Film Photography Tag

Otherwise known as The Menu Blues. Every digital camera has a menu. It is generally accessed with a button on the back of the camera, although on the Flapoflex Digital Royale Special you wake the camera up by swearing at it. You can choose which language you do this in: Teenager, Longshoreman, or Streetwalker. Flapoflex have always staggered to the beat of a different drummer...

No apologies for the inches, children. It is what the adults use to measure photographic surfaces. Even if we do give in to buying inkjet paper in A4, A3 and A2 sizes, we still get boxes of 6 x 4 and 5 x 7 from Ilford. And we measure print sizes in 8 x 10, 11 x 14, 10, 12, and 20 x 24 as well - it must put the wind up to the bureaucrats in the EU standards Department something chronic. We also measure one of the standard sizes in the industry for sheet film as 4 x 5 inches. Europeans tried for years to make this into 10 x 12 centimetres but it never really took off - people still think of 5 x 4 or 4 x 5. 20 square inches of sensitive emulsion to put into the new Ilford Obscure pinhole camera - for good or ill. There is a 10-sheet box of it included with the kit - Ilford Delta 100 - a tabular grain film of excellent tonality. Note: you can also get Ilford HP 5...

Way back in the 1960's I bought a book in a secondhand bookstore in Spokane, Washington, that was made up of Kodak pamphlets. These were loose-leaf style instructional treatises that explained how to use the Kodak materials of the day to do professional work. I thought they were the official word from on high. They were actually the official word from Rochester, New York. They made a million of them dealing with any and all aspects of photography. Some were arcane and dry and some were very entertaining.Later in the 1980's and 1990's I rejected all the principles that they taught - sure that I knew better. Besides, they spoke of films and processes that had been superceded - so how could they have any relevence? I foolishly gave the looseleaf binder full of pamphlets away...

There is nothing more distressing than coming across historic images that have been badly damaged by poor storage and handling. The papers and emulsions that made up the bulk of photographic records of last century were sturdy enough things to start with but when people failed to take care of them they frequently did not survive the lives of their subjects.The autochrome on the top of the post is an example -the original plate was made with multi-coloured grains of starch that were dyed dufferent colours and then exposed through a tri-colour filter pack to yield some of the first colours shots. Unfortunately starch is ideal for the growth of mould if there is a damp and warm atmosphere. And it is nearly impossible to remove it without losing the image.It's not just a matter for the antiques either - you can find paper prints from just a few decades ago that have been left out in the sun, or marked with stains and careless handling in every family photo shoebox - frequently they contain real information that you want but...

 This is the week when you get a firm grasp of getting a firm grip - when you go from the ridiculous to the sublime and then back again.We promise ridiculous, and the heading image might suggest it, but if you were shooting a medium format TLR camera 20 years ago, you would have a different opinion. Because TLR cameras were made to be particularly hard to operate...

"And I'll give you something for your film".These two statements were frequently heard in the analog era when someone wanted you to do a professional job of sports, event, or wedding coverage but did not want to pay a professional price for the result. You were foolish if you thought that it was going to excuse you from doing a professional job - that was still the standard. But you were not going to get paid. You were a relative. Or a mate. Or the relative of a mate.It always went the same way. The cost of the film and processing was never fully paid - they gave you something but that something was based upon their recollection of the price of a roll of Kodak Gold  or Sakura film seen at the checkout of the local supermarket. If you presented them with the actual cost of the pro neg film and the processing at the pro lab they recoiled in horror and accused you of being a gouger.Once the pictures were delivered they asked for the negs, and then...

The new digital photographer can be forgiven for being confused by any number of aspects of the sport - there seem to be so many to learn.He or she used to be confronted only by which film to use, does the orange needle match the mark on the light meter, and is the Chemist open so that I can drop my film in? Then in two weeks it was should I buy another roll of film or a bag of barley sugar and box of bandaids?Now it is white balances, tonal curves, video frame rates, colour spaces, and all the rest. No wonder they have started putting an " Automatic " setting on new cameras and dedicating a knob or lever to it. The relief for some shooters must be palpable.It is nearly the same for the shooter who wants paper prints of their work. What do they do now that the chemist has gone out of photofinishing and reverted to selling overpriced vitamin supplements and something for the weekend? What are the alternatives with that card full of images?a....

How many pockets have you got?The question of batteries rarely concerned us in the old film days - at least for the little people. The mechanical shutter and the finger-powered film advance worked pretty well all the time and no electricity was needed. Adding a selenium light meter to the mixture still avoided a battery, but as soon as the CdS and later cells were incorporated and we got electronic shutters and motor drives we started to have to be cagey about on-board electricity.We started to have to look for 22.5 volt batteries for flash guns...

Oddly enough, all of these things do the same job - when inserted into the appropriate cameras they all take 250 images.In the case of the Canon 250 shot magazine the camera you will need is a one of the F1 film cameras with a 250-shot reporter back. None for sale new, of course, and very few made when they were new in 1971, but you can always haunt ebay or Boris...