It’s getting out of hand. Film is getting out of hand. Soon, there will be no room left for digital in this newsletter 😉
The above image shows what’s great about photography in its etymological sense. Drawing with light. Two days ago, work took me to Marseilles for a group business meeting and quick tourist walk for first-time visitors. The sun was out – properly out and Mediterranean – for the first time in weeks. During the dull grey days that preceded this walk, I noticed how much shadows matter to our perception of light. Modern indoor lighting creates no shadows. Neither does grey weather. When we got to this scene, which I’ve visited numerous time, it was the shadows that struck me. How strange that it was the dark parts of the image that provided the most vibrant sense of renewed sunlight!
In many ways, this echoes the article above. Planning is everything in landscape photography. But, very often, our best images happen when the plan gets derailed. Almost as if pics from successful plans reveal more about the plan than about the author’s tastes.
Spectacular short film by max cooper showing special effects type of images achieved through lighting opal and macro photography.
It appears that the mass (mess?) of algorithms in recent iPhones comes with as many drawbacks as they bring advantages to the table. AI and machine learning don’t need to be present in every shoot, something Google appears to understand better with its Pixel 6. More about this topic very soon on DS.
I’ve long been writing that the filmmaking world would influence the future of photography. Here, innovative use of old cinema lens technology – from the film era – is being used to cram a bigger sensor into phones without making them much thicker. A very promising alternative/complement to computational tech?
Robin is right, I think. His post also links to a video further explaining his thoughts. He is also a very interesting photographer and his samples with this Japan-only Sharp smartphone make you wonder what entry level cameras have to offer that this doesn’t.
Cameras should try to become more like smartphones, in some respect. Particularly as smartphones are becoming more like cameras, with added bonuses, thanks to accessories like this. (hat tip to Bob Kruger)
For nature photography, it’s hard to beat a camera that stays in the field while the photographer stays at a distance (noise, scent …) Here’s a cool selection with their various strengths and weaknesses.
The author recreates the film look with expensive digital cameras and a lot of post processing. Very beautiful, particularly in the highlights.
At this point, we really must start talking about film again. Last week, I was stunned to find so many articles devoted to it. Today, this post is relaying news of filmstock launches and accessories. With the digital world continuing to drone on about more more more (resolution, ISO, fps, ftm %, aperture …), the smartphone world heading more and more into AI space, and the film world clearly making a comeback, it seems that a clear segmentation is finally taking place. And the winners may not be those we imagined only a year ago.
Yeah, so the name sounds like April Fool’s day a week early. But it’s real 😉 And it’s more important than many realise. A decade ago, those companies were actually closing down factories. Expect to be washed clean of quantitative obsessing in the years to come 🙂
This crowdfunding project is for a convenient everyday every situation film with huge latitude (ISO 200 to 3200) and standard chemistry. I’m not sure that’s the right move. My intuition would be to create something special rather than middle of the road. But it’s still significant of the current evolution of photography. Samples at the bottom of this page, check out those highlights).
Two points draw a line. Three points draw a plane. With those 3 films, we can planely see (sorry …) that something is really happening in our hobby corner of the world. How long before people ask that their wedding be shot on film, for example? And if you’d like to know how this filmstock is made, here is an extensive video factory tour.
This is not so much about how or what to learn as why it is essential to never stop. Although the article deals with photography, I think the idea is equally true in all aspects of our lives. Studies have shown that – luck aside (by far the greatest factor) – continuous learning is one of the main contributors to very successful lives.
Told ya, film is everywhere. And Mike provides us with one of the few negative counterparts to the pro-film tsunami currently coming to shore. But, beyond this, the story of Charles Daniels is quite extraordinary. Imagine having over 100 000 undeveloped photos of Rock’nRoll stars! This even trumps Vivian Maier for me.
Well, rarely has a single week brought so much clarity to where photography is headed. If there’s one quantitative metric – one – you should be interested in today, it’s sensor size. The smartphone world is picking up on it and you can expect devastation in ‘real camera’ markets if all they have to offer is more of the same (resolution, ISO …). Film is back. Some photographers, many photographers, are reclaiming their creativity. Film is still very much a niche today. But tomorrow? The minute someone brings a convenient digitisation process for processed film, things could change fast. As I discussed previously, camera manufacturers missed the digitalisation train long ago, focusing on digitisation alone (in ever greater quantity) and leaving the lucrative business of what you do with your files to phone companies. Think about that. Voice-based devices stole the benefits of image use from image making devices. That’s got to hurt.
As I finished my walk around Marseilles with rail experts (another example of old tech coming back to the forefront of society) I couldn’t keep my mind off the other industry ready to rip apart digital photography: filmmaking. Everywhere scenes popped up in 16:9 or stretchier formats. Everywhere stories that can’t be told in a single frame.
It isn’t hard for me to imagine a future where filmmaking, film photography and smartphones have completely digested digital photography and its unhealthy and blinkered obsession with more. You read it here first 😉
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Everyone struggles to be different. I don’t understand. I was never “the same” in the first place.
Le film est là-bas, je suis ici. If I wanted to do film (cine?) I’d buy a cine camera. But there’s still a need for FPS in still photography – imagine the sports photographer, without it – how could he EVER get “that one perfect shot”, without shooting a hundred and ditching 99 of them?
Cellphones have their place in photography – mais n’est pour moi. Someone else, perhaps.
Centre stage – mirrorless or SLR – DSLR, really. Still film cameras are for people who have grown up with digi and are now tiring of it, wanting something new. I keep finding “something new” in my own little courtyard garden – although I must admit I am waiting for a day when my wife is out, so I can bring one of the plants indoors and photograph it out of the wind, on our dining room table! Cameras have been getting so “good” for so many years that further technical improvement is only likely to make marginal changes in image quality. We are left to make “difference”, ourselves.
Alors! – to the starting blocks! How can we all become more “creative”, more “different”?
Yes, I understand your point of view. But I can only view so many signs as a threat to an industry that has been dramatically stagnant for half a decade. Mirrorless or not, digital cameras are doing less and less that phones can’t. And they don’t foster creativity either, which analog and video do. It all seems headed to a ghost town, except for the more high-end models.
‘they don’t foster creativity’ ? or is it because traditional photographers used cameras and migrated to digital and non photographers basically use cameras – they whose minds are not fettered by photographic norms and conventions ?
correction non photographers basically use phones
Great question, Ian. And not one I can answer. I’m only reporting what the news says and can only add that not one person under 30 I know owns a digital camera. A few own film cameras (frequently, those instant thingies) and all of them make photos with their phones.
TTartisan – “Who would need this using a digital camera or smartphone? No one, of course. ”
Are you serious? Auto everything, auto focus, auto settings, auto post processing, AI correction during the shooting process. Where does the “photographer” come into it?
Happy to use the inbuilt light meter most of the time. But there are enough occasions when it is quite unsuitable, so I now pack a good quality Sekonic in both my camera bags. If I’m going to lug a bag full of gear, and a tripod, around to plan and capture a shot, I’m also going to make damn sure my ISO, shutter and aperture are correct. Built in meters have their limitations, one glaringly obvious failing is “averaging” what they read.
There again, all the film users I see are using smartphones as light meters. It’s thrilling combo, when you think about it.
While it might work for some, the reason for the Sekonics is to step outside the camera[s] and concentrate on measuring the actual light. Not “the reflected light”, necessarily – more often, the “incident light”, the light coming from the source. Get that right, and shadows and highlights fall into place.
And I don’t see how ANY in-cam or in-phone meter can deal with that.
The proof of the pie is in the eating – and reflected light/in cam measurement regularly produce results that demand far too much unnecessary post processing, and images that suffer as a consequence.
Call me old-fashioned – but I’m glad I’ve gone back to using them.
Oh – and the “amateurs” that I know may take “some” photos with their cellphone – but seem to also want to use a “camera”. Isn’t it interesting? ‘Togs walking away from cameras, while total amateurs are starting to embrace them! Humans are very difficult – very hard to satisfy!
What’s even more interesting – the up-takers I run into are generally women – the unfaithful ‘togs are generally men. But that leads into an irrelevant and longer topic, so I’ll drop that thought.
You’re right, there’s not one best way to measure light, only best ways for each situation.
This is another area where film and digital differ. with film (positive film at least) you strive for a finished product, so it’s best to spot measure or measure ambient, depending on the type of image. In digital, you strive to capture as much information as possible and then deal with it in post processing. The look of the raw image doesn’t matter.
Apps on smartphones are very good as spot meters, not sure about ambient. It seems unlikely without a diffusing dome.
Well, I for one am happy navigating in the vast digital sea, most of which is still unexplored by me–guaranteed lifelong learning! I prefer it to my film days in just about every respect, not least the instant feedback/chimping. Digital most often wins against analog in the images I like. Perhaps this makes me a DS outlier?
I don’t know whether your B&W images were film or digital, Pascal, but they are wonderful! Especially the first two images.
Thank you, Lad 🙂 I too prefer digital convenience, by a huge margin. You are definitely not an outlier. I’m just a witness of a change, here.