Hope you guys were aware of My previous blog about my film journey this will just be its continuation.
Canon Sure Shot 85 made me a noticeable photographer at my age group. I was absolutely satisfied with the output and I always get 36 pictures with neat exposure. Tried few bigger sized prints and it was just razor sharp and that’s when I gained confidence and after many years of usage made my move towards Minolta dynax 5 by 2002. Convincing my parents for this SLR was not an easy thing finallyi got hold of Dynax 5. This camera has got some easy AF system. Just spot the camera anywhere and it focuses automatically no clicks were necessary. With too much of excitement I took the whole family out to beach for a shoot at 8PM. Yes you read it right. Shot a complete film role and it was a complete mess. Rushed to the camera guy asking him to check for any faults in the camera. That’s what a poor 17 year old could do. The guy was polite enough to ask me what happened and asked me to read the manual. Even before shooting something or reading the manual ive just got another opportunity to visit kerala and ive been to this beautiful kumarakom with a dozen roles/batteries/plastic covers was shooting a lot only to realize all I shot was either out of focus or under exposure or over exposure technically Useless images.
Reading of this manual begin and started learning about Film ISOs and how it reflects on our images and different types of images. Konica was the brand which was easily available but the vibrancy and quality produced by Kodak was outstanding hence I started stocking Kodak Film rolls with Different ISOs and Lots and Lots of batteries. Started getting 36 right exposures every time. Started working on different themes from then and shot lots of landscapes,seascapes and portraits and abstracts. I always keep changing the labs I process just to realize the processing styles and how accurate colors were though almost all labs where I process my films r closed now. Started hunting down for books about films and learnt a lot about different types of films,prints and processing styles,Color Filters on B/W Films. If Kodak remains the love for ever in color photography Ilford became my love when it comes to B/W.
Even before realizing this is my life I started shooting like hell. Films/processing/printing was absolutely expensive those days and I couldn’t afford to remove my color film if I wanted to shoot B/W that’s when the secondary body came in and Nikon FM10 was reasonably priced and helped me a lot with my B/W photography.
There were lots of issues from fellow photographers in the labs coz of the charging they do for over exposed or under exposed prints. Few were either not trained properly or did give their shot coz of their busy schedule that’s when this contact sheet came in. they gave us small sized photos in a sheet of paper and we could get a fair idea about blown out/over exposed pictures or under exposed ones with proper mentions they could correct it for us and the price factor got considerably reduced and no of clicks just increased.
It was not as easy as digital photography today where you get to see the result the next second. We had no other choice apart from judging the exposure and how it would turn out on print. Though I shot a lot I have been very choosy with every clicks. There are certain times I did shoot repetitive frames just in case if there is any disturbance due to the wind or focus or the mistakes which may or may not happen during processing.
When I started clicking decent pictures I stopped relying on labs and started reworking on my basics from the scratch and gave my best to get the best in every single shot. These were the factors which still drives me even today. Get the Photos right in ur camera and not in Lab or PC. Chennai had lots of options when it comes to films and after weeks of hunting I have found small sized enlarger. I used them on films to check focus and also exposure/Highlights in the film and just print the ones in big size which I felt was satisfactory. The bigger I made my print the better I learnt about the mistakes I did while focusing. Then started working on focusing and experimenting a lot with Camera controls in all genres I worked on and always had a backup shot in the next frame.
I did do lots of mistakes and that’s what made me a better photographer one such was giving B/W films to regular labs. The prints were just bland with no contrast and there was no much difference between grey,black and white which I really wanted to. Later found few who were dedicated in B/W printing and Voila.
During the process I made few upgrades in investing in some good color filters,closeup filters,lenses and good dedicated flash gun though everything has an individual story to tell I just have them with me to cherish my life with films.
Even though I enjoyed Clicking with Kodak and Ilford I did use few other films like Fuji velvia/provia and lots of transparencies/slides for my landscapes and portraits. My Era with films continued until 2005 and that’s when Canon 350D came to me and my life has been a roller coaster ever then. I do have a lot to share about films but i will have to discuss and fulfil other topics too. Will get back to film after a while.
Will continue soon…