It took longer than it really should (thanks to unfortunate miscommunication) but I finally got the next batch of rolls of 120 back from the labs, processed and scanned – and what a disappointment they turned out to be.
I already knew going back to film after a few years of digital photography, that I’d have to brush up on a few things, but I didn’t realise quite how much I’d forgotten.
Though I prefer to use manual settings wherever possible, even with digital cameras, it seems over the last few years I’d unconsciously and increasingly relied on the camera to do the thinking for me. Yes, I’d use the exposure compensation control to manipulate settings and I’d carefully set the exposure to take account of highlights, shadows, etc, but lurking in the back of my mind whilst I was doing it, was the notion that if things didn’t quite work out, I had my old friends DxO Optics and Photoshop to sort the photos out for me. And, to be on the safe side, I could always shoot a few dozen extra bracketing shots. As a consequence, it seems I stopped being quite as careful I used to be in the days of (expensive) film, when it came to pressing pressing the shutter release.
Therefore it was something of a shock to get these recent few rolls back from the lab. Although I thought I’d considered each shot carefully, they were all way off the mark. I’d been very lucky with the first roll on Canvey Island. Then, the light was great, the subject matter was great and I’d got my mate Ken on hand if I needed help with any technical issues. Whilst there were plenty things that could be improved in those photos, I understood how and why they had turned out. But, this last couple of shoots showed the shocking depth of my now rediscovered ignorance.
I won’t dwell too long on the catalogue of errors: under-exposure, poor framing, incorrect depth of field – suffice it to say it’s clear I have a lot to re-learn. I’m going to have to re-read all my Ansel Adams books and refresh my knowledge of exposing negative and transparency film, more importantly, I’ve got to start thinking a lot more about the pictures I’m making.
Digital cameras have a lot to answer for.
posted on 25 October 2010
category: photo links