I finally got the last batch of images from my Independence Day captures. The shots in this post were shot on Kodak Portra 400 with my Olympus OM1. All images were developed and scanned by the Film Box Lab in Nashville, Tennessee. These images are from the cities of Columbia and Franklin, Tennessee. There were some shots I took that I totally forgot about. I was thrilled when I saw the forgotten images. I did not realize I had shot that many frames on 35mm in Franklin. Normally I take notes on each shot. I record the camera settings and my method of metering. I find these notes valuable in understanding what I did wrong or right when I study the scans. However, when you are shooting the street, you don’t have time to stop and record notes. Thus, you may forget that you took a shot or two.
If you have read my earlier 2 posts related to the 4th of July 2015 festivities, you can see how the weather changed from morning to the afternoon. The shots in this post were rather damp due to the early morning rain showers. My previous posts shows a drier scene with more sunlight. Even without any dynamic lighting, I still liked how the pictures turned out.
Shooting these festivities was a great learning experience. My skills were honed a little more and I learned more about my preferences. Combining all 3 posts, I shot 3 different cameras on 3 different formats using a digital sensor and 2 different color negatives. Here is what I learned.
1. I’m a better photographer when I shoot film.
a. I observe more.
b. I’m more engaged.
c. I practice the fundamentals more.
2. I enjoy shooting film more than shooting digital.
a. I love the tactical experience.
b. Film cameras are simplistic. They are never in the way.
c. I love the sound of the shutter.
d. There is little to no post processing needed.
e. I can get many different looks from the same camera by using different films.
3. I prefer the look of film.
a. Film appears more real to me.
b. I like a more documentary look.
c. Images shot on film have more character and depth.
4. Kodak Ektar 100 is beautiful when exposed correctly.
a. I love the vibrant colors. Ektar adds punch without going too far.
5. Kodak Portra 400 is a versatile film.
a. This film handles well in any situation.
b. The exposure latitude is remarkable.
c. I love the muted colors and the perfect skin tones rendered by Portra.
6. I love the look of Medium Format over 35mm and my four thirds camera.
a. A larger negative equals less grain.
b. A larger negative equals more detail.
c. A larger negative equals larger prints.
d. A larger negative equals a wider perspective akin to how we naturally see the world.
e. A larger negative equals less distortion.
7. Incident metering is King.
a. Reading the light falling on a subject gives more accurate readings than reflected light. Of course if your subject is far away, you will have to take reflective readings. I have found that the Zone System works great for metering a scenes where it’s not practical to take an incident reading.
I pretty much knew all the above for a long time, but this experience just confirmed what I always knew. Well, I see a small refrigerator purchase in the future. I’m going to need a place to stock pile film. I’m pretty sure my wife won’t tolerate me displacing frozen meat and vegetables with boxes of Portra and Ektar.
Images Best Viewed in Lightbox Below!