Sunday, 12 October 2008
I've been working through the processing on my Ladakh photos, largely the scans of the film I shot. At the same time I've been reading Paul Butzi's recent posts (here and here) on his efforts closer to home. Quite a contrast in outcomes, I think.
For me, I've been constantly surprised at how well my images are turning out. I didn't have too much hope but I'm getting a lot of decent shots - a much higher rate than with digital. Of course, I don't shoot a lot of multiples with film, but it is nice to see so many successful. In this context I'm taking the first pass through, where success is judged by me capturing the subject in the way I intended. Whether that ultimately leads to a long-term keeper is another matter. (Like Paul, I tend to post on-going photo work, rather than the best.)
This naturally leads me to think about the differences between digital and film. A point that Doug Plummer made in a comment to Paul. With the long feedback cycle and lack of multiples, I think maybe film imposes a slightly more selective approach. I was still shooting at quite a rate when I had the film camera in my hand - about a roll and hour. But I did keep my subject matter quite focussed and had the camera set up for classic RF working (zone focus, manual exposure, fast film). With this direction, I can accept a lower level of technical quality in favour of subject - this is something I think we tend not to do with digital. Then again, I don't do the same kind of street photography with the DSLR as I do with the RF - maybe I need to slap a prime on and try that.
So, success - a combination of tools, techniques and subject matter.