Every single photographer should try to shoot with film consistently at least for a month. Why? Because film makes a photographer pay more attention to a scene than they do to the LCD screen of their camera. The slow process of pay attention to the subtle details, finding the right light because you’re locked into a single ISO setting, slowly focusing on a subject and ensuring that they’re totally in focus, getting the exposure just right to balance the highlights and shadows, and knowing that you’ll only get a handful of chances to capture the scene is all part of what can help you become a better photographer.
Some of the best photographers out there are very detail oriented. And as long as you have the pressure on yourself to get the shot right in a single frame, you’ll be better off.
Don’t know where to start? Here are five films that every photographer needs to try.
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Photo by Michelle Rae
On November 1st 1954, Kodak first announced Tri-X film. This is the black and white film that has been in the cameras of many a photographer for its beautiful look. Tri-X has always embraced its grain and has given street scenes and candids a gritty yet jaw dropping image to enjoy. Kodak Tri-X captured lots of scenes in the Vietnam war. Many photographers that have worked for Magnum Photos like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and many more have used the film in their documentary work. Though digital is still the primary form of photography for many a lensman, it still remains popular in documentary camera work.
The film is known for being contrasty and grainy. It has been used not only a lot for street photography and reportage, but portraits.
Tri-X is still available in both 35mm and 120 films in its more common ISO speed of 400.
Via Intelligent Life
We recently informed you about the acquisition of Kodak’s Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging business by the U.K. Kodak Pension Plan. Now that the acquisition is completed, the company re-emerges under the new name Kodak Alaris. The new company keeps the right to distribute products under the Kodak brand, which means we’ll continue to see film- and photo-related products from Kodak as we’re used to, which is good news for those of us who love to load their cameras with Tri-X or Portra. There’s no word yet whether Kodak Alaris aims to further cut down 35mm film production, or if they intend to introduce new emulsions in the future. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how things develop. At least we know that Kodak photographic films aren’t quite dead yet.
Via Japan Camera Hunter
Though we’ve reported on it before, there has recently been confusion about the fate of Kodak’s film business. Folk who are still loyal to the film are wondering whether or not it will survive and if the quality will stay the same. We talked to Kodak, and we’re going to once again restate exactly what they’re saying.
Kodak’s film business will now be owned by the Kodak Pension Plan, but Eastman Kodak will continue to manufacture the film. So as far as they’re saying, your Tri-X and Portra will still continue to look and function the exact same. At least that’s what Kodak is telling us. There is no other word of how else KPP might affect the manufacturing of film.
If I were you though, I’d stock up.
Essentials is a brand new series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.
Medium Format photography is what many shooters yearn to do. While the digital counterpart is extremely expensive, its film predecessor is probably more affordable than most digital setups overall. An excellent kit can be had fairly cheaply and you’ll be rewarded with images that aren’t totally possible with most digital cameras.
So why make the move to medium format? Besides the obvious benefits of a significantly larger negative area, medium format film blows its 35mm brethren away in terms of not only overall sharpness but also in color depth, tonality, and more. And with the right lighting, it will beat anything that your DSLR might be able to produce.
Ready to take the plunge? Here’s our essential kit for the person ready to step up.
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We’ve had a contest going for a little while now. Basically, contestants could show us some of their best film photos and they could win a, “Keep Calm and Shoot Portra” or “Keep Calm and Shoot Tri-X” T-shirt. Any size, and from a bunch of colors to choose from: Black, Red, Grey, Blue, Green, Brown, Cream, White, or Light Blue.
Did you win? Head on down below to see our selection from a very tough contest to judge.
If you won: please message me on Flickr for proper verification and then we will proceed to get you your shirts.
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