Friday, 28 June 2013

Square Guy


I'm a square guy at heart. Not particularly adventurous and don't take too many risks. So of course my natural affinity is for the square format. And that annoying decision on whether to take a shot landscape of upright at the time of taking is removed at a stroke. Cropping later is always an option, saving thinking time when shooting. And anyway, a square picture just looks cool to me. 

Then there is the shooting on film consideration. Automatic hard-file archival storage built in combined with unsurpassed fine detail retrieval and inherent extended tonality. I feel like the prodigal son returning to the fold.

I also like the fact that film can be scanned in and presented digitally relatively easily. And by including the film rebate on the digital scanned image, in my opinion, gives a picture an honesty that is a little lacking in digital these days. I like the idea of shooting straight and NOT removing in post anything in the original shot. Any 'flaws' would, in effect, only add to the intrinsic provenance and, in a way, get back some belief in the photograph. Digital fakery is now so good it has ironically devalued the perception of a photograph as a representation piece of crafted reality. People trust film more than they do digital. Which is quite silly when you think how cleverly film can be manipulated as much as digital. 

So it must come down to the credibility of the photographer to provide authenticity as to originality, or rather lack of manipulation, in any shot. Putting the rebate and showing the full frame 'as is' complete with flaws in other words, will help. Am I going 'Back to the Future'? Well, I'm currently bidding on a sixty year old Rolleicord camera and I'm going to try and return to some honest simplicity both in shooting and presentation. This may be 'good bye' to all my kit save this one battered old camera and its standard lens. 

The picture above is of my Mum, taken on a Hasselblad camera using its standard 80mm lens way back in 1977. I just found the old negatives. Would a digital file be found again so easily? If you look closely, you can see a halo around highlights, particularly on the edges of the dress. This is not a scanning flaw, but because I used a 'softar' lens filter to soften the look. It was fashionable at the time, taking away much of the hardness while still retaining detail.


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