About Lars Fielder

Regional Business Manager Film Capture & POS, Personalized Imaging: Europe, Africa & Middle East Region

FilmsNotDead Winner: Siim Vahur

The recent FilmsNotDead competition offered a little step back in time for film and Kodak film lovers. The challenge (or excitement) was to enter with images that were shot on a Kodak Box Brownie.

Siim Vahur from Estonia won the competiton by sharing the images below which were shot with his Kodak Box Brownie 2.   We, from Kodak Alaris caught up with Siim from Estonia to ask some questions about shooting film and what he enjoys the most.

We hope that you enjoy his thoughts and especially his hints and tips on shooting film.

Thanks
Lars.

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KA: Siim, you’re clearly a lover of film photography. Do you have a favourite camera that you regularly use?

S: As a mad collector – I’ve got plenty of them. Right now from my collection of 35mm cameras I like to use my Voigtländer Super Wide-Heliar 4.5/15mm with my 78 year old Leica III, a Canon Canonet QL17 G-III (as it’s the most handful light-weight fast lens rangefinder with full manual option), Horizont,  Fujica Drive (neat little half-frame)

maru_-_knitter_(fujicaST801_helios85mm_f1.5_velvia50)_09[1]

And from my collection of 120 it’s some simple boxes like my competition winning Brownie No.2, my Daci, a Seagull 4B (I really like the triplet lenses as well as square format) and my Arax 60 MLU (+Zeiss lenses).

My collection habit has even made me create cameras of my own. I have a self-made anamorphic pinhole camera http://www.siimvahur.com/anamorfoos/index.html and a

self-made half-frame fisheye http://www.siimvahur.com/commuud/fisheye/

I’m always ready and willing to try things that are new, the bond between me and film photography is strong and not something I see changing in the near future.  Today’s world is too fast for film, my everyday work is fully digital, I’m a fan of new technologies, but I enjoy shooting film. Not for a fun. Just. For a life.

maru_-_knitter_(cant_remember_film_and_camera)_15[1]

KA: So you mentioned you’re a collector, but are you an amateur or professional photographer?

S: Professional. I guess. For almost 10 years I have been full time theater photographer (my main job is at Tallinna City Theater, VAT teater ) and I’ve been working part time as a food photographer for magazines and cook books. When not shooting for  home/creative still life (i.e food photography) or work/portrait etc (i.e theater) I do like street photography. I don’t do wedding photography.

andrus_-_an_actor_(whosafraidofvirginiawoolf)RB67ProS_55mm_expKodakEPN100[1]

KA:  OK, so you’re a professional, did you always want to be a photographer? How did you become a photographer?

S: No, but it just went that way. First I was interested in classic graphic art (you know – all those good old methods – from dry-point to lithography). But one day I found myself studying photography at Art College. And four years later I found myself taking pictures at theater.

In childhood I wanted to become a asphalt worker (at summer) and a street cleaner in night shift (at winter).

KA: How long have you been shooting film for and what do you enjoy most about it?

S: I’ve been shooting film consistently for about 15 years and really it’s just because I love beautiful things, including all those heavy and shiny cameras. I especially love using unique lenses that give me real feelings with real film. Shooting film is about thinking first  – not just point and shoot!

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KA: So tell us, what are your favourite films to shoot and why?

S: Again I like to use a variety of films, I shoot colour and black and white, so it’s a good mix for me.  The colour films I’ve used most are Kodak Profoto 100 as I find it the best value for money and I also use Fuji Velvia 50 as its deep blue, dark green tonality fits 100% into our the ’pessimistic’ Estonia climate. However with these being expired films, I am looking at experimenting further with Kodak’s Portra and Ektar films.

When it comes to black and white I’m a fan of hi-iso and push-process black and white, so Kodak TRI-X, Ilford Delta 3200 / Surveillance P3/P4, Agfa Traffic are my best friends.

I also like to shoot the now expired Kodak Vericolor III (when I can find it) as it offers neat tonality.

alo_-_an_actor_(valdes_-_midnight_sun)_RB67ProS_127mm_fomapan100[1]

KA: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to use film?

S:  As I said to the Films Not Dead team, don’t go the Lomo way (sorry, guy’s), look around, get a real camera (from a box brownie to a modern ultra wide Heliar equipped and a 30′s Leica or just a simple mechanical SLR with some fix lenses), find some neat films with real character and play and try and you can feel the difference between your smartphone and real thing. For camera colletors like me, it’s great to be able to use my neat and beautifil old gear.

KA: Finally can you offer the readers of this blog five tips on shooting film?

S:

1. Composition. See frames in your head. Think!

2. Light. See light around you. Use it, i.e move yourself!

(One light, one place, different angle of views and you can make really different results – awful ones and vice versa)

3. Light. Measure it! Know your film’s peculiarity.

4. DOF. Use it! Most wonderful thing in photography.

5. Don’t rush, just be ready.

KA: Tell us a little about Siim the person:

S: I’m just a 32 year old guy with wife and daughter. I have done photos for many cook books, books, theaters, posters, magazines, websites … so photography is my life.

I love my country. And I love this kind of bad weather.

My life – my pictures: www.siimvahur.com

My life – my wife – my pictures, all of them: www.marudesign.eu

My collection of cameras – http://www.flickr.com/photos/siimvahur/sets

Film Friday: Shooting film by Ronan Guillou

Film photography is very much art, there’s lots to see and learn: with time, effort and dedication a photographer can create some amazing images that tell a story.   With film photography the saying ‘pictures speak a thousand words’ really becomes a truth.

Today, Ronan Guillou a photographer from France tells us about his experiences with film photography, shares some of his images and offers us some great hints and tips to get the most out of shooting film.

Enjoy, Lars Fiedler

RonanGuillou-David's Farm, Alabama 2012

Shooting film by Ronan Guillou, France

I’ve been shooting with Kodak negative colour films since I started working as a professional photographer in 1997. Using film doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t want to go with digital. I consider both mediums have their place in photography, depending on the fields of application. For my commissioned works, clients expect an immediate view of what is being shot. Fair enough: digital photography is great for this use. It also allows me and the team I work with to check quickly if what we’ve been doing sticks with the brief.

 

As for the artistic work, I don’t need to instantly see what I just shot. I believe photographers know what they do at the very moment they take a photograph. Above all, what I aim at is high flexibility and freedom in the way I work. The camera I’ve been using for years is a medium format Hasselblad 501cm, mounted with an 80mm lens. My favourite film is Kodak Portra 400/120. That film is just great; it fits perfectly with my expectations.

Ronan Guillou - Meridian, Mississippi 2012

What I like about using film with a medium format camera, especially Kodak Portra 400/120:

- Photographing with film doesn’t require any batteries or connections whatsoever with the camera I use. That particular point gives unlimited autonomy on my trips, which I definitely appreciate. The only battery needed for my work is for the light-meter travelling with me.

- I don’t have to upload pictures daily on a computer, then on a second back-up hard-drive.

- If needed, I can shoot fast without constraint.

- Using medium-format films provides very high resolution results.

- You can speed up Kodak Portra 400 to 800 or 1600 ISO.

- Film is stable, flexible and has great latitudes. In case of wrong exposures, you still have a chance to save your shots.

- Kodak Portra gives consistent and accurate colours, with beautiful and almost invisible grain when it comes to large prints.

- Once they’ve been processed, films are easy to keep safe and easy to archive, with an infinite lifetime.

- They can handle very high or very low outdoor temperatures.

- You don’t want to waste films, which means you need to keep focused on what you do and shoot only when your soul or instinct tell you to do so.

- Exposed correctly, films capture highlight and shadow details in some situations that digital struggles with.

- I think the rendering of the depth of field with film looks great.

Ronan Guillou - Junk Valley, Wyoming 2012

Few tips on using film:

- Most of the time, I use Kodak Portra 400 at its standard rating. Then I ask the lab to push the film at plus one half stop in the process. It brings a slight contrast to the film and makes it a little punchier.

- Or you could rate the Portra 400 at 250 ISO, and process it “normal” at the lab.

- If you have enough room in your fridge, I recommend you store your films in it so they can live a bit longer than the expiration dates.

- It’s better being on the over-exposed than on the under-exposed side.

- Just as for digital, I recommend you organise a back-up with scanning the negatives of your main photographs (in case of unfortunate accidents such as fire or robbery).

- Find a good lab to process your films, and then find a good printing lab. As I live in Paris, Publimod is processing my negatives, and Mupson Lab is doing the prints on the enlarger. I get my films scanned at Picto or Dupon. I believe it’s important to have a close relationship with your lab(s).

- I try to keep in mind the number of frames I have left in the film back.

- Though I know it’s riskless, I always ask my films to be hand-checked instead of going through the X-rays before boarding on a plane.

- Once in a while, I check my camera gear on slow speeds before loading a new roll, so I know if my equipment works properly (speed and f shutters). I had a bad experience one day – the speed shutter was jammed, and I kept shooting for one week without knowing about it – and I don’t want it to happen again!

- Lastly, I’d say taking a good photograph is not related with the ability to see it right after you shot it!

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Ronan Guillou

http://www.ronanguillou.com

Ronan Guillou - Trailer Sisters, Alabama 2012

Shooting film by Matt Osborne

The Kodak 1000 word Film Friday blog is a dedicated platform where we feature great photographers sharing our passion for film photography.

Today we’re excited to feature a photographer from the UK, Matt Osborne. We discovered Matt following a fashion film shoot in Ukraine where he shot a model in black and white on Kodak Professional T-MAX 400 film. Here, in this blog post Matt talks about his passion for film photography and his use of Kodak film. Being a professional model and wedding photographer, Matt prefers to work with a mixture of film formats and cameras for different scenarios.

Take a look at Matt’s images and make up your own mind, then why not pick up a camera, buy some Kodak film and take some great shots yourself.

- Lars Fiedler

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Shooting film by Matt Osborne, Photographer, UK

I am a self taught model and wedding photographer and have been shooting for around four years. Towards the end of 2012 I was already shooting my digital Nikon D800 camera in full manual mode using some of the best legacy lenses ever produced but I needed more.  It was here that my journey with film began.  I started with a Contax 645 medium format film camera as I loved the wedding photography examples I had seen during my research shooting Kodak Professional Portra 400 film.  The skin tones are just unmatchable with digital.

Living in the UK, the light levels are often much lower especially in the winter months.  For this reason I often shoot Kodak Professional Portra 800 which allows me to photograph UK models and weddings with the same high quality and characteristic skin tones yet still with available light.  The Contax standard Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm f2 lens is a fast lens meaning it can be used in lower light situations. In this instance I can often use Kodak Professional Portra 400.  When I use my Mamiya RZ Pro II 6×7 however the lens are often f3.5 or f4.5 (200% less bright) so more light or faster film is required.  It is here than Kodak Professional Portra 800 saves me every time.   When large medium format film negatives are scanned I think it would be difficult to distinguish between Kodak Professional Portra 400 and Kodak Professional Portra 800.

Example – ARAX-CM and ARAX 80mm f2.8 lens, 120 Kodak Professional Portra 800 film, Agnieszka, Poland.

#1.Portra800,120,ARAX-CM,MatthewOsborne

My passion however is black and white film photography and I develop my own film using a mix of Kodak Professional Xtol and Agfa Rodinal.  I find I tend to see photos in black and white, pools of light and shadows.  I’m not sure if it is something I have developed or trained my eyes to see or just something I’m lucky to have.  Even with digital I tend to shoot B&W JPEGs.  For black and white film photography my favourite films are Kodak T-Max 100 and Kodak T-Max 400.  When shooting 35mm film I use a Nikon FM body then all my Nikon lenses I had invested in for digital.  As I like to use fast prime lens (85mm f1.4, 50mm f1.2, 200mm f2) I can shoot with available light more easily so I tend to use Kodak Professional T-Max 100.  This fast film gives ultrafine grain so when scanned the images look almost digital yet better as they have texture and a 3D quality.

Example – Nikon FM and Samyang 85mm f1.4 lens, 35mm Kodak Professional T-Max 100 film, Andra, UK

#2b. TMax100,35mm,NikonFM,SquCrop,MatthewOsborne

#2.TMax 100,35mm,NikonFM,MatthewOsborne

Film gives an apparent extra layer of detail that cannot be achieved with digital.  For the Contax 645 and the fast Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm f2 lens I also shoot Kodak Professional T-Max 100 however for my other medium format cameras I need faster film.

My most used film camera is a medium format re branded Russian Kiev 88 6×6 camera badged as an ARAX-CM.  The camera is also known as a Hasselbladski as is a Soviet copy of the famous Hasselblad.  I love the 6×6 format and the camera is compact so is my first choice when I need to fit a medium format film camera into my hand luggage.  I love the no frills shooting. No battery, no light meter, just a box, a lens and some film.  This lets me channel all my energy into each photo resulting in often better composed and more thought through images.  The ARAX lenses tend to be f2.8 or f3.5 but for super sharp images stopping the lenses down to f5.6 can give the most striking and high quality results.  Stopping down the lenses means I need more light or faster film.  Living in the UK the first is not an option in the winter months so I shoot Kodak T-Max 400 film.  As with the Kodak Professional Portra 800, when T-Max 400 is scanned it would be difficult to tell it from Kodak T-Max 100.  Both offer exceptional B&W tonal ranges and super film grain.

Example – ARAX-CM and Mir 38v lens, 120 Kodak Professional T-Max 400 film,  Yulya, Ukraine.

MatthewOsborne-PhotoOfMeExample – ARAX-CM and Mir 38v lens, 120 Kodak Professional T-Max 400 film,  Yulya, Ukraine.#3.TMax400,ARAX-CM, Yulya

I feel my journey with film is just beginning and I hope to enjoy many more years with Kodak.  I already offer film photography for weddings but hope to attract a niche market in the future for those who like to enjoy the finer things in life.

To find out more about Matt Osborne please visit:

http://www.matthewosbornephotography.co.uk/

or follow his blog and Flickr pages at

http://matthewosbornephotography.wordpress.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32681588@N03/

Films Not Dead winner – Guillaume Périmony

Recently, when Film’s Not Dead (F.N.D.)ran its  Kodak Moments competition, hundreds of photographers submitted pretty amazing images shot on Kodak film. F.N.D., founded by Charlie Abiss, Tori Khambhaita and Jamie Rothwell, brings together like-minded photographers who enjoy the benefits that film photography offers and to provide information on film availability within the UK, while sharing imaginative, thought provoking images.  Together, the group, after reviewing all the submissions, named French photographer Guillaume Périmony, as the winner. We’re thrilled to feature Périmony, 28,  who tells us why he shoots film and allows us to share some of his favourite black and white pictures shot on KODAK PROFESSIONAL Tri-X film. Thank you to F.N.D. for its commitment to the film community and congratulations to Périmony on his award winning submission. – Lars

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I’ve been shooting film since I took up photography in 2002, so have been using it for more than ten years. The process of using film requires much more patience,  desire and passion, however the result of shooting film gives me a unique feeling of satisfaction and professionalism about my photography skills.

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I shoot using an Olympus OM1 camera and most often load Kodak Tri-X, not only is it the most cost efficent black and white film to use, I also find it the easiest to shoot.  Tri-X brings a classic look and feel to my images and you can still have a good shot even if you miss your exposure.

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More importantly for me as an amateur film photographer is that I find that shooting film enables my cameras to have a longer usage span.  I don’t have to worry about my camera not being the latest technology, or it not supporting specific software etc. That coupled with the added benefit of knowing that my printed images will last a lot longer than digital images and aren’t going to be stored away on a drive that may become corrupt or ‘out of date’means a lot to photographers like me. Shooting film and printing images means that I can simply enjoy the camera I want, the way I want, with the film I want – which I am much more confident about and the end result is something slid and touchable!”

- Guillaume Périmony

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As a keen skateboarder, Périmony spends a lot of his time on the street and this is often where he shoots, both still and action shots of the ‘life in a skate park’ etc.  When not on four small wheels, Périmony likes to shoot images of interesting people.   You can see more of Périmony’s work on his Flickr gallery http://www.flickr.com/photos/guiom/.

You can also find out more about Périmony and his winning image ‘Burmese Days’ on the Films Not Dead blog.

Film’s Not Dead Store and Film Photography Gallery

FND

Back in 2010, three friends and lovers of film photography, Charlie Abiss, Tori Khambhaita and Jamie Rothwell got together and formed the Film’s not Dead (FND) group. They intended to bring together like-minded photographers who enjoy the benefits that film photography offers and to provide information on film availability within the UK, while sharing imaginative, thought provoking images.

Today FND has nearly 5000 followers on Facebook and has a regular stall in London’s famous Brick Lane market. Due to that success, FND has yesterday opened a permanent store and film photography gallery in the West End of London.

Fans and followers of the Film’s not Dead page enjoy discussions, take part in exciting competitions – such as ones from Kodak ourselves, and locate nearby venues where people can buy film or have film developed.

Now with the opening of a new store and gallery, FND will offer film photographers and fans so much more. Each month, on the upper floor, the gallery will host a collection of images shot on film by professional and amateur photographers. To launch the new space, Film’s not Dead is proud to open its new store and gallery with a collection from one of its own, Tori Khambhaita, with her unique “Printers” exhibition, which was shot using Kodak’s Tri-X film.

Tori’s ‘Printers’ project gained national press and won her the coveted title of Young Black and White photographer of the year 2012.  This isn’t only a photographic show; it’s an awe-inspiring exhibition of skills and the unseen faces that have powered London’s photographic printing industry for decades.

Dennis Watson - ® Tori Khambhaita

Dennis Watson – ® Tori Khambhaita

Tori has created something truly original, which bridges the gap between the prints and the printers. The prints are truly one off’s, as each printer in the shots has illustrated their creativity and style, which can never be duplicated. This exhibition not only shows you the faces behind the London print industry, it also shows the skills behind those faces.

Klaus Kalde - ® Tori Khambhaita

Klaus Kalde – ® Tori Khambhaita

Tori, who works with some of the featured printers, gained exclusive access to the darkrooms of her subjects. After photographing either inside or outside of the darkroom, she herself would return to Klaus Kalde’s, where she would develop her own rolls of film.

Lee Williams - Raipd Eye - ® Tori Khambhaita

Lee Williams – Raipd Eye – ® Tori Khambhaita

Upon developing the negatives, Tori returned to the printers themselves and asked them to reflect their personal styles and preferences in the final image, again making each photograph unique.  Some have chosen to stay safe whilst others have gone all out, which will leave the viewer wide eyed and open mouthed asking ‘how?’.

Nick Jones - Photofusion - ® Tori Khambhaita

Nick Jones – Photofusion – ® Tori Khambhaita

Aside from the prints Tori also asked these highly skilled craftsmen to state the story that preceded them. These handwritten anecdotes beautifully entwine to create an absolutely fabulous narrative of life within London’s photographic printing industry.

Robin Bell - ® Tori Khambhaita

Robin Bell – ® Tori Khambhaita

This show is a testament to all that support traditional photography and recognise the years of acquired skill it takes to call yourself a darkroom printer. Tori’s exhibition and images celebrates the master craftsmanship and style of these artists committed to traditional photographic printing. The knowledge of the featured men and women in the photographs have acquired on their journey is invaluable! Tori’s ‘Printers’ exhibition will run from 3rd May 2013 – 28th May 2013 at the new Film’s not Dead gallery and store.

Film’s not Dead
13 Mount Pleasant
London
WC1X 0AR

Opening Times: Mon – Fri: 11.00 – 6.00