It is becoming a challenge to keep up the film photography, so last month aI made a concerted effort to get through one roll at least. This was also my first chance to shoot with the Kodak Ektar 100 film. This is reputed to scan well and to have a very fine grain. Not being able to find anyone in NZ who stocked it, I imported it from the US.
The first subjects I tried were of the stream in the Pohuehue Reserve, which lies between Warkworth and Orewa. I think one of the advantages of film is that it still has a wider dynamic range than digital. So there’s less risk of the highlights blwoing out.
So we’ll start with a couple of shots from there.
This second shot looked much better than digital version. The bright sunlight streaming in at the rear of the scene threw out my DSLR’s attempt to capture the scene.
#2 On the edge
I then tried some ‘painting with film’. In these shots, rather than keeping the camera solid, I’ve tried a long exposure to create a more impressionistic scene by moving the camera up and down to mimic brush strokes.
#3 Native Trees
#4 Nikau Palms
#5 Fern Spin
So, after a few forays out, I’m afraid it is harder to keep up the shooting with film. While it remains the best medium for a film look and the dynamic range is superb, a number of problems persist. The lighting is critical. The difference between a good shot and a so-so is much more sensitive to light. You can’t adjust white balances or contrasts or the like later. If lighting is good, the shots will turn out great. If its poor- as more foray to Waterfall Gully was- the shots become duller, faster.
There’s also issue of having the ISO fixed. You’re destined to shoot at the set ISO, and for film, that’s usually low. That means a lot of shots can’t be attempted. You can get a shot with a DSLR when you can’t with film. And for long exposures, it’s very tricky. You don’t get any opportunity to review the exposure, so the guess and hope factor becomes higher.
The weather on the long weekend was rather glorious, and my daughter wanted to take some photos around the Auckland Museum. So off we went on Sunday morning. It was a good few hours. While photography is often a solitary affair, just wandering around, chatting and taking pictures is quite rewarding. Well, that it was my daughter probably helped. She quite enjoyed using the a700.
Anyway, the sun shone, the sky was clear and blue, and the slight chill made for good shots. Crossing the harbour bridge brought up one of those vistas of the Auckland harbour and skyline that never fails to impress.
While most of my pictures were taken with my Dynax 7 (a film camera, so no pics to show yet), I wanted to take some shots that would suit an ‘antique’ post-processing style. So this is about trying to imagine what the shots would look like after they’re transformed.
I found two scenes that worked for me
#1 Urn in a Pond
#2 Withered Vines
The last is an older shot from Okarito.
#3 Weathered Boat Shed
This is part of the charm of digital photography I think. The scope for creativity is improving. And by that, I don’t mean just slapping some filters on a snapshot, but taking pictures of scenes that are designed to be transformed beforehand. The ease and speed is much improved over film. Despite that, finding a good composition remains the same challenge as always.
Wildlife photography is something that should keep you outside a lot, but there’s also a fair bit of computer work attached to it also. This is really a consequence of the digital age.
My photo website is one of these enduring, ongoing works-of-love. So I spent some of Sunday night playing around with a new format. Plus I’ve mucked about with one of my favourite photographic subjects- the estuarine crocodile Crocodylus porosus. They’re pretty much the most thrilling animal I’ve photographed.
One of the main reasons I refer these crocodile as the estuarine, is that the other common names- the saltwater or saltie- is that this confuses some people. The assumption that such crocodiles are thus only found in salt water is a risky assumption to make. These crocodiles can travel a long way up rivers and are not at all reluctant to predate on people. People are actually quite easy to hunt if they enter into estuarine crocodile habitat.