photographer is to help our readers become better photographers. Both in person and from readers on-line, we are regularly asked for advice on how to become better with a camera. The following are five things anyone can do to improve their picture making ability. None of them are terribly complicated or very expensive. There are no cryptic, esoteric secrets involved. I don’t doubt that investing years of study and tens of thousands of dollars going to photography school would make you better than when you started (or maybe not, judging by some of what is currently in fashion from visual academia). I am advising neither for nor against formal education. What I am saying is that there are a number of things anyone who is truly interested in the art and craft of photography can do to become much better.
A few years ago, in the last days of the common film era (CFA) and the beginning of the Age of Digital (AD), point and shoot film cameras were common items. Even as the digital writing was on the virtual wall (for those who cared to look) the camera industry introduced an entire new format, the Advanced Photo System or APS. The system used a self-contained, more or less idiot-proof cartridge designed to address various perceived problems with 35mm film. It used a somewhat smaller negative (30.2mm x 16.7mm as opposed to 36mm by 24mm) (think APS-C sized sensors as opposed to “full-frame” sensors), had no film leader and, among other features, nearly every APS camera could be easily switched between several aspect ratios. These were simply crop modes but they were briefly quite popular, so much so that many 35mm point and shoot models followed suit and added a panoramic mode.
Sometimes you should listen to the voices in your head and sometimes you shouldn’t. Do not run with scissors in traffic. Do not befriend Nigerian royalty. Do not shave your head and climb that bell-tower. But if the voices are telling you to hang onto a particular lens, that someday you’ll figure out what it’s good for, and that someday you’ll figure out how to use it correctly, then listen. Continue reading “THE VOIGTLANDER 15MM F/4.5 SUPER-HELIAR V1”
You shot your rolls of film, developed them or had them developed. You looked at the prints (or jewel-like slides)– the only way to look at your photos unless they were published — and decided which ones you liked. When you were learning photography you looked at the negatives and picked one. You held those little frames to the light or looked at them through a loupe over a light table. You made contact sheets and looked at those through a magnifying glass, at tiny windows into the worlds of your own past. They were full of mystery, tiny little scenes that you had chosen, burned into silver halide, glowing frames of silvery greys and blacks, the direct opposite of what you had seen. It was up to you to think about them, think about what you wanted. Then you had to turn the lights off, turn on the red light, fit that chosen frame into a holder, fit it into a larger frame, make decisions and then commit to it. You held your breath and pushed the button and the light came on, changing the photo paper invisibly, immediately, and forever. You took that piece of paper and slipped it beneath the developer. Again you held your breath, waiting, wondering. Would it come in a rush of overexposed blacks or a tentative, underexposed outline of whites and greys? Or had you calculated correctly when you committed light to the paper as you had when you opened the camera’s shutter to expose the film. Continue reading “HOW TO BE A BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER: PRINT YOUR PHOTOS”
Japan Camera Hunter Bellamy Hunt known for his love of film, released his own Street Pan B&W film awhile back, and that film has been a huge success. If you’ve been shooting this film and want to show off your love for it, Hunt has you covered. Available through his site is the new JCH X Thirdculture StreetPan Pin. The pin will only cost you ¥1,300, that’s about $11.50 in real money. (Link) FP
Did you know CineStill film makes a special 2 step bath for developing color film? Because I didn’t and it looks pretty darn cool. My kit arrived not long ago and I’m fixing to try it out. In the mean time, here’s the details from their site along with a link. FP
When it comes to skateboarding and its culture, there are many misconceptions about who we are. In my many years, I’ve come to learn and realize that we are some of the most diverse humans that walk this earth; all brought together through the mutual love and passion that we have for a toy. For most of us, We have no other connection to those in our lives, even our own families and through this toy; we’ve become part of something that is greater than ourselves. We serve a purpose greater than our own.
Kodak’s new extravagantly priced print magazine titled “Kodachrome” – has gone on backorder. Kodachrome is described as not being purely about film photography, but rather as something for everyone who “loves art, film and analog culture.” No update on when the next run of Kodachrome will ship out. Kodachrome is 71 pages and priced at $19.99 an issue. For some reason Kodak’s site wasn’t able to process our order, and we haven’t been able to get ahold of anyone at Kodak, so we will not be reviewing the magazine as we had originally planned. Response on Twitter has been varied, with some praising the new print from Kodak and others wishing it focussed more on photography and less on everything else. With another print run on the way, now would be a good time to get a order in and decide for yourself. (Link) FP