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Monday, October 30, 2006

I Miss Film

Shot using Alien Skin's Exposure. A plug-in that simulates tons of different films and settings. This simulates the legendary Ilford HP5 Plus 400 (pushed 1-stop). I really like the program's interpretation of this film. Judging from the shots I've seen using the real life counterpart, this is pretty accurate.

Or more specifically manual film SLR's. I noticed this today when I was having trouble figuring the manual settings on my 350D. Using a dial clicker and a button is a boring way to set shutter and exposure. Not only that, but there is no way to turn off the light meter. Part of the magic of my film SLR's was the fact that neither of their light meters worked (well anyway). When I got a shot that was just the right exposure, it was something to be proud of because I accurately calculated the exposure in my head while looking at the scene. When I got it wrong, there was something to correct.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Rebel. It's become a part of my vision, as did the Yashica. It's got a lot of great features and the lens options are outstanding. I can't help but miss the options of film. Knowing that the choice in film either made a shot or broke a shot. Too much grain or too little. Fine details or details lost among the tones. Even toning or hard contrast. It wasn't just point, compose, expose, post process. It was a mystery with an added confidence that "I got this right without a doubt." Well, sometimes.

Will I "go back" to film? Not necessarily. However, I either want to fix one of my film SLR's or purchase a cheap fully manual SLR (in the flavor of M42 mount or the old Minolta mount system). If I never get a great shot or a popular shot out of a film camera, at least I stay brushed up on my scene exposing skill. Something I feel I'm losing by using a camera that automates so much of what I enjoy.

Just thinking.
Currently Listening To: A Perfect Circle - Blue - Thirteenth Step - 2003


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