Archive for 'Black and White'
Recently, I got the pleasure to work with a friend, Kristin Genna, I had met through an online photography group. I had a great time tagging along with her as she was photographing a family wedding. Her family, the bride and the groom were so very gracious to let me see some of the behind-the-scenes of their intimate wedding in Utica, NY. It’s always fun to second shoot and take photographs of things that the main shooter cannot. Here are some of the photos I was able to get.
Recently, one of my good friends graciously allowed me to photograph his newest tattoo. I think it is actually quite inspiring and true. We really learn who we are when we go through ‘rough seas.’ Don’t lose hope when you are in the middle of the storm!
“He will again have compassion on us;
he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.”
Mamiya C330, Ilford Pan F+, Indie Film Lab
As many of you already know, I am going on a trip with a friend to Chennai, India from March 24 through April 4. Yes, that is only 9 days away. We are going to be doing some volunteer work with a church (Calvary Community Ministries) that should be quite exciting and eye-opening. They have various ministries that we will get first-hand exposure to, including their orphanage, the slums they minister to, general community outreach, prayer and worship. In addition to that, we will be there for Good Friday and Easter, which will add a very unique backdrop for our visit.
While we are there, I am going to be photographing as much as humanly possible, while still giving myself time for everything essential for life (eating delicious Indian food, sleeping, swating at mosquitos, etc.). If you didn’t happen to read my last post, I have an abiding love for film. A love that my wife will get frustrated at when she wants to instantly share a photo with friends/family, but she knows she comes first so I have a digital sitting around just for those instances. And being that this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I will be trusting in my skill (and luck) in each image using film. I just trust film and love the creativity that it requires of me. There’s no easy way out of a poorly lit situation. It forces me to move, to think….whoa, I almost lost track of where I was going with this blog post.
So, that being said, here are some of my tools that I’ll be taking…
I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to travel across the world, support a church and to spread the Gospel of Jesus. As I’ve been reflecting about this trip, the gravity & importance of what we will be doing weighs on my spirit. The beauty of that weight, though, is that I know I am not the one who changes ANYONE’S life. That can only truly come through the yielding of our hearts to the Lordship of Jesus. Each and every day.
When I reflect about this trip, I also realize how rare it is for anyone (the US or otherwise) to be able to leave your homeland and plant yourself somewhere else for two weeks. And because of that I want to honor those that have (and continue to) faithfully donated their resources for me to be able to go on this trip.
With all that in mind… THIS is why I am trusting my images to Kodak Film. THIS is why I am trusting my development and scanning to the skilled and diligent hands of my friends at Indie Film Lab. This is just too important for me to NOT give my very best to God. And THIS is where you can also partner with me.
Wait… me? Yeah, you! As I just said, I am going to be having Indie Film Lab do the development and scanning of my film. This ain’t cheap when you’re talking 40+ rolls of film ($800+). So, if you believe in what I’m doing (either as an artist, a christian, a traveler, or as someone who wants to help others live their dream), you can go HERE to donate toward those film costs (as they are not covered by the donations that have been given by my church). And in return, you get varying levels of gifts back. Modified Holgas, Kodak film, mentoring sessions, photo sessions, prints, discount codes to my galleries, etc.. Please take a moment and check them out. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and if you have ANY questions, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why Film? Why NOT!?
Ok, ok. So, some of you online followers might not know this but I adore film! I try to spread the film gospel wherever I go! I can’t get enough of the stuff! Not only is it what I first used when I was learning photography more than ten years ago, using every cent I could scrape together in college for just “one more roll”. It is SO MUCH more than that!
When you get to the root of it, the reason I shoot film is the same reason photography became such a big part of who I am in the first place: I wanted to capture my family and friendships, the joys and sorrows of my life, my travels, and to find a voice to express my creativity. And FILM has always been there for me…
You might be thinking to yourself, “Tim, I get all that from digital. WHY does it have to be film for you?” To put it as plainly AND as vaguely as I possibly can, there is a richness to film that I just don’t see in digital. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose, but I know that I will never stop using film. No matter how against-the-grain it may be. I know that when I am faced with photographing something that is near and dear to my heart and I have to choose between my film cameras (that are older than I am) or the newest digital messiah, I WILL reach for the film cameras. Every time. Period.
As I was preparing to write about this, I thought about the process of shooting film. There’s nothing quick and easy about it (anymore). It takes intentionality, care and (dare I say) faith.
Let’s start with intentionality. Even before the cost of film started to rise dramatically, you had to be intentional about your exposures. You had to anticipate and plan, because you only have 36 exposures (for 35mm), 8-32 exposures (for medium format) or 1 exposure (for large format) to capture what you wanted. No spraying and praying, no willy-nilly composition. What’s the old carpentry phrase? Measure twice, cut once. Planning was a huge part of how you shoot. Fast forward to today and these aspects still ring true. And when you add in the cost of film & processing, you become more mindful of what you put in your frame (ie: it better be what you want/important).
Alright, so we’ve gone over intentionality briefly, let’s move to care. Again, thinking about the process of film photography, you think of all the steps to care for your photographs. Let’s look at an example of shooting some roll film. You get the package from your retailer. Put the film in a safe, temperature-controlled environment (fridge, bookshelf, sock drawer, etc.) until you are ready to use it. When you go to put it into the camera, try not to be in overly bright light. Placing it into the camera and onto the take-up spool, try to expose as little film in the ambient light as possible. Shoot precisely what you want. Don’t open the back before you’re done. Be sure to properly rewind the film back into the film canister/onto the original spool. Take /send it to your favorite film lab. Phew, that’s a lot of steps just to be sure you don’t expose the film to light unintentionally and great care has to be taken all along the way.
And last but certainly not least, is faith. “Really, Tim? Faith?” Absolutely! You have to have faith in so many things, from the production of the film itself, to your equipment, to the way you (and everyone else) has handled the film, and to the lab who will process & scan it. You have to have faith that you can trust everything from start to finish. And for years now, I have been putting my faith in film, and more specifically Kodak film, for all the things I hold close to my heart. While we’ve all heard (often conflicting) rumors about Kodak in the news, one thing always rings true to me. They will not get rid of their bread and butter. Film to Kodak is like the trusty wrench in a plumber’s tool bag. It always reliable and ready for the job.
Now that we’ve gone over why I love the process of film, let me talk about what I believe gives film that richness I talked about awhile ago. In the process of this, I want to highlight my favorite film company, Kodak. I have dabbled with a few other film companies and I can honestly say that Kodak’s films fit my personality and intended look perfectly. They have put in countless hours and capital over the DECADES in R&D and marketing to make their films not only the most recognizable, but also the film head-and-shoulders above all others. Bold. Robust. Innovative. Here are some examples of their great film stocks that I trust and hope continue for many years to come.
KODAK EKTAR 100
I love the DEEP colors and the fine grain of Ektar 100.
Kodak Portra 160
I love Portra 160 for its vibrant colors, gorgeous skin tones, latitude and the silky smooth grain.
KODAK PORTRA 400
Portra 400 has amazing latitiude, fantastic color rendition and a wonderful go-to film. Perfect for any situation.
KODAK PORTRA 800
While I typically do not like the pastel look of photos that some photographers rave about, there is something dreamy about Portra 800 that catches my fancy. The depth of color can be truly stunning.
KODAK TMAX 400
This is a fantastic fine-grain film that comes with great tonal range and versatility.
KODAK TRI-X 400
This film has unmatched push-ability and is a magnificent all-around black and white film with excellent contrast and tonality.
There has always been an allure to film to me. I love the hands-on nature of film. The intentionality, the care and the faith that has to go into each frame. It fits my personality and deepens my understanding of who I am. And because of these reasons, I will never stop shooting it.
If you’ve never tried shooting film before, I highly recommend it. Ask your parents if you can borrow their old film camera, buy some rolls of Kodak (start with Portra 400 and some Tri-X) and when your done send it off to a great lab (Indie Film Lab, FIND Lab, ProPhoto Irvine, Richard Photo Lab). I think you will be amazed at your results. It has LITERALLY changed my life.
While I may not have had a full schedule of weddings lined up this past season, I had some really awesome clients! Here’s a wedding I shot in September for Mary and Jason. It was a perfect late summer day on the shore of Lake George.
This was one of the most fantastic couples and weddings that I have ever had the pleasure of photographing. I also want to thank the Lake George Club for having such wonderful food, decorations and staff, and Groove Therapy for their amazing funk and R&B musical stylings.
Here is the third installment of my photos from my experience at the Film Is Not Dead workshop. Jon really was a very informed and encouraging guy. If you have any curiosity about using film or honing your personal vision as a photographer, PLEASE take a moment to check out the facebook page, his twitter account, and the blog (above).
I hope you enjoy these. Keep Shooting!
Alright, I am finally getting to posting something on my new blog. This is the first series of photos from my experience during the FIND NYC workshop given by Jonathan Canlas! Enjoy!
More to come. Oh, and who says you can’t cross process in overcast light?