Mistakes with Film (1)

I do enjoy playing around with film alongside my more digital photography. I’m just not so good at getting it processed so there can be some delays in seeing the output. I thought today I’d share some of my mistakes and experiments as I try to get the settings correct. Photo10_6

1) focusing 2)feet
This was part of my experimentation with hyperfocal focusing for street photography. A reasonable wide angle lens, pre focused (ahem) and then clicking a shot from waist-height. It didn’t quite work. Its a bit out of focus and its cropped their feet. I know proper street photography is in black-and-white, but I’m just practicing at the moment. I may use a digital for a few tests before I try more film stock for this.

Olympus OM2, 21mm f3.5.


1) focus 2)camera shake

What’s quite interesting with this type of photography is that there’s an element of ‘stolen moment’. I know the theory of presetting the shutter speed/focus/aperture but one needs a calmness to make it all work. I watched a guy in New York taking candids on a road crossing and he was all a bustle with a small Leica. In reality, some care is still needed to get the picture to freeze in sensible focus. Needs more work.

What was interesting about both of the above pictures though, is that the exposure seems pretty well spot on according to the equivalent computer calculation by Aperture. Not bad for a 1970s’ camera. Photo09_5

1) crap composition, 2) focus, 3) POV

Those that know my main blog will know that I don’t really do negative over there. This is something of a departure, putting up my own pictures and then criticizing them. I also deliberately use blurs and smudges over at rashbre central, so its amusing here trying to get some clean shots. The interesting thing for me with this little set was that I’d decided to experiment with ‘street’ settings but hadn’t really prepared. So I knew the theory but not the practicalities. And I suppose I was also in too much of a hurry as well. So the above picture taken with a 21mm lens has a large white van plonked in a silly place in the foreground and the interesting stuff going on in the arch is out of focus. It doesn’t pass the ‘brick’ test either because they are out of focus. I could have done so much more with the metalwork of that fork lift truck too.

Nice exposure though.

A few lessons for me:
1) Prepare for street shots; understand about pre-setting the camera
2) Still think about where the shots will work best
3) Use something moderately wide angle to gather the shot
4) Practice some non eye shots
5) Find some interesting areas for the shots/ backgrounds
6) Remember many of the best street shots can be black and white (I know I had a colour film at the time)
7) Get up close – I know I didn’t.

Call this a practice run.


~ by rashbre on Saturday, 20 December, 2008.

2 Responses to “Mistakes with Film (1)”

  1. The first thing I noticed with the top photo was the feet (or lack of them!). It’s great that you can critique yourself 🙂 Hey, it’s fun playing and they’re still very pleasing to the eye!

  2. The feet (or rather lack of them) made me laugh.

    My Granddad gave me an album full of photos from when I was a kid. A hige proportion of the pictures are missing either feet (sometimes lopped off at knee level) or tops of heads. Some even manage partial decapitation and foot removal in one shot.

    It’s become something of a family tadition to present each other with mildly mutilated pictures.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: