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My Favorite Places: Little Five Points

I love the the colors and the characters of Little Five Points. It’s a place I have ventured too since my teenage years and as I have evolved so has this place. It’s a place of great food, vintage records, artist, music venues and street performers. There is an ease about the air in this place that feels so good.

Camera: Nikon F100

Film: Fuji Superia 400

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On this last trip my good friend Lisa went with me and took this photo of me:)Don’t I look happy?

 

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The Fear of Film

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If you have been following my work at all in the last 6 months or so you will have noticed I am shooting a lot more film recently. I made the leap for one reason really. There are several photographers that I have admired most of my adult life and a few that I have recently come to love and their work pulls at my heart the only way art can. I struggled for a bit trying to get my work to look more like theirs but with no real luck. So I thought to myself, what is the common thread between these photographers that I love.

One thing, they all shoot film.

I then thought to myself. “If I want my work to look like film why not just shoot film?”

Seems simple I know but many photographers today run from film. They love the security in seeing their image immediately on their LCD and the unknown terrifies most of us. But I had to get over this fear if I wanted my work to have that aesthetic and honestly I still feel the fear although it isn’t as strong.

Each time my film comes back and I see the results that fear shrinks a little bit more and my love for film grows in my heart. It excites me! It is beautiful beyond anything digital has given me. The textures in the film images blow me away and I find myself in awe of the detail the film can capture. It is real. Tangible. Not a bunch of 1s and 0s in my computer hard drive. My negatives become positives the way photography was intended in it’s early days of chemists like Niepce, Herschel, and Daguerre.

I still haven’t ditched my digital completely in my professional work and honestly I don’t know if I will get to that point but for now I am shooting both digital and film at weddings and mostly film at portrait sessions. But the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the film’s beauty.

Here are a few comparisons below. The film is above and the digital below taken within seconds of one anther.

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50 Strangers

I have been reading a great book by Brian Smith titled “Secrets of Great Portrait Photography” and it is so good! In the book he discusses techniques for great portraiture as well as gives the readers assignments along the way to put what you read into practice. The first assignment….you guessed I am sure….to photograph 50 strangers. I still have 48 to go but I love my first 2 subjects! It’s an exercise in connecting with people. You must quickly convey something about who they are with very little information and with very little time. It also helps you to get over your fear of approaching those that you don’t know. I can say I was a bit nervous to ask both of these awesome people to get in front of my lens but as soon as they smiled and said yes I got so excited! I only took one photo of the gentleman selling his handmade bow ties and two of our beautiful waitress that afternoon. I am excited to meet my next stranger!

Camera: Nikon F100

Film: Fuji Superia 400

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Film: Leah + David

I have in the past few months found a deep love for film. It has a beauty and rawness about it that digital cannot match. I also really love how light and shadow are captured more than I do on the digital. I have been shooting both film and digital at my weddings since October and one thing I love about film is the slowness of it. I love how it forces me to stop and think about the image I want as well as the finished product. It is so easy to overshoot with digital. You feel that you have an endless supply of images for your card but with film every shot has to be worth it.

This was also the first wedding where I shot some preparation and reception photographs on film and I love love love them! They turned out better than I could have ever expected!

Enjoy!

Cameras: Mamiya AF & Nikon F100

Film: Kodak 160, 400 & 800, Ilford 3200 and Kodak Tri-x 400

Lab: Photovision

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