One day in late winter Christy and I were taking a drive to Washington on the Brazos to try to see the remains of the old Baylor campus.
We passed this old shed and came back to consider taking a film photo with the Sinar F 4 x 5″ camera we brought along just in case any subject seemed to justify the ordeal of using it. It is a real pleasure, actually, to have to force yourself to work in an orderly, methodical, careful manner with this camera.
Digital scenario: Step out of car (maybe), take off lens cap, turn on camera, compose, shoot, check LCD and maybe histogram, post process.
View camera scenario: Definitely get out of car. Determine where to place tripod. Assemble camera onto tripod piece by piece. Open shutter on lens. Go under focusing cloth and compose your photograph. Make any necessary adjustments (rise, fall, shift, tilt) you might want to control the image. Use the loupe on the ground glass to get fine focus. Close the shutter on the lens. Attach your green filter to lighten the foliage and darken the sky. Use your 1 degree light meter to measure the shadow area where you want some detail. Use the number you get reading this area. Make your exposure to be 3 stops below this to place your shadow where you want it. However, open up a couple of stops to compensate for the light lost due to the use of your green filter. Move one ring on the lens to set your aperture. Move the other to set the shutter speed. Cock the shutter. Attach cable release. Place film holder in back of camera under ground glass. Remove the dark slide. Make your exposure. Replace the dark slide. Remove film holder. Disassemble the camera and repack. Develop film at home in trays. Seriously, just as I got back into playing vinyl records for the tactile, direct, analog experience, but won’t toss out my iPod, so I will continue to work with film as long as it is around. Given the resurgent interest among, especially, young people rebelling against digital, it may be around for a while. Check out youtube on the subject. Still, there are just some things digital cameras and editing software can achieve that cannot be done with film. Even Ansel Adams anticipated the day that digital would come along. Also search yt for an interview with him on that topic. So, I’ll keep using my digital with great joy, but will also appreciate the approach that film forces upon me.