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film photography

Image Courtesy of Leo Catricala and Hyunsung Cho/Hartford University

Image Courtesy of Leo Catricala and Hyunsung Cho/University of Hartford

Today nearly every person in the world has a camera whether it be a cellphone camera, point-and-shoot, mirrorless camera, DSLRs, Go Pros, aerial drones—you get the idea. While photography is well and alive now, that wasn’t always the case. The Smithsonian Magazine has put together an excellent article looking back over a century detailing the photography first went mainstream.

The thing about early cameras is they used chemically treated plates and paper that took ages to capture an exposure and required subjects to stay still for a half-minute or more. It’s the reason why early portraitures looked so stoic and serious. But enter 1888 and George Eastman introduced the first compact, film-based Kodak camera. The new camera was not only much smaller measuring 2.5-inches in diameter, it was also affordable at $25 and held a roll of film for 100 exposures.

The much more accessible camera allowed many more people to carry cameras outdoors and the public was entranced by the ability to capture the world. Even if they were the most mundane of everyday events, new Kodak photographers would take pictures of bicycles, pets, or themselves. Taking snapshots became a fad and with the introduction of the $1 Brownie camera in 1900 a third of American households owned a camera of some sort by 1905.

While it might seem like photography was universally liked, professional photographers were actually against seeing their art becoming popularized by amateurs. Supposedly paid photographers did not appreciate these “Kodak fiends” who became completely engrossed with taking weird and often out of focus shots.

Now photography has become much more mundane and commonplace, but the controversy has spun out to taking advantage of people’s privacy. With the advent of wearable cameras like Google Glass and aerial drones, photographers now face a new wave of criticism accusing them of sneaky forms of voyeurism to creep shots from above.

Via Smithsonian Magazine

 

ColourMix

Attention film photographers, Lomographers, and people who just happen to like quirky stuff in general, Vienna-based company Revolog has finally landed in America.

If you don’t know who or what Revolog is, that’s probably because up until now, their products were only easily accessible in their Europe-based online shop (shipping to US/Canada would take up to 23 days), some parts of Asia, or on eBay. And what, pray tell, are their products? Well, Revolog makes special effects 35mm films that somehow purposely mimic things like film imperfections, results of camera defects, and even effects of flatbed scanner glass dust to yield different results from mulit-colored lines and light flashes to rainbow color shifts and splatter-like dots, all neatly packed in brightly-colored bubble gum labels with names like Volvox, Tesla, Lazer, Rasp, and Streak.

So the European duo behind those weird but apparently crowd-pleasing special effects films, Michael Krebs and Hanna Pribitzer, has partnered up with who-else-but trendy analogue photography company and well-known avid experimental photography supporter Lomography to make their special 35mms now easily accessible in the US and to the rest of the world. That way,  no lo-fi photography fan will ever have to wait a month to take his or her perfectly imperfect shots again.

The Revolog 35mm special films are now available in the Lomography online store. Prices range from $9.90 to $11.90 a roll. Depending on the type, a roll may come with 36 or 12 exposures.

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All photographs by Antoine Bruy. Used with permission.

The idea of leaving our basic modern comforts – the Internet, our smart phones, central heating, the ability to go to a store and simply pay for whatever we need is at the least an inconvenience and at the worst a terrifying idea to many of us. But while the majority of the population wouldn’t be willing to let go of modern conveniences, there are some in this world that would gladly give up these comforts for an independent, self-sustaining life off-the-grid.

It is in this group of people, scattered all over the world living in remote, inaccessible areas, and their off-the-grid lifestyle where French photographer and traveller Antoine Bruy, armed with his Mamiya 6, found the subject for his poignant and very illuminating series, Scrublands.

With its subjects once “functioning and useful members of society,” whatever this phrase really means, who have taken to the wild lands to search for a more meaningful life, Scrublands explores the idea of going back to the old ways of life, like raising your own livestock, farming your own land, and having an outhouse for a toilet, despite modernity. At the same time, it offers a glimpse of how that kind of life can not only be possible but also fulfilling and in many ways, more profound.

The imagery that Scrublands presents is so compelling, so strong that it quickly converts the unbelievers and it promptly convinces its spectators that there is a happy and contented life to be found sans all our modern comforts.

We recently caught up with Antoine to talk about his series and his Fotofund crowdfunding campaign to continue the project in the Appalachian Mountains. Read his interview and see some of the photos from Scrublands after the jump.
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Video thumbnail for vimeo video See Why Some Photographer Can't Stop Shooting Film in This - The Phoblographer

In a world dominated by digital electronics, where most photographers, professional or not, are initially measured by the power and price of their equipment, where taking a photo of anything is literally just a simple push of a button, many wonder why a considerably small number of photographers all across the world still shoot film.

While film photographers have several and varied reasons for sticking with this admittedly meticulous and slightly more expensive medium and not going digital, to them (ehem, us) it’s almost a no-brainer to shoot with film.

But to most of the world, it’s harder to understand. For this reason many photographers who love and are loyal to the medium seek out ways to not just explain but also educate the world on the benefits and joys of shooting film. Last year saw the arrival of Indie Lab and Kodak’s beautiful documentary, Long Live Film, in which the Alabama film lab travelled across the United States to talk to photographers about why they still shoot film.

This year, we have Goa-based wedding photographer and filmmaker Amrit Vatsa’s short but definitely sweet rendition of why film photographers just can’t shooting with film. This 3MS (3-Minute Stories) documentary, aptly called “Can’t Stop Shooting on Film,” follows the film shooters at Goa-CAP (Centre for Alternate Photography) in an attempt to understand why these photographers remain loyal to the art of film photography.

Comparing photography to painting, this short raises very valid and important points and offers rational insights that many of us have never thought of before. If you’re still scratching your head about why we still shoot film, this is definitely a good starter video to watch.

See it after the jump.

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All photographs shot by and used with permission from Barry Underwood.

Cleveland-based photographer and light installation artist Barry Underwood, whose work takes focus on the examination of the use of land in both rural and urban areas, is well-versed in the power of film; and he’s using that power to his advantage to document his amazing art installations.

These long-exposure photographs (or visual representations of his “dialogues”, as he calls them, between him and nature and history), of course, are products of much bigger projects that not only take time to plan and execute, but also last several hours after their images are painted on film. As Barry himself explains,

“The photographic images are long exposure documentations of full-scale installations built on-site in specific landscapes. With my work, I actually do build a structure, or object, or an installation. My process begins with drawing. Most of the installations only exist from a few hours to one night. I have been working on projects where the installation is up for several weeks. Most projects are installed in one day, though some can take several days. Again, most of the installations are actual structures, not moving lights, or light trails. Though they do at times mimic light trails. Almost every installation or sculpture has a support structure just off frame. Rope in the trees, an armature, and such.

The photographic images are made using long exposures; one or more hours.  Because they are long exposures, I use film for photographing. I then have the film scanned. I try to treat the image in Photoshop similar to how I would print in the darkroom process: adjusting color balance, dodge/burn, crop…In fact the early work in the series was first printed in the darkroom with no digital process.”

These long exposures may only be fractions of his undoubtedly beautiful full-scale light installations, but they are themselves artworks in their own right. Stunning, surreal, and radiant, they are true examples of long exposures AND film photography done right.

See some of them after the jump and make sure to check out Barry’s gorgeous portfolio
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All images taken by and used with permission from Oleg Oprisco.

As photographers, I think we all have that single photograph, or this series of photographs, or even that artist that moves us so greatly, it influences, sets the tone, and opens the path for our future work. For me, it’s Ukraine photographer Oleg Oprisco’s early work – delicate, intricate, and ethereal – that made me really aspire to be a better photographer.

But it’s not just me he’s inspired. Oleg has influenced an astounding number photographers, medium format shooters and digital snappers alike. And looking at the utterly beautiful and surreal images he painstakingly creates and captures with his trusty Kiev 6C and Kiev 88, this comes as no surprise. His photographs, vibrant with lovely hues and colors, are celestial yet earthly, whimsical yet corporal, and ever so exquisite.

I had the immense pleasure of having an insightful, albeit short, chat with Oleg recently about his work and I’ve come to find out that the man behind the lens is just as stirring as his wonderful photographs. Read our short conversation after the jump.

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