On Shooting Film

2009-09-21 15:44:07 UTC

I like to shoot film for a simple reason. I can use a small, unimposing camera and just two manual focus lenses. That makes for a very small setup, and allows me to get close to people, strike up a dialog and get them to forget about me, sometimes.

That is when the best pictures happen. When people start to forget that you are taking pictures of them and they turn their attention back to their work. As Capa said, "If you're pictures are not good enough, you are not close enough."

I use an older Nikon body and my trusted 50mm f/1.8 manual focus lens for most of this, sometimes I switch to a 24mm f/2.8 to get a broader view. I also like the big and bright viewfinder of the film bodies.

I vary between HP5, TMY and other film, but haven't shot color film in a long time. I find the black and white reduces a lot of the distraction that color brings, faces are the most important for me, and they work well without color.

I started shooting black and white more than 20 years ago with an old range finder camera and just love the retro look of it.


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On Shooting in Shanghai
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On Shooting Film