There are loads of films out there that have a beautiful and iconic look to them that die hards will say that you can’t capture at all. But even though this may be true for color film, when it comes ot black and white film it’s a lot simpler. Through lots of careful observations and experimentations, we believe that we’ve figured out the way to make your images look a lot like Fujifilm NEOPAN, or at least come close to it.
Fujifilm Neopan was a black and white low contrast film that was loved by many photographers out there for its graininess and its ability to be so versatile in the darkroom due to the low contrast nature of it. Essentially, what this meant is that it was incredibly forgiving.
But to get that look in Adobe Lightroom, you’ll need to do a little bit of work. However, it’s really quick and really simple.
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Image by Dan Zvereff. Used in our previous interview with him.
For all the lovers of the analog world out there, you should know that a recent Change.org petition to revive one of the greatest films that the world has seen: Kodak Aerochrome. Shooting Film first caught wind of the story and states that UK based Jasmin G is calling on Kodak Alaris and the Lomography company to revive the film. Lomography tried to do a variant called Lomochrome Purple, but it totally isn’t the same thing. While Lomochrome puts an emphasis on purple colors, Aerochrome put it on a pinkish purplish red.
How do they do this? For starters, Aerochrome was an infrared film originally developed for surveillance reasons. Years ago, the US would fly planes over the Congo and other regions with dense vegetation to find guerilla troops. When developed, the film would render the greens into a color like what you see in the image above that leads this story. However, later on the commercial world started to use it for art projects. Dan Zvereff and Richard Mosse are two famous photographers that come to mind at first. We have a full introduction to the film at this link–which also explains how it works.
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For $250,000 on eBay, you can become the owner of one of Kodak’s 60-inch acetate film coating lines. The massive machine was put on sale by Moses B. Glick, LLC, an industrial surplus machinery dealer, according to the Democrat & Chronicle. The eBay listing says that there are 18 of these lines available, which isn’t surprising given that Kodak ended acetate base production last year.
The listing reads “Originally used for acetate film coating but may be repurposed.” Of course, if you want to be the next Kodak, then this is an essential buy.
Though we’d caution against being the next Kodak given the trajectory of the company in recent years, particularly with the licensing of its name to JK Images, a company that introduced several unimpressive cameras at CES earlier this year. Kodak’s film lives on under Kodak Alaris, but Kodak lost some of its gravitas when it ceased production of Kodachrome in 2009 and processing in 2010.
At the time of this post, there around 70 people watching the listing, and there have been two declined offers. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know what those offers were, and we’re not sure how many there will be.
Perhaps there’s someone out there with deep pockets and a film itch they’ve been looking to scratch. Who knows? We’d be more than happen to see something happen with this in a way that advances photography. There are 18 available, which means there are 18 chances for something truly great to happen.
Last year, Nikon has a photography contest in the same fashion that they do every single year since 1969. But in the recent years, they’ve started to ban the use of film cameras in their contests. Each year that this happened, photographers have begged and pleaded to allow the format to be accepted again. However, Nikon’s contest rules and information states that
“Both color and monochrome images will be accepted. We will not be accepting any entries taken on film.Scans of photographs taken by film cameras are not eligible.”
Essentially, the contest has become a full on digital camera situation for both stills and video. But considering that you can win the equivalent of 1,000,000 yen; we wonder why it really matters if you’ve shot with film or not. Nikon is also really trying to target the younger photographers by offering them the equivalent of 300,000 yen in free Nikon products.
This year’s contest is about home. So an entire theme around this may be simpler to create with a video than stills.
If you want to enter, you can check out the rest of the guidelines.
Last year we came across photographer Matthew Cetta’s impressive Photogenic Alchemy series. It was a photographic and film-warping series in which the NY-based photographer developed film using a load of unorthodox chemicals including absinthe, coca cola, cough syrup, and Hydrogen Peroxide. While we could only look in awe at the images these modified films could produce, now Cetta has launched a Kickstarter letting photographers shoot with his personally created “Flims,” film that’s been modified.
With Flim (yes it’s really spelled that way), Cetta hopes to bring his modified films to the mass public so they can also experience the randomness and chaotic character of photography that’s been lost in the digital age. “We try so hard to mimic film, spending countless hours in photoshop and millions of dollars in apps,” Cetta writes. “But it never comes out right.”
Flim comes in pre-modified cartridges that users can slap into any 35mm film camera and simply start shooting. Cetta says he only uses normal household chemicals like lemon juice, ammonia, and Drano—so no there’s need to worry about developing film that has been treated with harsh lab chemicals. Other canisters, meanwhile, have been physically modified whether it be boiled, frozen, electrified, or a combination of the three. As we’ve seen previously even leaving out your rolls of film out to bake in the sun can have some dramatic and gorgeous effects.
That all said, Flim comes with a premium price at $50 for a single cartridge, but Cetta promises that’s won’t be the actual price of his modified films. Instead Cetta says the money is going to fund his $10,000 Kickstarter goal, which help him launch a Flim web store and potentially bring modified 120mm roll of film in the future.
Check out more amazing flim results after the break.
At a time that the megapixel count on certain cameras seems terribly excessive, there are high schools in New England where you’ll find more film equipment than digital. BetaBoston reports that there are more than 40 high schools in the New England area that, by and large, purchase a great deal of analog equipment for their classrooms, and we couldn’t be happier to hear that.
The students found that film photography made them better photographers, that focusing on constructing the image, without the immediate gratification of digital, was key in their education. Learning every aspect of the process from finished roll to developed negatives and printed photos makes for better images and better photographers.
At Cambridge Rindge and Latin in Cambridge, MA, the photography courses are so popular that the wait list usually has hundreds of names, which should provide a good deal of hope that film is, in fact, not dead, that there are people who deeply value the analog process. Film photography should, ideally, be a part of every shutterbug’s education. We’re not discounting digital, but there’s a certain magic to old processes that digital has yet to mimic.