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Shoot film to become a better photographer

Discussion in 'Philosophy of Photography' started by Boid, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    cool.....he totally let me off the hook with his last sentence.
     
  3. Brian

    Brian SC Top Veteran

    638
    Jul 7, 2010
    Simply covering up the LCD is no substitute for shooting with a manual film camera. There are things to be learned about exposure and selective focus that exceed simply covering up the LCD and waiting until loading the card into a computer.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    Gaffer tape. Here I come.
     
  5. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    It's a start though, isn't it? Having a few missed underexposed shots would be good for the soul.
     
  6. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    I get the discipline aspect of film. I am definitely guilty of overshooting when I go out, and then I need to cull through a bunch of images when I get home. I think it is probably good to focus a bit more, shoot less and concentrate on composition. I will try to be more disciplined!

    That said.... I do think digital and liveview has accelerated my photography learning process. Seeing how the liveview image changed, when I adjusted exposure, for example, helped things click for me. Yeah, some say instant gratification, but I say instant feedback (hey, dummy, that is not going to work!). :biggrin:

    The other thing is that I am not able to judge what images are keepers from looking at the camera display in the field. More than a few times I have imported into LR at home and images I thought were suspect when I took them, turned out rather well when I see them on a larger display (okay, the opposite probably happens much more often).

    It probably depends on where you are on the photographic learning spectrum, but for where I am right now, I think digital is better for me as far as learning goes.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    He actually has a lot of good points but you don't need to shoot film to learn how to shoot properly. People just tend to get complacent with digital. Digital images are 'free' you don't have to pay for each exposure like you do film. There are more available shots and there is less concern over exposure because one can take many photos and generally something will be workable. And of course he's right that you can miss a lot if you keep peeking at your lcd when you should be watching what is going on in front of you be it a wedding shoot or a street shoot. Also regarding the chimping, I can't tell you how many times I thought I got a shot right only to come home and find that a back lit lcd made garbage look awesome and it was actually unusably underexposed or blurred because the lcd can't show you the resolution your computer monitor can. Film, can help a person to slow down and think-- if they are prone to laziness but otherwise just being a bit conscientious should do the trick.

    Adding: turn off live view [if you have a viewfinder] or at least review, and just set to see histogram and exposure settings while you are shooting so even if you look back there you have tools but not photo gratification.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    I lean on my signature block in reply :wink:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Brian

    Brian SC Top Veteran

    638
    Jul 7, 2010
    Film tends to be more forgiving for missed exposures than Digital. I have several older Digital cameras that do not have LCD screens on them. I have missed exposures, especially in IR.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    Could have sworn I had posted in this thread. I tend these days (now that I am well over the first flush of burst mode) to only shoot minimally... by that, I mean I shoot something and move on. I may try different exposures for whatever it is but I dont spend much time "chimping" because I can check exposures etc when I get home, to see what worked and what didnt. The one thing I NEVER remembered to do when I was shooting film, was to write down what exposures I used... so replicating a particularly successful shot in terms of exp was very much a hit and miss affair. My film cameras (until the Pentax compact I took to the US with me 16 years ago) were all fully manual, and I loved that. I think thats why I like the X100 so much. It brings back some of that.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. flash

    flash SC Veteran

    372
    May 6, 2011
    Gordon
    And those things would be??

    I can't see how, if all other things are equal (like the camera controls), that covering the LCD and using a small memory card would provide a learning experience in any way that was different from film. Except that it would be cheaper and faster with digital.

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 3
  12. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    And you have a permanent record of the exposure, which is easier than trying to remember (I never did) to write it all down.
     
  13. pharaviel

    pharaviel SC Rookie

    11
    Jul 16, 2012
    Reggio Emilia, Italy
    Daniele Frizzi
    I bought an optical viewfinder for my GF1 for that purpose, but using a camera in m mode without "tools" it's pretty difficult. I would love an "old style" camera with shutter speed dial and maybe aperture setting on the camera mount. Also, an original optical viewfinder (with 14, 25 and 45mm brightlines if panasonic or 12, 17 and 45 if olympus) with lcd reading of aperture, shutter speed and iso.
    Oh, and since i'm daydreaming, give that stuff to me for free :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Always shoot for the moon. You might only hit the lampshade but you won't get anywhere without firing off a shot. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    Honestly I disagree with most of his points, I grew up using film, film especially Kodachrome where you had to be right on, but because of that lots of photographers’ bracketed the film same problem he is talking about doing with digital, I do agree that check the lcd or reviewing gets in the way of shooting, but waiting two weeks to see what the film looks like is not helpful either. Having the ability to see what one shot as soon you get home on the other hand is extremely helpful to learn from the shoot.
    I think people need to learn more about how there camera operates with any media either film or digital, what are Shutter Speeds, Aperture, DOF, and ISO etc.
    You do not need film to learn these controls; one could make the argument that it far easier to learn shooting digital.
    The article just sounds like an old man saying unless you did it the original way you will never learn, and this criticism is coming from an old man
    I love film, for film not because it is a better teacher
     
    • Like Like x 5
  16. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    You might be surprised by how much film I use to push through a camera
     
  17. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    I do not agree that any thing, including film, helps anyone become a better photographer. The only thing that will truly make you better is practice. That and learning about photography, studying the work of others (and I don't mean Flickr), getting to know your equipment, and sticking to your own vision (that Helsinki bus theory). And did I say practice.

    I've shot film. Not in a disciplined way, but for me it was always a black box. I never took the time to understand it and I never knew how to get what I wanted. As my kids have learned so say, you get what you get and you don't get upset. With digital, I receive immediate feedback, and I can track the settings and understand their effect. And more importantly, I can practice. A lot.

    Time and practice... those will make you better at anything.
     
  18. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I loved my film days...now I love my digital days.
     
  19. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I'm in a digital daze!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    I'm in a film faze!
     
    • Like Like x 3