Think Like a Film Shooter

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Jan 3, 2007
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Tacoma, WA
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Ken St John
Interesting article ... hopefully the link works!

https://apple.news/AR_Qrpy9_Sl2Irywe9GKquw

I'd be interested in your thoughts on this ... I’ve been trying to do this more often and it’s really quite refreshing. I take the process to PP as well. Although I do tweak and enhance, I’m not interested in replacing the sky or PS-ing people from one locale to another.

Ken
 
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May 21, 2019
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Don Roy
To me... When I make oak furniture for my home, or sew a new Jeep soft top from scratch (my other hobbies), I can't imagine that anyone seeing the results cares about my tool shop or thought process. Reminiscing about the old days of using a hand plane, while sawdust is flying from my power tools, doesn't help me at all.
 
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Moscow, Idaho
There is good advise there, but also some lousy ones. Why abandon technology if and when it can help you (shoot only in manual mode; don't use the LCD)? Pre-visualize, slow down, most of us do that. But lots of his ideas don't apply to wildlife and sports shooter.
 
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Andrew
To each their own. I use the tools I want, how I want them.

when shooting for me, it’s for the pleasure of shooting with the gear I brought.

when shooting for clients, I want what provides the best quality with the most ease.

beyond that, I care not what anyone else thinks about my process.
 
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The whole thing about manual mode and manual focus seems to have turned into something that the young people think is a Big Deal, something unique and special and that they are hot stuff when they talk about shooting only in manual...... Most of us over a certain age have lived through the era when manual focus and manual shooting was ALL we had and we learned how to make pictures anyway. Yes, there are times when manual mode and manual focus are really necessary to achieve specific effects, but most of the time I am perfectly happy taking advantage of autofocus -- my eyes are not getting any younger! -- and a lot of the time I am not shooting landscapes or water where I want to get that nice blurred effect, etc. Sometimes manual focus is needed for macro, although so far I haven't needed to implement it. Focus peaking great assists with that, too.....

The bit about not looking at the LCD -- I notice the writer didn't refer to this as "chimping", which is of course what he meant, and apparently he was thinking of people using only optical viewfinders in DSLRs rather than using mirrorless cameras with electronic VF which provide a lot more information so that the photographer can see exactly in the EVF when making changes, say in exposure compensation, etc. No need to chimp as much these days if one has an EVF! I still sometimes look at the LCD screen after a shot, but more to ensure the overall composition was as I intended and, if an outdoor scene, that the horizon was straight!
 
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Albuquerque, NM USA
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Don Roy
The whole thing about manual mode and manual focus seems to have turned into something that the young people think is a Big Deal ...
I agree, I'd rather pay attention and maybe tweak what a non-M mode tells me than being in M all the time. I'm taking a college 'Intro to Photography' class right now, just for fun (2 weeks in). The teach wants us to use manual, I think mainly so the new kids learn how the exposure triangle works. One thing annoying with that for me is that I have a Z6 w/EVF, so most of the time the first look after flipping on the camera gives me a black or white view (huge over or under exp) until I dial things in.
 
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I'm 70 and I shoot mostly in manual mode. I'm not better or worse than anyone else; it's just what I do. It gives me the control to improve, or screw up, depending on what I decide to set. Manual mode with auto ISO is the cat's meow.
 
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Feb 18, 2015
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New York State
I have the huge advantage of having shot, and processed, Film (both colour and B&W) for over 60 years before the D3 enticed me into using a digital camera.
However, I had already been using digital editing tools (to edit scans of colour negatives and for page-layout purposes) for the previous 20 years so I suffered from no "learning curve".

I definitely think in terms of "Film plus-intended-processing".

I shoot almost entirely in Manual mode (so that I always have control of both Aperture and shutter-speed); and use manual EV-controls — often with Auto ISO but not always. I do use back-button auto-focussing because it is faster and more precise than purely manual focussing.

With a Film background, I shoot continuous Bursts rather sparingly — and certainly don't shoot high-speed bursts of stationery objects! However, I normally keep the camera set for lower-frequency Continuous but then shoot several individual frames of non- or slowly-changing situations as well.

I seldom glance at the back-screen except at the beginning and towards the end of photographing a particular situation because I simply do not need to. Neither could I bear to use an EVF filled with Focus and HL blinkies and other distractions.

I do use an extensive range of all of the tools in the various editing softwares which I have but I am definitely pre-visualising my intended final out-put while I am taking the photographs.

I feel that the experience of shooting Film still provides very useful training for a photographer and, if I was running a Photography Class, I would want my students to start by using film and getting some darkroom processing experience; before moving on to a digital camera and learning to explore and use all the possibilities provided by advanced digital processing techniques.
 
One can set up an EVF to display as much or as little information as desired; that is not a biggie. Yes, I agree that it is important for students, especially those who are new to photography, to learn the basics and that does mean shooting in all-manual, which is not a bad thing at all, nor did I mean to imply that. I love Auto ISO and back-button focus -- both very useful tools! I've just seen posts on other sites from people who seem to have an attitude about the fact that, hey, THEY shoot in manual....making it sound more complex and challenging and so on than it actually is in the first place.
 
I don't believe I've ever shot in manual exposure mode including in my film days and I have a very difficult time believing that has made me a less accomplished photographer. I'm certain I've never done any darkroom work and I'm equally confident that my photography skills haven't suffered because of it. Similarly, despite that I've also never driven a horse and buggy, that lack of experience hasn't affected my ability to drive a car.

If part of the purpose of requiring students to do some work with film and in the dark room is to give them that experience, where does one draw the line? Why not require them to use a camera obscura or a pinhole camera, to develop an image on a metal or glass plate, etc., etc., etc.?
 
Joined
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Don Roy
I feel using auto-iso in manual mode as not manual mode. To me, if a computer is working any corner of the triangle, I'm not in manual. This thread is making a comparison to film, which did not have auto-iso.

Overall, I just want to know my settings on each shot, whether I dialed them in or whether I accept (or adjust) what the computer dialed in.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
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Redwood City, CA
Ah, but it had latitude.
Latitude? Really? Not with color reversal film. I personally hate photographic nostalgia for film. I shot a lot of film, a lot with match-needle cameras and then auto-exposure with an F3hp and, of course, focus was always manual. I also developed my own B&W. Can I utilize these skills, yes, but why? I now have much better imaging solutions, my initial D90 being the first.
 
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Moscow, Idaho
I think I will put away my iPhone and get a crank operated party-line phone. No, wait, make that a telegraph set. No, some smoke signals, or some semaphore flags . . . and for dinner tonight I fillet my brontosaurus steaks with flint, eaten raw of course. RAW, isn't that a new age thing? :D
 
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Dubois, Wyoming
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Bill
I think I will put away my iPhone and get a crank operated party-line phone. No, wait, make that a telegraph set. No, some smoke signals, or some semaphore flags . . . and for dinner tonight I fillet my brontosaurus steaks with flint, eaten raw of course. RAW, isn't that a new age thing? :D
I prefer my Bronto Burgers medium. Gluten free bun though.
 
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