5 Tips for getting Into Film Photography

Today I have Five tips for those of you just getting into film photography!

5 tips for getting into film photography

 

#1 UNDERSTAND YOUR FUNDAMENTALS

Contrary to what many say, (specifically people who have never taught a photography class) I recommend you understand your photography fundamentals FIRST. Yes, an all manual film camera distills photography down to the basics, but if you’re just learning, not being able to see instant results, not to mention the delay in which you will see your work will slow the process of learning down. And that's not to mention that by the time you see your work, you may forget what your settings and lighting conditions were. If you still want to jump right in, I recommend you get either a point and shoot or any camera with an auto feature. DO NOT LISTEN to people saying you learn best on a manual camera. That sounds good on paper, but in practice getting a blank roll back is a huge disappointment and very off putting. You want to be able to get excited about the process- the technical stuff can come later

#2 START WITH BLACK AND WHITE

Maybe you’ve heard that black and white is more pure and all that- and that may be true. But if you’re just starting out I recommend shooting black and white because you have a greater leeway when it comes to properly exposing your image. Color requires you to be more precise. And while on the topic of Film...

#3 START WITH ISO 400 ISO

400 speed film will give you good amount of flexibility in getting a proper exposure in varying lighting conditions. Sure, it's technically not as “sharp” as a slow speed film, but if you want perfect, you may as well shoot digital.

#4 WHEN IN DOUBT OVER EXPOSE

Film photography is better at preserving the highlights and... When exposing film it’s better to have too much information than too little

#5 TAKE YOUR TIME AND ENJOY THE PROCESS

One of the many reasons to shoot film is because of how enjoyable the hands on process can be and it’s ability to put you in the moment. Never forget that and have fun!

Follow me! Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/

www.mikmilman.com

Pentax SMC Takumar 1.4 vs Yashinon-DX 1.4

Check out this comparison video between the Pentax Takumar SMC Takumar 1.4 and the Yashica Yashinon-DX 1.4 I honestly like them both and will probably use them quite differently. The Pentax 1.4 has a warm, rich, earth tone feel. In my opinion it far rivals the Canon 50mm 1.8. I did not find any cons to it. The Yashica Yashinon-DX is quite a bit different. I was surprised by how much it flared, which lead me to believe that it must have had haze in it. I didn't find any. More light just seem to transport through it and it has an overall cooler, flatter profile. The cool thing about these lenses are their compatibility. If any film camera with an M42 mount can take them or use them digitally with an adapter. What do you all think?

Using Vintage Lenses on the Canon M50

Shooting with vintage lenses on the Canon M50 is so much fun. Even though you lose your autofocus when doing so, getting footage with character is awesome- and affordable! I will be experimenting with shooting with my m50 and vintage lenses for a while. I have to say, I am liking the m50 more everyday.

Videos of the Canon fd 50mm 1.8, Pentax 50mm 1.4, Minolta 58mm 1.4, and the Yashica 50mm 1.4

How to Find Cheap Film Cameras

If you're looking to get into film photography but you're on a budget, I highly recommend looking at cameras from manufacturers you may not be familiar with. Some of my favorites come from Yashica and Konica. At this point perceived value of old cameras far outweighs their original costs.

Follow me!

Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/

Rollei 35s with Supra 400

The Rollei 35s is still one of my favorite film cameras. Here is an update on what it's been like shooting with it. Scale focussing can still be a limitation, but that will largely depend on what kind of shooting you do. For street photography, it's a gem. Stay tuned for more film camera updates!

Follow me!

Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/

www.mikmilman.com

Pentax 67 diopter (why I almost sold my Pentax 67)

 

The Pentax 67 does not have a built in diopter. Rather, if you wear glasses, you will need to purchase an aftermarket eye piece. Well it turns out that whoever owned this camera before me did just that which is why it always looked blurry to my eyes.

Follow me!

Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/

Improve your photography

Why isn't your photography getting better?

If you want to improve your photograph you need to make images. But often, especially with adults, we are so in our head when learning something new that it becomes debilitating to the point that we put it off- we put so much expectations on ourselves that we don't even begin! Yet the best piece of advice I can give you if you want to get better at photography is to shoot as often as possible. Consider kids at play; They are wide eyed, explorers. They have no expectations or fear of failure. That's what you should emulate if you want to improve your photography!

If you're interested in improving your photography, check out my 5 tips on improving your photography below. Although geared toward the professional photographer shooting events, anyone can find them helpful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7RLb8vpnqU&t=104s

If you're in Los Angeles and want to take photography classes, I recommend taking a look at Barnsdall Art Center! 

http://barnsdall.org/

Follow me!

Instagram | @retrograding https://www.instagram.com/retrograding/

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/mikmilman/

Understanding Light

There are three things to consider when talking about light:

  • Quality of light

  • direction of light

  • Amount

img483.jpg

Quality of Light

Light can be either hard, soft, but there are varying degrees of hard and soft light.

Characteristics of a hard light source:

Hard light will have heavy shadows: more accurately, hard light sources create very crisp lines of shadow with very little gradation. Because of this, images shot with a hard light source gives the subject the appearance of having more detail or texture.

Synonyms and / or descriptors used when talking about hard light:

  • Harsh light - because of the extra detail it creates

  • Direct light - because hard light comes from a direct single spot opposed to soft light which is indirect

Examples sources of hard light:

  • The sun

  • Flash

  • Unshaded light bulbs

Characteristics of soft light

A soft light source is best thought of as indirect or spread out light. Think of how light enters inside of your home through the window. That light is bouncing around and spreading out before it ever reaches the glass. Soft light can be identified by elongated shadows (more gradation).

 

Synonyms and/or descriptors used when talking about soft light:

  • Indirect

  • Diffused

Examples of soft light

  • Window light

  • Shade

  • Light bouncing off of a white or lightly colored wall

  • Cloudy or overcast days

los angeles event photographer


 

Direction of light

The direction of light plays a huge role in the look of your photograph.

As an experiment photograph the same person or object from the front of, the side of, and behind  your light source to see what happens. You will end up with three very different looking images. Notice where the light begins to fall off. Which image looks like it has the most depth? Which looks flattest?

Amount

The amount of light is self explanatory but should not be confused with the quality of the light. You can have both an abundance of soft light as well as hard light.

Picture a scene in heaven in a tv show or movie. It is always depicted with lots of bright light, but that light is soft!

 

event photographer in los angeles

Amount 

Amount is simple. It's how intense your light source is. Thats it. Both hard and soft light sources can be very bright or very dim.

 

5 Reasons You Should Get the Canon A1

Canon A-1

Canon A-1

More Camera

You may be familiar with the Canon AE-1, perhaps Canon’s most iconic manual focus film cameras. The AE-1 has surely secured its position as an icon. And as such, with the resurgence of film, commands quite a price. At the time of writing this article, an AE-1 can run up to $250.

Conversely, the Canon A-1 is far less iconic of a camera. Yet it is a superior camera in most ways. The Canon A-1 sits atop Canon’s prosumer line of the era and features full manual control, shutter priority, aperture priority and full auto control.

Build Quality

The Canon A-1 is built with more premium materials than the AE-1 or some of its competitors such as Minolta’s X-700.

canon a-1 features

Lenses

During the production run of the A-1, there were over 50 lenses available. That means there are lots of options and lots of them out there.

Be proud

Proudly smirk at all those suckers with an AE-1, knowing you have more camera.

Price

You can get an A1 for about $100 at the time of writing this article. That’s not bad at all.

top of Canon a-1