First Film Printing

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bassproguy07, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. bassproguy07 macrumors 6502a

    bassproguy07

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    #1
    Ok so I just did my first print from film ever today in my photography class and WOW!!! I now understand why everything has turned digital!!! So many steps, so many minutes in the developer, and the stop bath etc. I really love the whole process, but after about a half an hour doing all this stuff and getting a crappy looking print i realized why no one does it the old fashioned way. I highly recommend it to anyone who like myself has only shot digital, you really will learn a lot, and learn to appreciate technology!
     
  2. kidkaprie macrumors member

    kidkaprie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #2
    first photo class i took was film based, and was also the last time they were offering film. the intro film lab was being converted to a digital lab.

    anyway...the class taught me alot about taking time to take your picture b/c you only have 36 shots on a roll and you want to get as many good ones as you can. and developing your film & prints really makes you appreciate being able to take pictures and see them instantly with digital. personally, i feel a greater sense of acomplishment after ive taken, developed, and printed a film photo, b/c i know everything that went into making the final project, i controled.
     
  3. likeavaliant macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    #3
    I wish I could have had the chance to take a photo class in high school and learn the ins and outs of film and photography (poor HS, no photo) instead of being spoiled with the results immediately and being able to take as many crappy pictures as possible until i get 'the one'
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    It's only a "crappy looking print" because you are just learning. Go to an art museum and look at the hand made print that were done by the masters of the art. I'm still a fan of Edward Weston and his sons too. When you look at his work on-line in digital form you might think it's "ok" but when you see the "real" silver gelatin print, the one that he made in is darkroom, up close it is completely different. If you are shooting fine art black and white film still has an advantage, something that is hard to reproduce with an ink jet printer. It's the same with oil painting, digital is like the picture in a coffee table book, nice but not at all like the real thing. With digital there never is that "real thing"

    You can see some of his work here:
    http://www.edward-weston.com/edward_weston_point_lobos.htm

    That said, I don't see a need for 35mm film any more. If you are shooting film it needs to be either medium or large format. Weston used either 4x5 or 8x10 sheet film. 35mm film was always a compromise even the day it was invented.
     
  5. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #5
    That's the biggest key to digital photography. Sure, pros know what they're doing, but amateurs can get great results because you can keep shooting away until you luck into a great shot. Besides, all of the difficult stuff can be taken care of by the tech in the dSLRs.

    If you're shooting film, you're stuck with whatever ISO your film is. You can't change it on the fly like a digital camera. You screw up a setting with film, and you won't know until you've developed the roll. With digital, you have immediate feedback.

    Anyways, getting back on topic. I took a photo class in 7th grade. I remember they gave us these crappy dispo camera and we developed them in a dark-bag. You had to feel your way around in the bag. It was pretty neat, but if that was the only way to do it still, I don't think photography would a be a hobby of mine.

    I think digital has really brought many more people into the hobby.

    ft
     
  6. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #6
    You're right! Its awesome.

    Oh, you were being sarcastic.

    Saved!

    Yes, as others have said, its a learning process. And anyone who is serious about photography IN GENERAL, be it digital or analog, should start "the old fashioned way". Otherwise, you dont know what youre missing. Not to mention, you certainly get a much better feel for the way a photograph is created.

    From the click of the shutter to the final rinse bath of your print. Nothing can compare to a print in hand. A glowing screen will never, ever, be the same.

    And having a black thumb is something to be proud of.

    If you are REALLY interested in analog photography it goes without saying to go 35mm, but dont overlook the higher end manually controlled Polaroids...very $$$ but very cool...and no darkroom bull*hit!

    You dont think thats how photography is, do you? Changing disposable cameras inside of bags? I mean, yea, you CAN do it that way, if you are so inclined...in all honesty, yes, loading film in pitch darkness is a super pain, but atfer about 5 rolls, your a natural at it.
     
  7. bassproguy07 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bassproguy07

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    #7
    well said, I am only in my 3rd week of this and am loving it already. I am using a 35mm Canon AE-1 with an array of lenses. We are shooting all black and white which is IMHO the best looking photographs digital or film. Our crits are crazy hard, my Professor is really into the whole thinking outside the box type thing. I will post some of my shots once I start developing some more, images will either be negative scans or print scans, depends on what looks better.
     
  8. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #8
    Oh, that's not what I meant at all ... although I can see that I worded it confusingly.

    I just meant that if I had to develop my own film, I can see that photography wouldn't be a hobby for me. I guess that 1-hour film developing is very common, but it still isn't instant gratification.

    My point was that digital has brought many many people into the hobby ... including me. At one point, when I was younger, I wasn't kinda into photography and tried it for a while. I had an Olympus Infinty Super Zoom, but when you're 13, film/developing costs can stifle your creativity. I lost interest and only got back into it with the advent of digital photography. Now I'm more into it than ever and trying to learn stuff all the time. I suppose that if digital had been around 20 years ago, I might have stuck with the hobby and would be a pro ;) by now.

    ft
     
  9. Holgapics macrumors newbie

    Holgapics

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    North Oregon Coast
    #9
    Appreciating technology is one thing but the trials and tribulations of the darkroom process can lead to photographic expressions often different than achieved digitally.

    There still exists photographers, perhaps getting small in numbers, that have grasped and honored alternative processes such as platinum/palladium printing, gum bichromate printing, pinhole photography, not to mention a number of others. The darkroom certainly has given way to digital storage and output based on near-instant results. And there's no question many digital processes have created a look of their own but hopefully there will be photographers who continue to exhibit and carry on the art of creative darkroom work and expose others to the various looks and processes that are possible.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    When I was 13 I bought my first SLR. That was back when all cameras were full manual and used film. I spend a LOT less back then even using film then I do today shooting digital. Digital actually costs more.

    For example lets say you are 13 and want to buy an SLR camera. You could get a Nikon D40 for $450. Or for $100 a good used film camera. But you'd have to buy film. I used to buy it in 100 foot rolls for about $20 I could get 24 rolls of 36 exposures from each roll. That's 850 frames of film for $20. Chemicals to process are about $5 if you re-use them following Kodak's instructions.

    And then you can compare image quality. That $100 film camera can just blow away the D40. My scans from film are better than D40 files. I still have the first roll of film I shot (It was kodak Tri-X from the early 70's) and I scanned the negs this year. Files were about that same was from a 16 megapixel full frame digitial SLR. Some of my later negative (using better technique and film) are much better quality

    Today of course not many people doing film would print in a darkroom. You'd process the film then scan it. If you process the film yourself then scan it yourself it is dirt cheap. Cheaper then digital and the quality is better.

    That said. I would not recommend shooting 35mm film unless your budget was very tight. Anyone doing film may as well be shooting medium or large format. If your goal is image quality or that "film look" you will get fantastically better results form the bigger frame sizes without much more effort.
     
  11. raster macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    West
    #11
    I had my first darkroom when I was 13. Spend most of the time in the darkroom. Did conventional photography for 23 years. Did everything from B/W film processing and printing to Color printing, transparency processing, alternative printing like platinum, albumen, salted paper prints. I could go on. As technology changed and my job in photography changed I eventually moved to digital. I now haven't been in a darkroom for 12 years but really miss it and will always remember the great creative processes that it gave me.
    Even though I make a living with digital these days, it really has taken a lot of the creativity, artistry and craftsmanship of what was once photography.
     
  12. mac 2005 macrumors 6502a

    mac 2005

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #12
    I pretty much grew up shooting 35 mm film and relied the whole time on my camera's built-in digital meter for shutter and aperture settings. I brought this "skill set" to digital photography.

    While I can compose a great picture, I don't know that I'm making a great image. Relying on the automatic settings offered up by the camera will produce good snapshops but not great photographs.

    Hence, I'm currently in the market for a medium format Hasselblad to fill in the gaps. I imagine the first few rolls will be "educational."

    If you want to learn the art of photography, you also need to learn the science. Point-and-shoot aptitude will only take you so far, so I urge you to continue on with your use of and experimentation with film. Understanding the mechanics and chemistry that go into photography will pay dividends, even if your interest in photography is only as a hobby.
     
  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #13
    Well, I guess DR printing isn't for everyone, but having done it for many years I can honestly say I miss it. The steps, the fact that my hands touch the process every single step of the way. Everything. I think I even miss the smell now and then. :)
    There is no finer joy for me than watching that print come up in the developer and seeing what the fruits of my labor have given me.

    I also miss doing contact prints. :( I sure wish I had the space at home for a darkroom.
     
  14. Trip.Tucker Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #14
    It can be expensive. Now imagine you're working with Super 8 and 16 mm motion like I was. Then you get into some serious dough.
     
  15. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #15
    Polaroid, people!

    Its not cheap, or for the faint of heart, but no darkroom required! :rolleyes:
     
  16. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #16
    Well, I can't quite remember what film and processing cost back then, but I do remember that I couldn't really afford it on my meager earnings.

    I'm just saying that $450 for a D40 in today's money feels less than the $200 (or so) that I paid for the Olympus SuperZoom 300. Perhaps it's the whole being 13 thing.

    Sure 35mm cameras now cost a whole lot less than they did 20 years ago ... I'm just saying if digital was around back in the 80s, I might have stayed with the hobby.
     

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