Notes: It snowed in the ATL on Christmas, so of course I had to step outside. Thanks to KT for putting up with the bitter cold just so I could shoot and then write about it.
If you guys have been following for the last several posts I’ve pretty much been trying to give a shout out to old film in a digital way. Still too broke to be shooting any type of film recklessly again so I’ve just been messing around with my digital tools, like Photoshop and Capture NX. It’s funny, we love debates to no end, like digital vs film, but digital does give us the opportunity to mimic all that has come before.
The first image, now that I look at it, reminds of one of the Silkypix “Tastes.” High contrast that automatically blocks in what we would have dodged and burned manually.
Top image is pretty much out of camera but slightly cross processed to match the old background, and to give the snow a slight tint so that if when printed isn’t just the white of the paper.
Bottom image, just a mixture of overlays and blurs.
These two from the IR Sigma and processed how I normally would in Sigma Photo Pro.
The Foveon chip in the Sigma camera I think is actually closer to a graphic render, with its per pixel sharpness. This is evident in down sampled images, when the pixels align right to make an image that other camera files would need an unsharp mask or sharpen filter to clean up the interpolated source data to begin with. The bottom image, just trying out some tinting on some converted IR images.
The film look of course has much to do with the choice of lenses, even going as far as to use the glass from that time period. Creating the filmic look with cameras all the way from point and shoots to camera phones can be done with apps, but it still can look too much like a gimmick. The way those little lenses see the world, with their tendency for bad distortion and too much uncontrolled convergence in the composition (ex: telephone wires leading right into people’s eyes), you really have a harder time creating a credible image, much less invoke nostalgia and feeling. Time will tell if the early digital images will have their own spirit, if hand held camera phone self pics in the mirror date a generation like Polaroids for us on Christmas Day in the ’80’s.
Bottom image, can’t remember if it was shot at f/2 or f/1.4, but it is close to wide open. The vignetting is just an added bonus from these lenses, something that newer cameras can get rid of in camera, but yet people insist on putting it in on purpose.
I like shooting “Strobist” style as much as the next person, but glad I didn’t bring any remote speedlight stuff on this outing. Natural light is still the best, and shooting off camera speedlights for the most part dates a person’s image, most of the time not in a good way. If it isn’t pulled off in an honest, creative, or “professional” way, then these tricks of the trade just mark this golden age of photography where imaging was brought to the masses, to people with and without voices. Much like most of the technology out there today…
Just goofing around on the first image. The bottom one is another regular Sigma Photo Pro IR convert. I got by for the longest time with a plastic Cokin Red filter, the one with the hard vignettes for it couldn’t quite cover the lens, but the Nikon filter does a much better job. The differences in most camera gear is subtle, but I would have to say this particular odd ball Sigma still has a way of illustrating a scene similar to, well, an illustrator.
This is the same photo, just taken to different moods. The first one has the low contrast tinted look that is reminiscent of Polaroid instant film. The bottom one has some intentional digital grain added to the subdued colors and (un)intentional blur of the subject. A wide aperture and the lens flaws just adds to it. Again, film really can’t mimic digital, but digital can go the other way and all sorts of directions, when you consider the fact that digital cameras can use the same lenses and with software and a good eye, a person can bring back the hues and memories of a different era. For me growing up a poor kid, amateur photo gear in our family produced such great bad photos, but I don’t want to go into the poor house again right now, just to add some authenticity to this path of “photographer.” Too many bills to pay, let’s shoot with what we have and move on.
Since I’m almost another year older 😥 , I’ve decided I’m going to be blurry or washed out in every picture from now on, heehee…