Film has a different rhythm

I’d expected to write more about digital photography on this blog, but somehow the act of starting a blog about photography has forced me to think back to basics and I’ve found that film is a part of the process.

My digital camera can take 2,200 12 Megapixel shots at fine Jpeg or 500 raw before the card is full. Burst mode is 6 frames per second. My film camera takes a maximum of 36 shots and I have to wind the film in between by hand.

The DSLR can upload directly into my photo management software Aperture and the snaps can be on the internet in a few minutes – handy for the rashbre central blog where I want something current to accompany my daily story. Likewise my cellphone can post pictures direct to the internet. By comparison, I’m posting pictures here from a stroll last Sunday with the Olympus, because I’ve only just got the pictures processed. Today’s film shots are still in the camera because I’m only on shot 22 out of 36. Maybe I’ll finish them this weekend, or maybe I won’t.

I suppose the film camera is reminding me about how sometimes slowly planning a shot can be part of the process. The little analogue 35mm SLR I’m using has manual aperture settings and a needle to match for exposure so its also good as a way to rmember photograpic technique, which can blur away in a microprocessor instant, with auto everything. I still find the DSLR will refocus because ‘it knows best’ if I’ve forgotton to override something.

Today I was out walking by the sun-lit River Thames whilst carrying the inconspicuous SLR and I mused that probably f11 would be a good aperture for some general wide angle shots. I don’t think with DSLR I hardly ever bother to think or make such preparations – knowing that the computerised ASA will automatically adjust if I forget a setting.

My point is the simplicity of the viewfinder, aperture and speed setting that the film camera re-instills. I shall continue to take pictures with whatever device is to hand, but I’m regaining my appreciation for the simplicity of film and the techniques employed.
The pictures to accompany this were shot using the eBay acquired Olympus OM2, with a likewise eBay acquired 21mm lens, mainly taken at around f8. Last Saturday, I took a short stroll with the camera and decided to play with perspective. Unlike my digital shots, these are ‘straight from the camera’, without any adjustments or cropping.
…but you know something, I can’t resist cropping the middle one…


~ by rashbre on Saturday, 20 September, 2008.

One Response to “Film has a different rhythm”

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