Friday, November 1, 2013

The Analog Docs - 5 things we love about Film

The Analog Docs is a project of two Vienna, Austria-based professional photographers, Matthias Hombauer, Ph.D. and Karl Blümel, MD., that focuses on the beauty of film photography. They are using medium format cameras like the Contax 645, Fuji GW690II, Hasselblad 503CX and Mamiya RZ67 to capture gorgeous 'on location' portraits. We featured their gorgeous work here before. And today, Karl and Matthias will tell us five main reasons why they are still shooting film:

1. THE LOOK: Ok, let’s face it. Film shooters will tell you how much they love this special look of film. This is similar to music lovers who tell you that vinyl sounds more organic than a CD. A lot of digital shooters try to imitate this look on their digital files – but you can hardly get there. Film has an incredible colour palette and a huge dynamic range of detail in both highlights and shadows. So why imitate when you simply can shoot analog?

2. FILM WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER: When shooting film, you are bound to know exactly what you are doing. You have to nail the exposure, how you frame the picture and how to direct the model so that he or she doesn’t have his or her eyes closed in the moment you release the shutter. Every picture costs money and believe us, you want to be sure to know your camera beforehand. Furthermore, most of the cameras have got only manual focus lenses and you need an external light meter to get the right exposure. This sounds a little bit frightening to someone who has experience only in digital photography. It’s a steep learning curve but it’s absolutely worth it.

3. FILM IS A TIME SAVER: When we are shooting digital, we return from a job with hundreds of pictures, which have to be sorted out and post-processed (we always shoot RAW). With film, we come back with 40 pictures and most of them are awesome. We have outsourced the developing and scanning process of our films and get them sent from our photo lab. Once you know how to handle the different films like Fuji or Kodak already in the camera, you will save a lot of time with post-production. Honestly saying, there is almost no post-processing necessary and you can spend more time on doing the things you love, too.

4. AT THE MOMENT FILM GEAR IS CHEAP: 20 years ago, a professional medium format camera was as expensive as a car. Today you can pick a Mamiya, Hasselblad or Fuji for a decent price and you’ve got an awesome camera, like the pros were/are using. For Contax cameras, this is another story. The price is skyrocketing in the second hand market, cause it is the most popular camera for wedding photographers nowadays. However, you can also acquire an old 35mm camera for a few bucks and get the whole analog experience with it.

5. BOKEH MADNESS: BOKEH (Japanese for ‘blur’) is the way “the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”. And this seems to be the search for the Holy Grail for every portrait photographer. There are tons of articles and discussions going on in the web about which lens is the best. The bigger the aperture is, e.g. 1.2, 1.4, the narrower is the depth of field. This makes you just focus on the eyes where the eyelashes are already out of focus. The quality of BOKEH on a medium format camera looks different than a 35mm camera system. So therefore we love our medium format cameras to get this special out-of-focus look.

See more of their beautiful work on their website and Facebook page.

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1 comment :

  1. Thank you. Great article.
    It explains exactly the feeling I have when I'm shooting film compared to shooting digital. You just cannot compare it, pretty much when a DJ uses vinyl instead of CD's, there is something in analog that makes more appealing, more human, more... it just looks right!

    I've been seriously considering selling all my digital gear and go full analog, this article might be the final opinion I needed.

    Keep up with the good articles
    All the best,