Film photography is a dying art form, yes I did say art form. There is so much more that goes into taking a photograph on film. Film reacts differently to light than digital cameras, highlights are softer colours are more pleasing depending on the film you use.
Film photography pulls no punches, what you see is what you get. It is up to the photographer alone to create the art. There is that word again ART. Well we all know painters use paint and brushes, sculptors use clay. Film photographers use light, shadow and a thin flexible strip of plastic coated with light-sensitive emulsion for exposure in a camera.
When a film photographer notices a moment they wish to capture, they first have to evaluate the lighting, set the camera accordingly while having pin point focusing skills to nail the shot. Not to mention cropping, composition, expressions from the subject, making sure they are not out of film… gosh the list goes on.
These people are a true photographic talent. Did you know that film shooters reload a roll of film and simultaneously count out the shots they take to ensure they know just when to pause and reload the camera?
Why is it important to do this you ask? Well, when it comes to wedding photography if you are out of film at a crucial time it could be devastating to a client. You could miss vital moments of their wedding day.
The best film photographer on the gold coast has to be Casey Jane Photography from Mount Tamborine on the Gold Coast. She is a true master, this young talent and mum of two is just amazing. What this woman can do with and SLR and a roll of film is just incredible.
Casey Jane uses light as a tool, like modelling clay she moulds it into what she envisions. She sees light and how it is bouncing around the room, where the shadows fall and how the cures the face of her bride and in one click she has captured the most stunning image, perfectly lit and composed.
Casey Jane photography is known for her naturally romantic imagery delicately bathed in natural light. We should really call them photographs because each image that Casey takes is carefully developed by a world renowned lab in Spain, scanned as digital negative and also printed as a forever reminder of the precious day in which you said I do.
So why should you choose a film photographer to capture your wedding day? They are entirely enveloped in the art of photography, to them they are not only photographing the most important moments of your life they are concurrently creating art.
Natural light photography is the art of creating photos using natural light without the use of flash or studio lighting. Creating a great looking shot isn’t easy when first getting started. All too often people buy overly expensive professional cameras expecting to be able shoot just like a professional photographer. Unfortunately after many failed attempts to get anything better than what looks like a iPhone photo people give up and the $5000 camera ends up sitting at the bottom of a cupboard somewhere or sold on eBay for far less than it was purchased for.
Natural light photography is fantastic way to learn the basics of light and dark and getting a great image becomes pretty easy once you figure the right camera settings for your environment. The best time to photograph is generally the afternoon, especially in wintertime the sun is more diffused as it’s further away from the earth and gives off brilliant pink and orange hues. However any time of year in the afternoon is fine.
Try taking shots with the sun at a 45 degree angle from the subject with the sun in the background but not in your frame, just on dusk or fifteen minutes prior to sunset. Make sure your backdrop is something natural and pretty like a tree line. Another good tip is to get greenery in the foreground as well as the background and have your aperture, or f-stop if you please, set low enough to capture your subject in focus but not all surrounding environment. Another shot you can try for is to have the sun diffused by tree branches and leaves and directly behind the subject, kneel down, this gives an amazing glow effect behind your subject be it an animal or human. It’s best to avoid midday shots as the sun will cast shadows on your subject no matter where you or the subject are positioned.
When shooting with the sun to your back it’s a good idea to try and have the light diffused as much as possible with a low ISO setting. These kind of shots can be quite dark even morbid looking however it’s a really neat effect. The best thing you can do is practice, practice, practice. Change settings in manual mode, DO NOT USE Auto-focus, use spot focus, and always run in manual camera mode. For tips on learning how to use manual mode see this post.
Look for fields that contain midges (tiny biting flies), bugs such as mosquitoes, flower pollen and other such small objects floating in the air. When these are light up by the afternoon sun they produce amazing flare effects coloured by the sun.
You want to master manual mode? The most effective way to get out of auto and gain a new level of control over you camera is this..
Tape over your LCD screen! Yes that’s right tape that sucker up with black tape. Until you are able to pull out your camera, survey a scene and accurately set your SLR to produce a correctly exposed image… Leave it on. (Use a tape that won’t get too much gunk on your screen of course)
You will soon learn to read light, rather than to dial in random settings and chimp until you get the exposure your after, readjusting after each shot.
It also means you can focus on what your shooting in real time as opposed to the screen on the back of the camera.
Be in the moment, read the light and choose the best location for that light to both flatter your subject and to create a lovely correctly exposed image.
Have fun and no peaking.