Several months ago I had the pleasure of working with Michiel Perry of Black Southern Belle. Here are just a few photos from the collaboration!
Check out more on hosting a modern southern dinner party here.
For those thinking of shooting film, here is a helpful guide to basic equipment to get you started. When shooting with film and digital cameras there are only three main differences. With a film camera, you lose the ability to shoot Raw, adjust ISO and adjust white balance. This is why learning film stocks and your camera are important. There are a variety of film cameras (35mm, medium format, and large format) as well as film stocks available to choose from. Many of the cameras reasonably priced.
35mm cameras are the most widely used film cameras around. This film comes in either 24 or 36 exposures with a variety of stocks to choose from.
Medium format cameras will take 120 and 220 film. 120/220 film is loaded on a spool, depending on the type of film purchased will either have 8 or 16 exposures. There are a few cameras that include 35 mm inserts. This is great for those of you looking to shoot more film on a good body.
There is a variety of color negative and black and white film to choose from. Most are forgiving of overexposure, Fuji and Ektar are best at handling underexposure. Portra is definitely not one of those film stocks, but still a favorite among many photographers. Myself included.
Kodak Portra 160 & 400 & 800 – Very natural color reproduction with fine grain and massive exposure latitude.
Kodak Ektar 100 – Ultra saturated colors. Very sharp. Not very forgiving of under/overexposure.
Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400 (35mm) – a cheap film with saturated colors good exposure latitude.
black + white
Kodak Tri-X 400 – Contrasty coarse grain for a classic B&W look
Ilford HP5, 3200, Delta 400- Contrasty.
Using a lower speed film (50, 100, 160) will give you better sharpness and resolution vs. some of the higher speed films. (The higher the ISO the grainier the film. Same premise as digital–the higher the ISO the more noise in your photo.)
When metering there is only one thing you need to remember:
Expose for shadows.
That’s it. Seriously–that’s it. While it’s always handy to have a light meter with you if you are using your in-camera meter, you should be fine but I would over expose 1-2 steps just to be on the safe side. Always remember you will need to set the ISO on your camera to match your film. For instance: if you are shooting Portra 400 you will need to set your camera’s ISO to 400. You are always welcome to change it, but we will be going over that in a different blog.
If you do not own a handheld light meter and aren’t sure how to read your in camera meter properly, there are other ways to meter your film. One such way would be using a smartphone app. There are a few on the market that can help, while I have no specific recommendations, I’m sure you can use google to find them and read up. There’s also the SUNNY 16 rule.
The rule is to set your aperture to f/16, and then take the ISO value of your film and set your shutter speed to the same or nearest available number.
Once again sounds pretty simple, correct?
f/16 – for direct sunlight
f/11 – for slightly overcast
f/8 – for overcast
f/5.6 – for heavy overcast
f/4 – for sunset
I recommend purchasing a light meter should you become serious about your film photography. There are a number of brands to choose from, I use Sekonic. If you are thinking of purchasing a light meter, this handy guide from B&H will help.
When shooting film there is only one thing to remember, the only way you’re going to learn and improve is by constantly shooting. Shoot manual as much as possible and learn your camera settings (in the dark). This will help you improve your skills and in no time you will start achieving your desired results.
When shooting film you’re going to hear a lot of words thrown around that you may be unsure of their meaning. When it comes to developing film, two words come to mind that always confuse even some advanced photographers. Push and Pull.
Visit any social media film photography group and you will find this is one of the most asked questions around.
So…..What does it mean to ‘push’ or ‘pull’ your film?
To “push” your film is to shoot and develop at a faster film speed, while to “pull” film is to shoot and develop at a slower film speed.
Pushing and pulling your film can greatly change the aesthetic of your photo. But if you are in a situation where you unintentionally shot at the wrong speed, the lab can help you correct your photo by pushing or pulling.
Pushing film can:
Pulling film can:
The photo above was pushed one stop. I shot this using Fuji 400h, rated it 220 with exposure comp in my camera meter of +1. I had the lab bump it up one more stop just so I could make sure I was getting my desired look.
When it comes to shooting film, learning your camera and being able to shoot comfortably in manual are key to becoming successful. Remember the camera is just the tool, it’s the photographer that creates the art.
When I began shooting film, I wanted to learn as much as I could about the medium. I had already read Understanding Exposure several times before, but when I decided to read it again, I learned how to apply these rules to shooting film. The other books on the list, are books I have used throughout my career as a guide. Each book contains a wealth of knowledge if you are serious about learning to shoot film I highly recommend each one of these books.
Summer has officially arrived and like most of you, my camera will be in my hand a majority of the time this summer. In addition to capturing our family moments, I will be working on several personal summer photography projects to help hone my skills and challenge me. Whether your battling extreme heat, a cramped car ride with the kids or in need of some serious inspiration, these ideas are sure to help get you started and challenge you along the way!
So if you’re in need of a few ideas to get yourself started to check out my list below!
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