Film photography is highly valued for the certain sense of softness it can deliver vs digital. But under the right circumstances, black and white film can be used to create and capture photos that are incredibly sharp. In fact, they can easily rival what digital is capable of. Believe it or not, lots of the methods that one uses for digital photography to make a sharp photo can easily be applied to film. So if you’re looking to get some of the sharpest photos you’ve ever shot, check out these four fantastic film emulsions.
This is a syndicated blog post from our premium publication La Noir Image. Subscribe for as little as $15 for access and free presets; $40/year gets you all that and a tutorial video coming soon; $100/year gets this and a portfolio critique with Chris.
One question that lots of photographers who have shot film wonder about is how closely Fujifilm’s film simulations closely mimic the look of film. Considering how Fujifilm created Acros, it would make a whole lot of sense that their digital simulation would be the closest thing possible to the film, right? Well, that depends on a number of different situations.Fujifilm Neopan Acros can take on different looks based on how you shot it and how you develop it. For example, Rodinal may make it look one way vs another developer. Then you’ll need to consider how the images were obviously shot, how you’re lighting them, etc. To get a better idea though, we’ve been using Acros 100 in a number of situations plus we looked at one digital preset to see how it performed vs Fujifilm’s option.
Fujifilm Acros 100 is the company’s last black and white film emulsion, and for many photographers it was an absolute favorite. Acros 100 is a very fine grain film considering how it’s also a fairly slow film. In fact, it’s so fine grain that when my scans came in, readers thought that the image was digital and not film. For this reason, it was always used for a variety of applications though mostly with portraits and landscapes. Depending on how you developed it and if you pushed it or not though, it isn’t very tough to get great results even when pushed to ISO 1600, though it is surely time consuming when it comes to the processing.
Today, the closest thing to any of the other previous Acros emulsions comes in the form of the image quality offerings from the Fujifilm X series. And despite the fact that it doesn’t totally look like the Acros film, it comes incredibly close.
Editor’s Note: This is a review of Fujifilm Acros 100. But next month, La Noir Image will be 100% dedicated to the film emulsion and the digital simulation from Fujifilm’s cameras. If you want to read more, I highly recommend subscribing for as little as $15/year.
Creating the Photograph is an original series where photographers teach you about how they concepted an image, shot it, and edited it. The series has a heavy emphasis on teaching readers how to light. Want to be featured? Email chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com.
Photographer Tomasz Kędzierski has been a pretty fantastic and creative analog film photographer for a while. We’ve featured his work a number of times on this website. Besides the Square Lips project, his homemade pinholes and his solarigraphy, he’s done some higher end work too. Most recently, he was working on a shoot where he was shooting with Provia 100, and to ensure that he got the shot right, he used a Leica Sofort first before switching back to his Hasselblad 501C.
Here’s his story.
The Fujifilm GFX 50S has been in for review for a few days now and I’m sort of wrapping my head around how to test it correctly. That’s kind of tough to explain for many reasons. You see, Fujifilm sent me the camera along with the 63mm f2.8 and the 120mm f4 lenses–both primes which are great for general work, portraiture, and the mainstay of most medium format photographers out there. Zooms are often tough to work with, but in some ways I feel like Fujifilm is genuinely trying to redefine the way people work with medium format cameras, lenses, and sensors.
Have you been thinking about getting into more studio photography, be it portraits, still life, product, etc? As we have done now for a few other photograph niches, in this post we will be taking a look at studio photography and some of the essentials to have at your disposal besides the obvious cameras and lenses.
Let’s get into it!
Shooting in a studio or studio style with film changes a lot more of the photography game than you’d think. You see, there’s no taking a photo, chimping, and saying you like the image or not. You have to get it right the first time around. There’s also a major difference in what can be done with color correction and a lot more. But the biggest thing is the fact that you and your subject will have a much greater sense of connection due to how you need to communicate a whole lot more.
In this post, we’re going to focus a bit more on the technical details.
Working with a portrait subject in the studio first and foremost requires you to stop thinking about them necessarily as your subject and instead more as your collaborator. Now don’t get me wrong, you’re essentially going to be the conductor of the orchestra most of the time so to speak–but you need to think about people in a different way. You also don’t need the fanciest cameras, lighting, etc to make this work.
In fact, very soon we’ve got a special workshop dedicated to doing just this with Instax Wide film hosted at the Lomography Gallery Store in NYC. But if you’re interested in getting a sneak peak of what’s going to be taught, read on.