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Learning film photography

TheFoo

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I'd like to take up film photography as a hobby. I have experience using my father's old Canon A1, so I'm not completely ignorant. However, I'd really like to learn how to properly handle a fully manual film camera and compose photographs. I've researched various online references and forums, but I've found the information too scattered. Any suggestions for a book or two?
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by mharwitt
a book just on lighting is a good thing to have

That looks fantastic--thanks! I like the more concept-oriented approach.
 

countrygent

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I'd highly recommend taking a course. I used my mother's ancient Zeiss Ikon for an intro course last fall, and even though everyone else in the class was shooting digital, I still got a lot out of it.

We had weekly assignments that familiarized us with varying f-stop, aperture, shutter speed, lighting at different times of day, composition and framing, etc. We would have a group evaluation of everyone's homework the following week, and the critique was invaluable. I'm sure the learning process was accelerated tremendously with such a feedback loop in place, compared with self-teaching with books.
 

Luc-Emmanuel

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Originally Posted by mafoofan
I'd like to take up film photography as a hobby. I have experience using my father's old Canon A1, so I'm not completely ignorant. However, I'd really like to learn how to properly handle a fully manual film camera and compose photographs. I've researched various online references and forums, but I've found the information too scattered. Any suggestions for a book or two?
I don't understand. How would "film" photography help you better compose? Except maybe looking like a tool with your leica M3 and tri-x rolls, I don't see "film" photography as a better hobby than "digital" photography, except if you want to actually learn how to process black and white films.
Digital will save you a lot of money learning how to use a "fully manual" camera. Reading any sorts of art book will help you better "compose", not buying yourself an antique.
!luc
 

Harold falcon

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I inherited my father's 35mm camera collection many years ago and the best resource I found back then was http://www.kenrockwell.com/index.htm and it's still up.

Film photography is a lot of fun.
 

mordecai

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Originally Posted by Luc-Emmanuel
I don't understand. How would "film" photography help you better compose? Except maybe looking like a tool with your leica M3 and tri-x rolls, I don't see "film" photography as a better hobby than "digital" photography, except if you want to actually learn how to process black and white films.
Digital will save you a lot of money learning how to use a "fully manual" camera. Reading any sorts of art book will help you better "compose", not buying yourself an antique.
!luc


no foo thread is complete without an asshole.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by Luc-Emmanuel
I don't understand. How would "film" photography help you better compose? Except maybe looking like a tool with your leica M3 and tri-x rolls, I don't see "film" photography as a better hobby than "digital" photography, except if you want to actually learn how to process black and white films.
Digital will save you a lot of money learning how to use a "fully manual" camera. Reading any sorts of art book will help you better "compose", not buying yourself an antique.
!luc


I never said using a film camera would make me better at composing photos. I said: (1) I'd like to learn how to use a film camera, and (2) I would like to learn about photo composition. The two are unrelated.
 

bigbjorn

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Originally Posted by Luc-Emmanuel
I don't understand. How would "film" photography help you better compose? Except maybe looking like a tool with your leica M3 and tri-x rolls, I don't see "film" photography as a better hobby than "digital" photography, except if you want to actually learn how to process black and white films.
Digital will save you a lot of money learning how to use a "fully manual" camera. Reading any sorts of art book will help you better "compose", not buying yourself an antique.
!luc

This. Set the digital SLR to M mode and you can do everything a Nikon FM2N can do. Plus you get immediate feedback on your exposure and composition. I still shoot film every once in a while, because I can't bear to get rid of my F3, FM2 and FE2, but to learn photography, the instant-feedback and no marginal cost per print of digital is hard to beat.
 

Luc-Emmanuel

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Originally Posted by mafoofan
I never said using a film camera would make me better at composing photos. I said: (1) I'd like to learn how to use a film camera, and (2) I would like to learn about photo composition. The two are unrelated.
Right.
Photo composition is just like any composition, so any book about painting or photography will give you the basic rules.
To practise, I wouldn't use a film camera because it's too long to see your results, and too expensive.
The main difference between a film camera and a digital camera is, well, putting film in. So unless you want to specifically learn how to put a film in a camera, which will take you about 10 minutes to master, I would go with digital.
The only reason to go for film today is if you want to process your own black and white rolls.
!luc
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by bigbjorn
This. Set the digital SLR to M mode and you can do everything a Nikon FM2N can do. Plus you get immediate feedback on your exposure and composition. I still shoot film every once in a while, because I can't bear to get rid of my F3, FM2 and FE2, but to learn photography, the instant-feedback and no marginal cost per print of digital is hard to beat.

I'd like to try a rangefinder, actually. SLRs are too big and clunky to carry around when traveling--at least, for me.

Film-generated photos look different from those rendered by a sensor. We could argue about whether the difference is good or bad all day long, but I think you'd have to agree it's there.
 

A Y

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This is an interesting way to learn: http://theonlinephotographer.typepad...eica-year.html

Basically, get a simple camera (a Leica in this case), 1 lens, 1 type of B&W film, and shoot 2-6 rolls a week for a year, collecting contact sheets in a notebook, and making notes about your photos. The point is to simplify until there's nothing between you and the light and the composition, not even color.

--Andre
 

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