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alfbranch
21st December 2015, 08:57 PM
I found this comment

PS - as an aside I really can't see the point in forcing photography students to use film cameras. What's the point? Sure, film can be fun and it has a look that digital is hard to emulate, but really - photography should be about the artistry and final result shouldn't it? HCB didn't use 4x5 plate cameras - he used the best technology of the day!

On this thread http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=40563

So what is your take on teaching photography students to use film today?

pdk42
21st December 2015, 09:22 PM
Well, since it's my comment I guess you already have my view. However, I'll go a step further - I'm somewhat skeptical of photography courses at all. I'm guessing most of us learned the art from enthusiasm and practice rather than formal tuition; and TBH I'm really struggling how you can possibly fill an entire "degree" course on the subject. My guess is that the film throwback is partly an attempt to fill the space. Maybe I'm just old fashioned and elitist, but for me a degree is academic not vocational.

And whilst I'm in a Victor Meldrum mood, I'll just add that planning a business in photography these days is a pretty bold move, especially if it involves paying tens of thousands in tuition before you even get a job!

alfbranch
21st December 2015, 09:27 PM
Well Paul film is the medium photopraphy has used the majority of the time digital is a late comer.

There is a lot to be learned from using film and there are so many wys of shooting and using that I have not tried.

The most recent camera I bought was an Olympus OM2SP which had a part shot roll from my OM2 in it within mitues of aquiring it.

OM USer
21st December 2015, 09:34 PM
I think its fair game to see how hard you can push film and still get a picture from it. Some of the darkroom skills are great fun.

Naughty Nigel
21st December 2015, 10:15 PM
Well, since it's my comment I guess you already have my view. However, I'll go a step further - I'm somewhat skeptical of photography courses at all. I'm guessing most of us learned the art from enthusiasm and practice rather than formal tuition; and TBH I'm really struggling how you can possibly fill an entire "degree" course on the subject. My guess is that the film throwback is partly an attempt to fill the space. Maybe I'm just old fashioned and elitist, but for me a degree is academic not vocational.

And whilst I'm in a Victor Meldrum mood, I'll just add that planning a business in photography these days is a pretty bold move, especially if it involves paying tens of thousands in tuition before you even get a job!

I have to say I don't entirely disagree with you, but then Tony Blair decreed that everyone should have a degree, so degree courses have been invented to cater for almost everyone; including it seems, those who want to study sport and leisure. :rolleyes:

Our son studied music at a music college in Manchester, which may be another degree course that you feel is worthless?

Did any of the Beatles have music degrees?

Do you need a degree to perform music with feeling?

Whatever our views on this matter a music degree is now 'expected' in certain professions, whereas at one time good old fashioned experience and fellowship of a relevant college (such as FRCO) was deemed sufficient.

He had expected to spend four years learning to perfect music making on his chosen instrument, but actually spent most of his time doing contextual studies, musical genres, historical studies and singing in the college choir.

Moving on, he is now studying photography at Sunderland, and all of his work so far has involved B&W film photography; initially using 5 x 4 cameras but now progressing to 6 x7 and 6 x 6 depending on which cameras are available.

I think the idea is to teach the basics of photography and what is possible with traditional methods and materials before moving on to digital. Whether or not we consider analogue photography to be relevant it forms a big slice of the course.

This kind of makes sense to me, but many of the students are already working at a far more advanced stage, so it doesn't seem to be the best use of time.

However, what really surprises me is that filters have not yet been mentioned. I have always believed that filters were an essential part of B&W photography, helping to emphasise selected textures and contrast in what we see through the viewfinder, or perhaps improving skin texture in portraiture, but it seems this is a lost art, or is perhaps not considered important. :confused:

Nevertheless, it is a very enjoyable course, and helps give students with a talent for photography an opportunity to study and experiment with other genres that they might not otherwise experience.

Internaut
21st December 2015, 11:00 PM
I'm in two minds about film as a medium for teaching. On the one hand, it teaches the student to be discerning, economical, and make each shot count. On the other hand, there's little room for experimentation, compared to a 16Gb memory card, when you factor in the finite number of shots per roll, the cost of the film and development costs.

As for the value of training and education, isn't photography usually part of a broader arts or media degree? I know a few people who've taken an OU module and, looking back, it was good for them, concentrating on the basics (taking photos in good light, getting a good OOC JPEG, using the histogram and levels sliders to get the contrast just right). Thorny little issues of exposure optimisation, the photographer as the developer vs the camera as the developer, Photoshop and so on were left for others to deal with.

pdk42
21st December 2015, 11:17 PM
I have to say I don't entirely disagree with you, but then Tony Blair decreed that everyone should have a degree, so degree courses have been invented to cater for almost everyone; including it seems, those who want to study sport and leisure. :rolleyes:


I think this is a real problem with our education system today. I sat next to a nice German lady on the plane when returning from Cape Town last week. We ended up talking a lot and it transpired that she is a top HR Director for a big UK company with offices in SA. She has lived in England for over ten years and knows the UK and German education systems well. She said that the German system was far, far better in vocational training and worked by directing the 90% of the population that are not academic into non-degree training.

The UK by contrast has perverted the University education system into a smoke-screen for hiding high youth unemployment. It works only by offering second-rate degrees (by the bucket-load) that are neither academic nor particularly useful for vocational training. Instead, they are wasting years of young people's lives and tens of thousands of pounds of their future earnings on qualifications that are nearly worthless. And it's not even restricted to the obvious pointless subjects like Media Studies. In my own field, computer software, I see countless candidates with Computer Science degrees that have clearly been taught by people who have never worked in the industry and do not understand what commercial software development is about.

Meanwhile, the funding basis for Universities means that cheap-to-teach courses are crowding out the harder subjects, such as the sciences, since the Deans and Bursars have realised that they can teach hundreds of Media Studies students at £9k/yr a head with very little resources whilst labs and decent scientists run expensive.

The result is that we've got a huge surge in student debt, government debt (do a google for UK student debt) and pointless degrees whilst the UK as a whole is suffering a massive skills shortage!

If you don't want to do the googling, the graph below is an official graph of government debt due to student loans. It's now over £60bn and rising almost exponentially:

http://www.famillekaye.com/StudentDebt.jpg

Graham_of_Rainham
21st December 2015, 11:26 PM
Film has gone the same way as videotape and audio cassette tape, for most people.

However there are a lot still using it and even the new Star Wars was filmed using 35 and 70 mm film. Sound studios still use reel to reel tape (albeit a lot bigger than my 1/4" one)

I still find myself only shooting a 100 or so frames, which was my old 3 roll rule of old.

What I do find annoying is the way a lot of "educators" are dismissive of clubs, claiming they are to "traditional" and hamper creativity... :(

Imageryone
21st December 2015, 11:28 PM
Surely without understanding the history of any hobby, full enjoyment is curtailed ? And film is a much greater part of that history than digital.

Most of my early film experience came from Evening Classes and Clubs, but most of all from fellow enthusiasts, who all saw the same thing as I did completely differently.

I still like to load up my 6x6 TTL for a day, just to remind me of the discIpline of only 12 exposures.

On digital I restrict myself to 4GB cards in all cameras, and I have never filled one of those on a single shoot.

Ricoh
22nd December 2015, 12:29 AM
Degree courses are a form of brain training to provide, in part, proficiency at self learning. It comes as a shock to go from a school / 6th form environment to survive on guided reading, hence the term reading for a degree. Anyone gaining this self sufficiency is well placed, in my view, for a rapidly changing work-place requiring developmental skills of its employees. So clearly I'm a supporter of higher education.

Regarding film having relevance in the digital era, well it simplifies and concentrates the mind on the essentials, rather than wasting time teaching students what main cog sub menu J does on one camera brand, and what spanner menu A does on another. With film cameras the technical issues are unified, irrespective of camera make, allowing all the students to concentrate on the core essentials.

Zuiko
22nd December 2015, 02:22 AM
Just to give an example of what university degree courses can offer, here are details of the course to which Freya aspires:-

http://www.falmouth.ac.uk/fashionphotography

Here is an extract, summarising Year 1 of the course:-

During year one you'll explore the analytical, creative and technical potential of fashion photography, both in the studio and on location. A series of editorial and advertising project briefs and accompanying lectures and workshops encourage you to understand the expressive and dynamic nature of fashion image-making. You'll be encouraged to explore your personal identity as a practitioner through investigating how personal practice relates to a broader arena of art and design.

◦Opportunity to attend a study trip during London Fashion Week and collaborate with BA(Hons) students from Fashion Design, Performance Sportswear Design and Fashion Marketing

◦Opportunity to engage with industry professionals to interview and photograph your fashion photography hero. Previously, students have interviewed: Tim Walker, Rankin, Nick Knight, David Bailey, Mary Katrantzou and Savannah Miller

◦Opportunity to create a Zine in a day with Clive Crook, the Founding Art Director of ELLE magazine, UK

◦Professional studio working

◦Working on location

◦Post-production: High-end retouching and compositing techniques (Photoshop)

◦Professional and business aspects of working as a fashion photographer

◦Histories and theories

I think the whole course has a very healthy emphasis on practical work, combining challenging projects with intensive instruction and access to well equipped studios. This should enable students to produce an impressive portfolio and offers a number of unique opportunities to attend major industry events and gain practical work placements.

Of course, in the old days you didn't need fancy degrees to get a job in photography, you just rocked up at photographer's studio, impressed him with your naïve confidence, which was more a sign of what little rather than how much you knew, blagged your way around any questions about technical ability or experience and refused to accept "no" as an answer until your natural charm persuaded him to take a chance on you as his assistant.

Nowadays a formal qualification supported by a strong portfolio is essential to give you even a sporting chance of working within the industry and any contacts established during the course might just make it a little easier to squeeze through the crack in the door. But one thing at a time; Freya has got to really impress at A level to have any chance of going to Falmouth.

Phill D
22nd December 2015, 08:02 AM
John we looked at Falmouth when my daughter was looking at Universities and it did look very impressive. She decided in the end to stay a bit closer to home and do a slightly different degree but I'd have been more than happy if she'd have chosen Falmouth from what I read. If I remember correctly I think Roger Harrison's (Carridus) daughter recently graduated from Falmouth.

Kiwi Paul
22nd December 2015, 09:01 AM
I'm in two minds about film as a medium for teaching. On the one hand, it teaches the student to be discerning, economical, and make each shot count. On the other hand, there's little room for experimentation, compared to a 16Gb memory card, when you factor in the finite number of shots per roll, the cost of the film and development costs

Two good points there, bought up using film makes you think before you take a shot as with only 36 shots per roll economics definitely plays a part and even to this day with virtually unlimited shots available in digital format I still tend to keep my shots to a minimum, trying to get it right first time.

But on the other hand the digital medium allows you instant feedback so you can instantly see where you have gone wrong and correct it in situ, a good way to learn. But with digital it would be easy to fire off any number of shots hoping one will be good, (monkey typewriter syndrome) which I don't think is good for improving photography skills.

Paul

Zuiko
22nd December 2015, 09:47 AM
But on the other hand the digital medium allows you instant feedback so you can instantly see where you have gone wrong and correct it in situ, a good way to learn. But with digital it would be easy to fire off any number of shots hoping one will be good, (monkey typewriter syndrome) which I don't think is good for improving photography skills.

Paul

Back in the day I had a dear friend (he died far too young) who was also a very talented and successful pro. From time to time people would say, "I'd like a print of that shot, Dennis, if it comes out," to which he would reply, "Come out? Of course it's ****** going to come out!"

Naughty Nigel
22nd December 2015, 11:06 AM
I think this is a real problem with our education system today........

............ The result is that we've got a huge surge in student debt, government debt (do a google for UK student debt) and pointless degrees whilst the UK as a whole is suffering a massive skills shortage!



I think you are spot on with your analysis.

The Germans certainly do much better than the UK with vocational training, but the Poles in particular seem to have equipped their young people with both the skills, and more to the point, the attitudes needed in today's workplace.

Sadly far too many Brits are afraid to get their hands dirty. :(

Wee man
22nd December 2015, 11:57 AM
The ending of pre apprentice courses and apprenticeships resulted in low numbers of recruits for industry. Allied to this new H&S rules for insurance stopped smaller firms taking or keeping apprentice places. Degrees became the thing, but many new ( worthless) degree courses were thought up with no real thoughts of employment after graduation. We have three people living close with media degrees who are excellent at flipping burgers, the only job they could get!!
Radio amateurs still study electronics, filters, transistors etc and radio construction. Most people just buy a modern set and use it, returning to the shop for repair or dump and buy a new one. As has been said the course needs padding out for content so on it goes. I agree history, basic concepts are needed but the depth studied on topics which will hardly ever needed seems outdated.
Having said that the contents of maths courses even at GCSE level contain areas which will never be used. Topics like learning times tables are replaced with charts or calculators so no guestamation of answers tends to be right if the calculator says it, it must be right!

Ricoh
22nd December 2015, 11:59 AM
I would be interested to hear from a current or past lecturer to understand why they choose film (for their students). As mentioned earlier in the thread, the benefits are likely to be:
36 frames develops a keener sense, forcing the student photographer to think more about composition, lighting, exposure etc, to make a 'good' latent image first time, compared to the 'spray and pray' way of shooting with digital.
Manual focusing is part of the discipline of getting it right; it's up to the photographer to focus, with depth of field in mind, so once again there should be no surprises. When developed, the outcome should be 'exactly' as the student envisaged, which is good training to 'see' the final photograph before engaging with the camera.

I'm sure there are other good reasons, but in essence I think it's about developing photographic skills, rather than being a computer operator with a lens.

David M
22nd December 2015, 12:14 PM
Back in the day I had a dear friend (he died far too young) who was also a very talented and successful pro. From time to time people would say, "I'd like a print of that shot, Dennis, if it comes out," to which he would reply, "Come out? Of course it's ****** going to come out!"

So true John. I shoot digital the same way, only seeing the shots when I import them into Lightroom.

Simon Bee
22nd December 2015, 01:16 PM
Back in the day I had a dear friend (he died far too young) who was also a very talented and successful pro. From time to time people would say, "I'd like a print of that shot, Dennis, if it comes out," to which he would reply, "Come out? Of course it's ****** going to come out!"

That's my kind of guy John ...... Brilliant :D:D:D

Kind regards, Simon

Otto
22nd December 2015, 01:58 PM
The well known mountain photographer W A Poucher was asked how many shots he takes of each scene. His answer? "One only". I seldom if ever bracket, preferring to get it right first time like I always did with film. It's much easier with a histogram than a multi-spot meter, mind :).

A few years ago I was in the Uffizi gallery in Florence when a couple of young guys came in with a Canikon Bazooka, set up the tripod in front of a small sculpture, and fired off what sounded like about a hundred frames. Then they moved the tripod slightly, and fired off another hundred. Why?

Ricoh
22nd December 2015, 02:01 PM
Some film photographers don't use a light meter, do they Simon! If they do it's a stand-alone device or they rely on sunny 16. Being able to establish an adequate exposure for street photography without looking at a light meter is a skill I'm trying to acquire. At present I meter off my hand, +1, then I'm ready to go.

Zuiko
22nd December 2015, 02:40 PM
The well known mountain photographer W A Poucher was asked how many shots he takes of each scene. His answer? "One only". I seldom if ever bracket, preferring to get it right first time like I always did with film. It's much easier with a histogram than a multi-spot meter, mind :).

A few years ago I was in the Uffizi gallery in Florence when a couple of young guys came in with a Canikon Bazooka, set up the tripod in front of a small sculpture, and fired off what sounded like about a hundred frames. Then they moved the tripod slightly, and fired off another hundred. Why?

Focus stacking?

Ricoh
22nd December 2015, 02:44 PM
Focus stacking?
Nah, they hadn't done an A level in photography, let alone a degree in same!

Otto
22nd December 2015, 02:48 PM
I suppose that could be an explanation but at ten frames a second? I think they were just showing off :).

David M
22nd December 2015, 03:05 PM
Focus stacking?

Probably just hoping one would be sharp. :D

Internaut
22nd December 2015, 03:34 PM
Focus stacking?

I still don't know what that is.

Naughty Nigel
22nd December 2015, 04:04 PM
I would be interested to hear from a current or past lecturer to understand why they choose film (for their students). As mentioned earlier in the thread, the benefits are likely to be:
36 frames develops a keener sense, forcing the student photographer to think more about composition, lighting, exposure etc, to make a 'good' latent image first time, compared to the 'spray and pray' way of shooting with digital.
Manual focusing is part of the discipline of getting it right; it's up to the photographer to focus, with depth of field in mind, so once again there should be no surprises. When developed, the outcome should be 'exactly' as the student envisaged, which is good training to 'see' the final photograph before engaging with the camera.

I'm sure there are other good reasons, but in essence I think it's about developing photographic skills, rather than being a computer operator with a lens.

First year students at Sunderland start off with 5 x 4 cameras, and then graduate to medium format - either Hasselblad 6 x 6 or Mamiya RB67's, depending on what is available.

They do much of their work in a studio, getting used to professional flash set ups.

As I said last night, I am surprised that filters are not discussed at any stage in this process.

I am even more surprised that students are not taught to develop their films or to print them. Some have done this already, but many others (especially overseas students) haven't, and they have to rely on help from other students to complete their projects.

However, my biggest gripe is that students don't seem to be allowed to approach their printing as a professional would. Each print must be accompanied by a full set of test strips on different grades of paper, contact sheets, negatives and so forth, which wastes both time and materials when working to tight the deadlines they are given. Students are not allowed to use their experience to enlarge straight from a well exposed negative, or to use their experience to choose the correct grade of paper (as most professionals would). They must go through the motions each and every time.

I do wonder how well this equips photography students for work in a professional photographic environment, and indeed, just how much experience the tutors themselves have as professional photographers?

Naughty Nigel
22nd December 2015, 04:09 PM
I still don't know what that is.

It is a technique similar to HDR, where an object is photographed using a series of focus points, rather than focusing on a single point. The images are combined in software to create a photograph which has much greater apparent depth of field than is possible from a single exposure.

Internaut
22nd December 2015, 04:11 PM
It is a technique similar to HDR, where an object is photographed using a series of focus points, rather than focusing on a single point. The images are combined in software to create a photograph which has much greater apparent depth of field than is possible from a single exposure.

Oh.... I can think of a few situations where that could be useful.

Naughty Nigel
22nd December 2015, 04:17 PM
Oh.... I can think of a few situations where that could be useful.

It would actually work very well when photographing a statue or similar.

The beauty of focus stacking is that you can capture your subject in perfect focus, but by using a wide aperture the foreground and background is thrown completely out of focus.

I have only used manual focus stacking myself when doing microscopy, (microscope photographs suffer from exceptionally shallow depth of field), but I believe some digital cameras will do it automatically just as they will bracket exposure; which may explain the machine gun effect.

(Somebody will now tell me that my E5 and EM5 have done it for years! :o )

Otto
22nd December 2015, 05:00 PM
I'm not sure automatic focus stacking was around back then but if it was, then that would certainly be a possibility. A brief search suggests it needed a tethered camera and specialised software and there was no laptop involved.

It's not a technique I have used myself but should investigate really. If only my E-M5 mk 1 had it built in!

Naughty Nigel
22nd December 2015, 06:30 PM
I'm not sure automatic focus stacking was around back then but if it was, then that would certainly be a possibility. A brief search suggests it needed a tethered camera and specialised software and there was no laptop involved.

It's not a technique I have used myself but should investigate really. If only my E-M5 mk 1 had it built in!

You can do it manually as long as you stack the images the right way round in PS.

I first used focus stacking with my OM4Ti mounted on a microscope at least ten years ago, using three exposures. I don't remember which version of Photoshop I used but it doesn't need the latest software.

cariadus
22nd December 2015, 06:38 PM
John we looked at Falmouth when my daughter was looking at Universities and it did look very impressive. She decided in the end to stay a bit closer to home and do a slightly different degree but I'd have been more than happy if she'd have chosen Falmouth from what I read. If I remember correctly I think Roger Harrison's (Carridus) daughter recently graduated from Falmouth.

Indeed she did, Phil, although she did Fine Art rather than photography. She thoroughly enjoyed her course at Falmouth. And the bonus is that it's a great place to visit as parents! We still miss our visits there. In fact, we had a long weekend in Falmouth earlier this year, even though daughter isn't there any more.

Her fiancé did Press and Editorial Photography at Falmouth. They used film only for their first term, which suited him as he prefers film to digital anyway. He did become disillusioned with photography, though, and has more or less given it up completely. I think the realisation of how hard it is to make a living at photography these days (unless you do weddings) got to him. A shame because he is quite talented.

As for the value of learning how to use film, I think you do learn more about the basics of photography using an all manual film camera than with digital.

DerekW
22nd December 2015, 06:59 PM
At least he will now continue to really enjoy photography rather than being ground down by the need to hussle for work.

Zuiko
22nd December 2015, 10:39 PM
At least he will now continue to really enjoy photography rather than being ground down by the need to hussle for work.

Very true.

Ricoh
22nd December 2015, 11:20 PM
'...enjoy photography' is something I often ponder on. To some extent it's like planning the next meal, we take 'snaps' and post them on social media and move on to the next photo, which will of course will be better that the previous 'snap', which will be better than the previous snap-1. It's like a vicious circle in some regards.

cariadus
23rd December 2015, 03:04 AM
At least he will now continue to really enjoy photography rather than being ground down by the need to hussle for work.

Unfortunately he seems to have gone off photography altogether for the moment. Hopefully he'll come back to it at some point but he's dismantled his darkroom and sold most of his gear.

Kiwi Paul
23rd December 2015, 07:58 AM
Unfortunately he seems to have gone off photography altogether for the moment. Hopefully he'll come back to it at some point but he's dismantled his darkroom and sold most of his gear.

I think we all have periods where we go off it for a while, I've had periods like that in the past, I've learnt to just accept it and take a break, there is no point in forcing yourself to take photos if the spirit isn't there. I've found soon enough the interest returns and you start again with renewed enthusiasm.

Paul

Naughty Nigel
23rd December 2015, 01:44 PM
I think we all have periods where we go off it for a while, I've had periods like that in the past, I've learnt to just accept it and take a break, there is no point in forcing yourself to take photos if the spirit isn't there. I've found soon enough the interest returns and you start again with renewed enthusiasm.

Paul

Maybe its just me, but I find it amazing how a new lens or camera awakens interest in certain genres of photography.

I know it is entirely wrong, but I cannot bring myself so use my EM5 for serious landscape work. I use it extensively in my day job, and take it everywhere with me, but brilliant camera that it is I just cannot use it for landscapes.

However, I bought a pre-loved RZ67 earlier this year, and have probably taken more landscape and architectural photographs in the past few months than for several years. Better still, I am really enjoying taking them. My son brought a pair of Bowen studio flashguns home from Uni for a project so we have used the RZ with those too.

This has nothing to do with the quality of the EM5 or the images that it produces, but is something to do with the photo taking process.

Jim Ford
23rd December 2015, 02:32 PM
I used to do a lot of 'wet' photography - D & P of 35mm film. It was a lot of fun, but today is of little practical use - a bit like lighting a fire with flint and steel!

I can't really see the point of teaching students the 'nitty gritty' of film processing, except the theory for historical purposes. You might just as well teach them to produce daguerreotypes!

Jim

Kiwi Paul
23rd December 2015, 03:12 PM
Maybe its just me, but I find it amazing how a new lens or camera awakens interest in certain genres of photography.

This has nothing to do with the quality of the EM5 or the images that it produces, but is something to do with the photo taking process.

Yes a new piece of kit can help fuel enthusiasm, although sometimes only for a brief period.

I love the EM5 (MK1) as a handheld camera and use / used it for everything and love it, but I hated using it on a tripod, for that I always used the GH3 or now the EM5 Mk2.

Paul

alfbranch
23rd December 2015, 04:50 PM
I love using the E-M5 handheld while the E-M1 is on the tripod.
In fact I have taken some of my favourite shots with the E-M5 like this.
Though I finished a roll of film in my OM2sp last while at the beach which was fun too. I have used 4 camers at times during a landscape shoot.

Otto
23rd December 2015, 06:06 PM
This has nothing to do with the quality of the EM5 or the images that it produces, but is something to do with the photo taking process.

It's not just you Nigel, I have found the same thing. I think it has to do with the time taken to set up a film camera, especially one larger than 35mm, which forces you to think more carefully. Landscape photography does need time for best results and because the E-M5's IBIS and metering is so good the temptation is not to bother with the tripod and just shoot hand-held. It is for me at any rate.

cariadus
24th December 2015, 12:10 AM
However, I bought a pre-loved RZ67 earlier this year, and have probably taken more landscape and architectural photographs in the past few months than for several years. Better still, I am really enjoying taking them. My son brought a pair of Bowen studio flashguns home from Uni for a project so we have used the RZ with those too.

That's exactly what I feel about my Hasselblad. I've had a Hasselblad in various guises (500C/M, 501C and now 503CX) nearly three years now and still enjoying it.

I used to do a lot of 'wet' photography - D & P of 35mm film. It was a lot of fun, but today is of little practical use - a bit like lighting a fire with flint and steel!

I can't really see the point of teaching students the 'nitty gritty' of film processing, except the theory for historical purposes. You might just as well teach them to produce daguerreotypes!

There's still plenty of life in the old techniques yet. Wet plate collodian is still very much alive and well, for example, one of the prime masters being Alex Timmermans: http://www.alextimmermans.com/

And really, 'wet' photography having no relevance? I think Michael Kenna and Bruce Percy, quite possibly two of the finest landscape photographers around today, would have something to say about that! Not to mention the many thousands of photographers worldwide who use film.

Zuiko
24th December 2015, 12:23 AM
That's exactly what I feel about my Hasselblad. I've had a Hasselblad in various guises (500C/M, 501C and now 503CX) nearly three years now and still enjoying it.

There's still plenty of life in the old techniques yet. Wet plate collodian is still very much alive and well, for example, one of the prime masters being Alex Timmermans: http://www.alextimmermans.com/

And really, 'wet' photography having no relevance? I think Michael Kenna and Bruce Percy, quite possibly two of the finest landscape photographers around today, would have something to say about that! Not to mention the many thousands of photographers worldwide who use film.

I suppose that saying film is no longer relevant because of digital is a bit like saying drawing and painting on paper or canvass is irrelevant too. I suspect not many artists would agree with that!

alfbranch
24th December 2015, 12:44 AM
Maybe its just me, but I find it amazing how a new lens or camera awakens interest in certain genres of photography.

I know it is entirely wrong, but I cannot bring myself so use my EM5 for serious landscape work. I use it extensively in my day job, and take it everywhere with me, but brilliant camera that it is I just cannot use it for landscapes.

However, I bought a pre-loved RZ67 earlier this year, and have probably taken more landscape and architectural photographs in the past few months than for several years. Better still, I am really enjoying taking them. My son brought a pair of Bowen studio flashguns home from Uni for a project so we have used the RZ with those too.

This has nothing to do with the quality of the EM5 or the images that it produces, but is something to do with the photo taking process.

It's not just you Nigel, I have found the same thing. I think it has to do with the time taken to set up a film camera, especially one larger than 35mm, which forces you to think more carefully. Landscape photography does need time for best results and because the E-M5's IBIS and metering is so good the temptation is not to bother with the tripod and just shoot hand-held. It is for me at any rate.


I have to say I enjoy shooting in a variety of ways as stated above and being mobile with camera in hand is when I get my best results IMO.

Ricoh
24th December 2015, 01:04 AM
... I can't really see the point of teaching students the 'nitty gritty' of film processing, except the theory for historical purposes. You might just as well teach them to produce daguerreotypes!

Jim
Surely it's about teaching the core essentials of composition and exposure, without the 'computer in the camera' complexity and distraction.
I agree wet D&P is somewhat arcane and outdated, but first hand experience demonstrates the sensitivity of photosensitive substances to light, that has direct read across to a digital sensor.
I think 'exposure' to film, and fully manual cameras, is well thought out and has educational value.

Naughty Nigel
24th December 2015, 09:15 AM
Joe Cornish, one of the UK's best known landscape photographers, used Velvia and Ilfochrome (Cibachrome) until very recently.

Ricoh
24th December 2015, 09:40 AM
The appeal for me is an 'always-on' camera and I'm seriously considering film, if I can get the camera I want for sensible money. (It needs to share the lens, and any future lens I may acquire, from my digital version from the same manufacturer.)

Jim Ford
24th December 2015, 12:04 PM
I've always fancied a 'Robot' film camera, if anyone's got one they want to get rid of. They come up on Ebay from time to time - I might bid on one.

Jim

DerekW
24th December 2015, 12:29 PM
About 3 years ago I was visiting Tucson and was looking at the various galleries of the University of Arizona. Outside the Center for Creative Photography there was a small group of students making a film with a Bolex H16, the one without the dome to hold the "large" capacity film spool. Chatting to them about them using real film instead of digital media they were more surprised that I recognised the camera and knew that it was the low film capacity camera. The Paillard Bolex cameras were one of my dream cameras when young. Impossible to afford either the camera or the film.

The cost of the film taught the students to plan their work and get it right first time.

Simon Bee
24th December 2015, 12:43 PM
The appeal for me is an 'always-on' camera and I'm seriously considering film, if I can get the camera I want for sensible money. (It needs to share the lens, and any future lens I may acquire, from my digital version from the same manufacturer.)


How about my M4 Steve ;)

I've just ordered a second M7 'a la carte' :eek:

Seriously, the M4 is a great tool for 'learning exposure without a meter' and built to a standard that not even modern Leica's attain.

Colour with your 'digital M' and B&W film with an M4 *yes

Kind regards, Simon

Simon Bee
24th December 2015, 12:56 PM
'Film' is as relevant today as it has always been, it's just not used by as many people as digital is.

I like that, I like being the modern 'odd one out', non conforming, not running with the crowd, perhaps in time becoming a trend-setter ...... a bit like Olympus really ;)

Kind regards, Simon

Naughty Nigel
24th December 2015, 01:31 PM
'Film' is as relevant today as it has always been, it's just not used by as many people as digital is.

I like that, I like being the modern 'odd one out', non conforming, not running with the crowd, perhaps in time becoming a trend-setter ...... a bit like Olympus really ;)

Kind regards, Simon

Film still offers many benefits over digital in terms of image quality, dynamic range and image permanency. It just isn't as convenient, and involves expensive consumables, but right now you can buy some fantastic film cameras at prices none of us could ever have dreamt of when they were current models.

Ricoh
24th December 2015, 01:32 PM
How about my M4 Steve ;)

I've just ordered a second M7 'a la carte' :eek:

Seriously, the M4 is a great tool for 'learning exposure without a meter' and built to a standard that not even modern Leica's attain.

Colour with your 'digital M' and B&W film with an M4 *yes

Kind regards, Simon

Simon,
TTL metering suits my approach best, either off the palm of my hand, or something approximating an average grey within the scene; I'm useless at guessing!

I'd love an M-P, but these beauties exchange hands for way too many £'s. Of course anything I get has to be black paint on brass, silver gets too much attention for a street shooter.

Simon Bee
24th December 2015, 01:38 PM
Simon,
TTL metering suits my approach best, either off the palm of my hand, or something approximating an average grey within the scene; I'm useless at guessing!

I'd love an M-P, but these beauties exchange hands for way too many £'s. Of course anything I get has to be black paint on brass, silver gets too much attention for a street shooter.

M7 it is then Steve*yes

'Matt Black Chrome' on brass ( M6 & TTL top plates are zinc with exception of a few special editions ) and aperture priority too, will be similar experiance to shooting with your M240;).

Kind regards, Simon

Simon Bee
24th December 2015, 01:45 PM
Film still offers many benefits over digital in terms of image quality, dynamic range and image permanency. It just isn't as convenient, and involves expensive consumables, but right now you can buy some fantastic film cameras at prices none of us could ever have dreamt of when they were current models.

It certainly does Nigel, and you are quite right about camera affordability too .... I could never have justified the 'then current' price of my Hasselblad 202FA outfit which was some £8000.00 :eek: I paid a little under £1500 a year ago;)

Kind regards, Simon

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/202fa_1_.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/83407)

Ricoh
24th December 2015, 01:58 PM
Film still offers many benefits over digital in terms of image quality, dynamic range and image permanency. It just isn't as convenient, and involves expensive consumables, but right now you can buy some fantastic film cameras at prices none of us could ever have dreamt of when they were current models.

These are often overlooked qualities when photographers choose to shoot digital. Personally, I think it's fairly easy to identify a colour photo shot with film, plus the response of film is somewhat 's' shaped compared to digital, so high lights don't blow the same way.

Film cameras are generally cheap to purchace, unless it's something like a Leica. Even so a second hand film M-P won't depreciate much compared to a digital camera, and the long term cost of ownership somewhat offsets the cost of the consumables. Just need to factor a reasonable scanner, but again it's a life times investment if chosen wisely.

Ricoh
24th December 2015, 02:17 PM
M7 it is then Steve*yes

'Matt Black Chrome' on brass ( M6 & TTL top plates are zinc with exception of a few special editions ) and aperture priority too, will be similar experiance to shooting with your M240;).

Kind regards, Simon

I've looked at the M7 Simon, but it's electronic, having an electronic controlled cloth shutter. There's something off putting to have electronics in a film camera, I like the idea of clockwork, indestructible, brass-geared cogs.

Simon Bee
24th December 2015, 02:51 PM
I've looked at the M7 Simon, but it's electronic, having an electronic controlled cloth shutter. There's something off putting to have electronics in a film camera, I like the idea of clockwork, indestructible, brass-geared cogs.

Well it WILL have to be an MP then;)

A legend in every sense, however a nice example will cost about £800 more than a similarly nice M7.

Don't worry about M7 electronics, get one with S/N above '29*****' as it will have the MP viewfinder and any bugs will have been ironed out. Still a current model and Leica will ensure spare parts are available for at least ten years after production ends.

One thought regarding an MP ..... the shutter speed dial rotates in the 'opposite' direction to that on your M240 so it 'could' get a little confusing depending on how you use the cameras.

Kind regards, Simon

cariadus
24th December 2015, 04:47 PM
Film still offers many benefits over digital in terms of image quality, dynamic range and image permanency. It just isn't as convenient, and involves expensive consumables, but right now you can buy some fantastic film cameras at prices none of us could ever have dreamt of when they were current models.

Indeed, like Simon my Hasselblad kit cost a small fraction of what it would have cost new and probably won't depreciate much, if at all. When you consider the depreciation involved in digital cameras, the cost of film and other consumables doesn't seem too bad. And sometimes the cost of cameras is zero. Just last week I was given two cameras, a Minolta XG1 with Rokkor 50mm/1.4 and a Zenit B

Sure there's more effort involved in producing a film image, but for me it's a process that I enjoy so it's not a chore for me. And if you do your own developing you can still have a pretty quick turn-around. For example, I shot this yesterday afternoon, developed it yesterday evening and scanned it this afternoon (would have been sooner if I hadn't been working today).

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r190/rogerharriso/hassy-20151221-010_800x600_zpsqfbzvavo.jpg (http://s144.photobucket.com/user/rogerharriso/media/hassy-20151221-010_800x600_zpsqfbzvavo.jpg.html)
Hasselblad 503CX, 40mm, Velvia 50

OM USer
24th December 2015, 09:15 PM
The big advatage of Olympus film cameras is the off the film flash metering; can't do that with digital (at least not yet).

cariadus
24th December 2015, 11:32 PM
The big advatage of Olympus film cameras is the off the film flash metering; can't do that with digital (at least not yet).

Absolutely, the T20 flash is fantastic on my OM-2N and OM-4ti.

Ricoh
27th December 2015, 12:04 PM
According to this: http://thephoblographer.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c936e6d50a1b870cefefb7762&id=8fdbda15c6&e=b8a5b56ba0 yes they should forget 35mm but large format makes a valuable contribution, the reason being it slows down the whole process, and everyone of the 12 images, or less, have to count towards a pass or a better grade.

cariadus
27th December 2015, 01:46 PM
According to this: http://thephoblographer.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c936e6d50a1b870cefefb7762&id=8fdbda15c6&e=b8a5b56ba0 yes they should forget 35mm but large format makes a valuable contribution, the reason being it slows down the whole process, and everyone of the 12 images, or less, have to count towards a pass or a better grade.

I personally strongly disagree that 35mm isn't worth bothering with. It's not all about resolution, dynamic range and so on. I shot most of my Christmas photos on a 35mm compact camera that cost me less than £20 and used film from Poundland (£1 a roll obvviously). I didn't shoot any digital at all. And I'm more than happy with the results. Over the last couple of years my taste has changed to a preference for the look of film compared to the rather more clinical look of digital. That's not saying that one is better than the other, it's just a question of personal preference.

In terms of teaching, it really doesn't make sense to me to teach only medium or large format. 35mm should surely be the starting point.

[And in case anyone is interested my Christmas shots taken with an ultra cheap Yashica T3 are here:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153692089576539.1073741864.740901538&type=1&l=6c9c9a0101]

David M
27th December 2015, 01:58 PM
If they want to teach students to make every shot count they should use large format and make them load the film holders in changing bags.

Crazy Dave
27th December 2015, 02:19 PM
I follow just a few people on Flickr. One is a friend who a couple of years ago, obtained a RPS Fellowship Distinction (probably one in ten applicants succeed) using an Olympus Trip bought for £1 in our local charity shop. If one is good enough, it probably doesn't matter what equipment is used providing it's enjoyable and rewarding.

My talented friend doesn't know how much money she has saved me when I've had gear lust. All those features that one doesn't use, it seems to me to be distractions from the real business of taking photographs and spontaneously. Who needs a battery?


David

Zuiko
27th December 2015, 03:57 PM
Making every shot count is a necessity of medium or large format film cameras but I'm not sure it's a virtue, more an imposition of the economic constraints of using this media. Okay, it can teach you to take a disciplined approach to each situation and really think about the composition, lighting etc. before making the exposure. On the other hand it can shackle you to tried and trusted formulae for making safe photographs, discouraging experimentation and innovation or trying something new and taking risks.

With certain photographic assignments it can be important to produce images that conform to an established standard of content, presentation, quality and technique, but on other occasions exploring the creative potential and pushing boundaries is vital if your work is going to have any artistic merit, rather than just going through the motions of producing the same old hackneyed clichés that have been produced by yourself and a thousand others many times before.

So there are different reasons for photography, some requiring specific output of a recognised style and standard, whilst others will benefit from a more fluid and imaginative approach. It doesn't really matter which you adopt, providing you remain open to improving within your sphere, learning from experience and growing your skills. The route that you choose will also determine whether to use digital or film and in which format. However, a well rounded photographer will frequently change his/her style in response to a variety of situations and opportunities, ideally using a wide range of equipment to suit.

Not everyone who wishes to widen their experience in this way will be in a position to afford multiple camera systems and film processing costs, particularly in the larger formats, but you can gain an insight into alternative ways of working by using your existing equipment in a different manner to normal.

For example, you can experience the slow and contemplative methods of landscape photography normally associated with medium or large format film cameras, using your micro 4/3 kit. Take every shot on a large and sturdy tripod. This not only prevents camera shake and allows lower ISO and shutter speeds, but very importantly it permits you to compose the picture exactly as you want it. You can study the image in your viewfinder critically, ensuring important elements within the scene are placed in the most effective positions and are in harmony with each other. Every square millimetre of the image can be examined for unwanted objects or distractions. It is possible to step back from the camera to review the options afforded by the scene, then return to your camera which is still displaying exactly the same view. Fine tuning can be made with precision using a ball and socket head and it is easy to place filters exactly where required.

Once the composition is exactly how you want it you can relax and wait for the ideal light, knowing that when it comes you can make the exposure in an instant without the need to recompose. This is particularly important with fleeting, transient light. You can further enhance the experience by setting the camera to manual and using a hand held meter to determine exposure. This is especially effective with a hand held spot meter. Finally, if you want to be as authentic as possible, load the camera with an almost full memory card that has just 12 shots remaining.

Often it is not the equipment you use that is important, but the way in which you use it. Having said that, different types of cameras are naturally better suited to different types of photography and I think that digital, plus film in large, medium and 135 formats will all remain relevant and complimentary to each other for a long time to come.

Simon Bee
27th December 2015, 08:58 PM
Making every shot count is a necessity of medium or large format film cameras but I'm not sure it's a virtue, more an imposition of the economic constraints of using this media. Okay, it can teach you to take a disciplined approach to each situation and really think about the composition, lighting etc. before making the exposure. On the other hand it can shackle you to tried and trusted formulae for making safe photographs, discouraging experimentation and innovation or trying something new and taking risks.

With certain photographic assignments it can be important to produce images that conform to an established standard of content, presentation, quality and technique, but on other occasions exploring the creative potential and pushing boundaries is vital if your work is going to have any artistic merit, rather than just going through the motions of producing the same old hackneyed clichés that have been produced by yourself and a thousand others many times before.

So there are different reasons for photography, some requiring specific output of a recognised style and standard, whilst others will benefit from a more fluid and imaginative approach. It doesn't really matter which you adopt, providing you remain open to improving within your sphere, learning from experience and growing your skills. The route that you choose will also determine whether use digital or film and in which format. However, a well rounded photographer will frequently change his/her style in response to a variety of situations and opportunities, ideally using a wide range of equipment to suit.

Not everyone who wishes to widen their experience in this way will be in a position to afford multiple camera systems and film processing costs, particularly in the larger formats, but you can gain an insight into alternative ways of working by using your existing equipment in a different manner to normal.

For example, you can experience the slow and contemplative methods of landscape photography normally associated with medium or large format film cameras, using your micro 4/3 kit. Take every shot on a large and sturdy tripod. This not only prevents camera shake and allows lower ISO and shutter speeds, but very importantly it permits you to compose the picture exactly as you want it. You can study the image in your viewfinder critically, ensuring important elements within the scene are placed in the most effective positions and are in harmony with each other. Every square millimetre of the image can be examined for unwanted objects or distractions. It is possible to step back from the camera to review the options afforded by the scene, then return to your camera which is still displaying exactly the same view. Fine tuning can be made with precision using a ball and socket head and it is easy to place filters exactly where required.

Once the composition is exactly how you want it you can relax and wait for the ideal light, knowing that when it comes you can make the exposure in an instant without the need to recompose. This is particularly important with fleeting, transient light. You can further enhance the experience by setting the camera to manual and using a hand held meter to determine exposure. This is especially effective with a hand held spot meter. Finally, if you want to be as authentic as possible, load the camera with an almost full memory card that has just 12 shots remaining.

Often it is not the equipment you use that is important, but the way in which you use it. Having said that, different types of cameras are naturally better suited to different types of photography and I think that digital, plus film in large, medium and 135 formats will all remain relevant and complimentary to each other for a long time to come.

Very well said John, I couldn't agree more. It matters not what we use, it's the end result and pleasure from using the medium of our choice that counts. I happen to 'prefer' film but that is not going to stop me from using 'digital' cameras when I want to either;)

Kind regards, Simon

Naughty Nigel
27th December 2015, 10:51 PM
The big advatage of Olympus film cameras is the off the film flash metering; can't do that with digital (at least not yet).

The Mamiya 645 Pro TL also offers 'off the film' flash metering, and as far as I know is the only medium format camera to do so, although it needs a Metz hammerhead gun and adaptor to work.


I personally strongly disagree that 35mm isn't worth bothering with. It's not all about resolution, dynamic range and so on. I shot most of my Christmas photos on a 35mm compact camera that cost me less than £20 and used film from Poundland (£1 a roll obvviously). I didn't shoot any digital at all. And I'm more than happy with the results. Over the last couple of years my taste has changed to a preference for the look of film compared to the rather more clinical look of digital. That's not saying that one is better than the other, it's just a question of personal preference.

In terms of teaching, it really doesn't make sense to me to teach only medium or large format. 35mm should surely be the starting point.

35 mm is a perfectly valid format, especially for action and street photography. 35 mm doesn't offer the same image quality as medium format, but this is less of an issue with B&W photography than colour.

However, with the possible exception of the Pentax LX I don't think there are any 35 mm cameras that provide a waist level finder, and it is the WLF that I find is the greatest aid to composition in landscape and studio style photography.

This is completely separate to any considerations about the cost of film and processing, the number of exposures on a 120 roll film or the speed at which photographs can be taken.

Simon Bee
28th December 2015, 12:01 AM
However, with the possible exception of the Pentax LX I don't think there are any 35 mm cameras that provide a waist level finder, and it is the WLF that I find is the greatest aid to composition in landscape and studio style photography.



Actually Nigel the following 35mm SLR offer WLF , there may be more but these are the ones I know of:-

Nikon 'F'
Nikon 'F2'
Nikon 'F3'
Nikon 'F4'
Nikon 'F5'

Canon 'F1'
Canon 'F1n'
Canon 'F1 NEW'

Kind regards, Simon

Naughty Nigel
29th December 2015, 12:20 AM
Actually Nigel the following 35mm SLR offer WLF , there may be more but these are the ones I know of:-

Nikon 'F'
Nikon 'F2'
Nikon 'F3'
Nikon 'F4'
Nikon 'F5'

Canon 'F1'
Canon 'F1n'
Canon 'F1 NEW'

Kind regards, Simon

Thank you for correcting me on that point Simon.

I didn't realise there were so many 35 mm cameras with waist level finders, although I don't know how useful they would be (compared with medium format).

cariadus
29th December 2015, 01:06 AM
The Mamiya 645 Pro TL also offers 'off the film' flash metering, and as far as I know is the only medium format camera to do so, although it needs a Metz hammerhead gun and adaptor to work.


The Hasselblad 503CW and 503CX can do TTL flash, but they also need either a Metz flash and adapter or the Hasselblad D-40 flash.

alfbranch
30th December 2015, 05:51 PM
Actually Nigel the following 35mm SLR offer WLF , there may be more but these are the ones I know of:-

Nikon 'F'
Nikon 'F2'
Nikon 'F3'
Nikon 'F4'
Nikon 'F5'

Canon 'F1'
Canon 'F1n'
Canon 'F1 NEW'

Kind regards, Simon
Add to that list the Lomo Konstruktor which is still available new.

Jim Ford
30th December 2015, 08:07 PM
Actually Nigel the following 35mm SLR offer WLF , there may be more but these are the ones I know of:-

Nikon 'F'
Nikon 'F2'
Nikon 'F3'
Nikon 'F4'
Nikon 'F5'

Canon 'F1'
Canon 'F1n'
Canon 'F1 NEW'

Kind regards, Simon

You've missed out the ultimate system camera - the Exakta!

Jim