Us photographers have had to say goodbye to many types of film, especially over the past few years. But this one is especially missed because of it’s unique qualities. And although Mr. McCurry is not someone I follow or even admire as a photographer, in this documentary he describes a momentous occasion.
Kodachrome is no longer made and even if you have some, can no longer be developed (rats, I still have some in my fridge!), but was a very important film for print media and photography in general. Which is a shame because the ‘look’ of this film helped shape our memories of decades past. Or at least how we recognize images made from the 1935 till 2010 with this unmistakable film. This short documentary is interesting to watch if period color reversal film is your thing, or even if you’re just the nostalgic type. Enjoy.
This is quite the interesting short documentary by Andre Chong about the demise of the film industry in Singapore. You’ll meet shop owners and photographers who still prefer the tactile experience of film photography (and development) over their modern day counterpart SD-cards. Funny enough, the entire film is shot in square format and I’m not sure why. It’s too long for Instagram. Maybe it’s emulating the (often featured) 6×6 medium format cameras ? What you need to see is in the frame, there’s no wasted space. Good cinematography in my opinion. In either case, a nice watch.
Do you know Markus Andersen? I didn’t either, not until I watched this video, from the FilmPhotographyTube channel on YouTube. He’s a Sidney-based photographer who -self proclaimed- doesn’t give one hoot about what he uses but he prefers film. He’s a street photographer and he shoots in a style that I like a lot. Have a looksy, it’s 15 minutes well spent.
This extended trailer by London filmmaker and photographer Tyrone Lebon, a hugely inspirational photographer for me, is a “visual poem on contemporary photographers and their practices” and an art project all by itself. Shot on whatever you can think of (65mm, 35mm, super 16mm etc.), this project is slated to finish sometime in 2017, with book and film to be published. Watch it.
So now you’ve all read up on what film is, don’t you think it’s time to see how it’s made? And no, not one of those (yet informative) corny video’s produced these days on how nuts and bolts are manufactured, but an original, 1958 Kodak film about their process on making a roll of film. It’s glorious. And funny enough, Dutch narrated (?). The whole thing is in two pieces and takes about 18 minutes of your time. It is quite fascinating though. I wonder if this particular factory is still up and running..
Expired film is bad film. Or that’s what I hear a lot. And a great number of times that’s quite a true statement. But not because of the film. The film didn’t do anything. It just is. Mostly it’s due to the films’ keeper. Who doesn’t put it in a fridge. Because fridges (or freezers, I’m not quite sure which one’s best, IF any), slow down the chemical process that started once the film was made. Film degrades over time which usually results in film becoming less sensitive, it’s colors are shifting or in extreme cases it could become brittle. But that’s really old film you found in a shoe box in your grandfather’s attic.
Reality is that expired film doesn’t have to be bad at all, if it’s kept well. That’s hard to know if you just bought 50 rolls via eBay, or from any other vendor actually. So there’s always some guesswork involved. And to me, that’s the fun part of it. I like shooting with expired film, just for the unknown factor. It’s a bit of a waste of money at times, but ah well. The already existing anticipation of ‘how will my images come out this time?’ is doubled by the ‘yeah maybe okay but that film I used was 20 years old!’
There’s a nice article over on I Still Shoot Film, with some handy tips on what to do if you’re thinking of venturing out to finish that stack of highly suspicious rolls your Secret Santa sent you this year.
Possibly attempting to get more people to shoot with film, there’s some interesting stuff to be found online. Even if it’s just to get you mildly interested. Like this short clip, from ‘Analog – stories of film photography‘. Which is a nice series to watch, by the way. Meet Julian Martin and see why he shoots with film.
Haven’t you always wanted to know? Well, Wikipedia comes to the rescue. Because all is true on Wiki, non? This article is actually very informative, if you’d like to learn what actually makes a roll of film.
“Photographic film is a strip or sheet of transparent plastic film base coated on one side with a gelatin emulsion containing microscopically small light-sensitive silver halide crystals”
Yeah, it gets a little technical at times but if you skip to the Film Basics chapter, all will be revealed in a few paragraphs. Happy learning.