Welcome to My Brand New Photography Blog

posted in: Film Photography, SLR | 6

Hello and welcome to my brand new photography blog! I want to start a personal photography blog to help rediscover making pictures for me. I am a wedding photographer based in the Scottish Borders shooting in a photojournalist style. So much of my time is spent documenting the weddings of other people, processing hundreds of digital images and presenting beautiful albums to our clients. I really love it, but I have decided that I really want to focus on some personal projects too.

My initial attempt to achieve this was to try a 365 project (one photo a day for a year), but I found myself taking pictures for the sake of it and I quickly lost interest. I suddenly realised that a big barrier in the way of my enjoyment of photography is the digital aspect – I find myself taking plenty of personal pictures of various events and every day moments but I never get around to doing anything with them. I spend enough time sitting in front of Lightroom ‘wediting’ (a made up word combining ‘wedding’ and ‘editing’) that I don’t really fancy extending that time much.

That’s when I realised that my long lasting temptation to revisit film photography would be the perfect remedy to the problem! I bought a Canon EOS 3 body from eBay so that I had a quick and easy transition back to using film using the lenses I’m familiar with (my 24mm f/1.4L and 50mm f/1.2L) and then started exploring further and deeper into the fascinating world of vintage cameras! A few months later and I’ve gathered a small collection and a large passion to play and experiment with film! My blog will document my journey along with a bit of digital photography thrown in too.

Time has been limited so I’ve only shot and had two rolls developed so far; both on the EOS 3. I used Peak Imaging to do my processing and also paid for the lowest resolution scan (as I didn’t have a scanner at the time). I’ve now got myself an Epson V700 and I’m painstakingly working out the optimal method for getting the best out of my negatives (the influence of the digital world still being very strong inside me; the cure may take a while to take effect). I need to be careful I don’t burn out again from too many digital woes – I just need a simple workflow with minimal fuss that will bring out the best from B&W and colour negatives… but from what I’m reading it can be a bit of a black art.

My first two films were Ilford HP5 Plus (an ISO 400 rated B&W film) and a roll of Fuji PRO 400H (ISO 400 rated colour film). I started shooting the night before the birth of our son, Josh, with the HP5 Plus. The 400H was mostly used to shoot our 2 year old daughter, Abi, in a hay bale field. I’ll post more pictures once I’ve overcome my scanning OCD issues, in the meantime, here is one of the frames form the hay bale field, as processed and scanned by Peak Imaging.


Canon EOS 3, EF 50mm f/1.2L, Fuji Pro 400H

6 Responses

  1. James, what a wonderful shot of your daughter. The only advice I’ve learnt from scanning negatives is to turn off every option so you’re presented with a flat scan of your negative. Then line up the markers for your black and white in the histogram (do this for each channel in colour) and scan. Don’t over think it. Then in photoshop I perfect that and then adjust all channels together to get the exposure I originally went for. I figure that will give me a close match to the film characteristic.

    Great blog, great to see someone fairly local shooting film…subscribed.

    • Hi Iain, thanks for the kind words and for the scanning tips! As soon as I’ve got some time I’m going to tackle some colour negs. I definitely like your method of scanning so that will be the first method I try. That’s pretty much what I do for B&W negs but from a quick play, scanning colour negs is a whole different beast!

  2. […] started to take over our house! I didn’t really know what all the fuss was about until I saw the results he was getting. Then I just had to try it out for myself! I had a lot of fun using James’ Canon EOS 3 and […]

  3. Hi James,

    Great website and some wonderful photos and information. I am a keen photographer and exploring film again after many years. I recently had a role or ektar 100 processed/printed and scanned by Loxley colour in Glasgow. Anything digital from them has been excellent but I found the scans soft (only 1-3 mb) and the resulting prints from these scans soft. I used a canon 50e body and a 35mm L lens 1.4.

    Just wondering whether you were happy with peak imaging? I used them years ago for all my film work and found them very good but I found their prints from digital not so good.

    Do you have any landscape prints or scans that I could see? Or could I email you the scan from Loxley to you? I was hoping for really pin sharp prints from the roll of film/ lens combo but didn’t get it from Loxley on this occasion.

    Many thanks.

    • Hi Chris, many thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you like my blog and photos! Great to hear you’re getting back into film again; it’s a wonderful escape from the digital world (until you start scanning it!) I agree that Loxley are brilliant for digital stuff, that’s who I use for all my printing. I’ve never had them develop or scan though. Peak Imaging have been really good so far. I had them scan my first couple of films, but I’ve now got my own scanner so I’m doing it myself. I was reasonably happy with their scans and they seemed sharp enough, it’s the cost of having someone else do it that was prohibitive to me. It is very time consuming doing it yourself, but then in return you get a lot of control.

      I don’t think I’ve got any landscape scans to share at the moment I’m afraid – I’m mainly a social photographer so I don’t tend to shoot a lot of landscapes. I’d definitely be willing to have a look at the Loxley scans for you though. I would expect the 35L to delivery excellent results.

  4. Crackerjack Blog. I wish I could be disciplined enough to make entries regularly on mine !! I’m not.

    http://shutteroo.wordpress.com/ (hardly worth visiting – it’s stagnant!)

    Anyway, just wanted to say – the Lubitel images are really great, and the first one of the dog is superb.

    Cheers,

    Colin

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