These film photography tips will help you create negatives that end up being beautiful prints.
These days, most people shoot photographs with digital cameras, in which light-sensitive paper has been replaced with a light-sensitive digital image sensor. But there’s still a thriving film-photography scene.
In this article we will talk a little about the on going film photography vs digital photography controversy and take a good look at some of the basic film photography tips to help you in your use of this classic medium.
Tips- #1- Positive or Negative?
The first choice presented when you’re shooting film is whether to shoot in positive, which is known as ‘slide film’ or negative film, for making prints. Each of these mediums, (positive or negative)has its own advantages.
Slide film offers a higher level of saturation and contrast, and makes it easier in future should you wish to transfer your images to digital media. Print film on the other hand is cheaper, and makes it easier to make prints of your images. Another difference is that print film can cope with a wider range of exposures – meaning you don’t have to be quite so precise when setting exposures.
Tip –#2- How Slow Can You Go?
When shooting with film it is important to carefully consider the ‘speed’ of your film. Slow film – ISO 200 or 100, say – requires longer exposure times, but offers a better quality image, with less ‘grain’. However, you can only shoot at such low speeds if the light conditions are good.
If you’re shooting in less well-lit conditions, you’ll need to choose a faster film – ISO 400 is a normal speed film – which enables you to capture most scenes despite the light. Higher ISO or even faster film would be ISO speed of 800-3600. These films are used when the lighting is low, but may result in noticeably grainy images.
Tips – #3: What Brands Should You Use?
There are several different film manufacturers to choose from. It’s worth paying the extra dollar for a well-known brand such as Ilford, Fuji or Kodak. For example, Fuji film tends to deal better with the greens and yellows of nature, while Kodak film handles flesh-tones better. If shooting black and white film, Ilford and kodak are both good choices.
Tip #4 Shelf-life
An important bit of advice; camera film changes over time, with a ‘sweet spot’ at a certain point in this process. Although film manufacturers aim to supply film to the store when it is approaching its sweet point, it’s worth thinking about how you store your film if you don’t plan on using it right away. In hot climates, you should be storing your unused film in a refrigerator to keep it from losing it’s dye saturation.
Working with film photography brings many rewards, which includes among other opportunities, operating a manual SLR 35mm camera to working in the dark room and making your own black and white prints. Whether working with black and white film or color film, both can be sent out to a photo lab to be processed.