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Monday, October 17

Digital free - it's getting easier...

Well, that's the October school holidays at a close and maybe now I'll get the chance to go back into the darkroom after a fortnight of mainly family-focused activities. Although I just haven't had time to do any printing, I've still been taking a camera with me when I'm out and about - and it's been film all the way.

I'm getting used to the idea of leaving my DSLR at home but even better is the fact that the need for digital's instant gratification, by way of uploading images at the end of the day, is diminishing. The ability to see almost at once the fruits of my photography is probably the biggest lure of digital. But I'm finding it easier and easier to just accept that the "images" (we never used to call them that in the film days) will remain safe and sound on a roll of film until I get round to developing them.

Going back to film is also, as expected, causing a major change in the way I tackle a scene. On Saturday, for instance, while Cath and Freya were doing a bit of shopping, I drove along to a waterfront location with the Rollei SL66E and the 40mm, 80mm, 150mm and 250mm lenses I have for it. I had a particular shot in mind that would need the Distagon wide angle (equivalent to around a 24mm focal length in 35mm or full frame terms) so slotted the lens onto the SL66E and mounted it on a tripod.

It was a short walk to the site I had in mind. Once there, the tripod was set up, the lens focused and then I waved my exposure meter around for a wee while to decide on the exposure. I plumped for an exposure for the main subject and then found out where the sky would fall using the zone system. I reckoned the qualities of the two bath developer would do a good job of keeping the highlights printable and took just one exposure.

I reframed for a different background and took another exposure. Another shot suggested itself that would need the 250mm Sonnar so it was back to the car for a quick lens switch. The meter waving ritual began again and I took just one more exposure with the long tele lens.

That was it then. Three exposures on Adox 50 CHS Art film. If I'd had the DSLR, I would probably have taken about 25 or 30 or maybe even more. The big difference is that with the Adox shots I'll have three negatives that I can take into the darkroom to print as opposed to a lot of digital files that are often so little different from each other that it's hard deciding which is the best file. As a result, I would normally keep them all on the hard drive and never get around to printing any of them.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

you are entering the zen side... your blog is a great read, can't wait to see your prints.