Film Friday: Why We Still Shoot Film Photography by Nick & Emily

Today’s Film Friday blog post comes from Nick and Emily, a Grand Rapids based, husband and wife portrait and wedding photography team with a passion for love, marriage, and creativity.

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As Hybrid Wedding Photographers (that means we shoot both digitally and with traditional film, not that we drive a Prius), a question we get asked all the time is “Why are you still shooting film?”. It’s typically paired with other questions like “Is film photography still a thing?”, “Isn’t digital photography better” or “Do they even still make film”.

First of all, yes they still make film (Thank God!!). In fact today’s professional film is better than it ever has been. The fact that recent movies like Star Wars Force Awakens were shot on Kodak film is a testament to the capabilities and beauty of today’s film. So put it this way, we aren’t shooting the stuff your grandparents shot, however we may be using their camera.

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The next question to come up is “is digital better than film” or vice versa. The simple answer to either way of asking this is… no. Just as one might prefer the crisp, clean sound of a digital song, another may prefer a classic vinyl record for its depth, tone and warmth. In the same way digital photography gives way to predictable, clean and precise results, while film brings in a warm beautiful imperfection that often times speaks to the romance of a scene.

With that being said, lets get into the nitty gritty of why we still choose to use film for so many occasions.

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The Look

Like we mentioned above, much like the distinct crackle of a vinyl record, film brings a beautiful imperfection to the look and feel of our images. The gentle grain and soft organic colors of film truly add a dimension to our artwork that our couples have come to adore. Even when we are shooting digitally we try hard to recreate this look as best as possible in our editing, but there is still nothing quite like the real deal.

Our specific tone and colors come from our all time favorite film stocks from Kodak Alaris. We shoot exclusively with their professional PORTRA 160 & PORTRA 400 film stocks for our color work. We absolutely LOVE these film stocks!! They gives us the grain, color, tone and over all romance we look for in our photos. Our film fridge (yes we have a refrigerator dedicated entirely to film, thats how much we love it) is constantly stocked with these two films. If we were forced to shoot on just PORTRA 400 for the rest of eternity, we would be completely fine with that! In fact… hey Kodak Alaris, we are open to the idea of a sponsorship to make that happen 😉 😉 Lol

Film isn’t the only factor playing into our signature look. The various formats and sizes of cameras we shoot, as well as the lenses that are only available for these cameras, play a large roll in creating the images we are able to create. With so much of digital photography looking so similar and “sterile” these days, we use our unique gear to set us, and our artwork, apart from the rest of the photographic crowd. Everything from polaroid cameras that are almost 50 years old, to the classic all metal work horse cameras that were a staple in many of histories most beloved photographers camera bags. It all plays so perfectly into the romance and depth of our images.

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The Experience

Film is slow and methodical. For this reason it works absolutely perfect with portraits and formal sessions! It gives way to intimate moments, allowing our couples to be more focused on each other rather than us as the photographers.

The whole process of slowing down, draws focus back to the moment at hand and makes for an intentional meaningful session. This can be done with digital photography as well, but on our end as photographers when you remove all the fancy settings, the lcd screen on the back of the camera, the various auto-focus modes and bring back the most basic simplistic functions of the camera it takes our focus off of the gear in hand and puts it on the beautiful moments at hand.

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The Creativity

Like a brush in the hand of a painter, our cameras are our tools for us to create our artwork with. Fine art requires technique, vision and creativity and we find so much of this with the unique tools we have in our bag.

There’s a creative charge that comes with picking up a camera that is uncommon in itself. Each unique camera forces you to see the scene in front of you in a slightly different way. Composition, focus and limitations change between each camera, and in turn give us as the joys of creating images we may of otherwise not been inspired to or even able to create.

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We still love our digital cameras, and use them when the time is right. But, we absolutely love film, and it is and will continue to be very much alive in our workflow and creative process. Most of all we love giving our Brides and Grooms uniquely crafted Fine Art that is not only timeless, but will inspire generations to come.

All film shots above were:
Shot on either KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 160 or PORTRA 400

Father’s Day iPhone Giveaway with Bonnie Marcus

Check out the giveaway we are featuring on Instagram along with Bonnie Marcus. Enter for a chance to win an iPhone 6S and a personalized Bonnie Marcus Father’s Day To Do Checklist Notepad.

It’s easy to enter.

Enter for a chance to win an iPhone 6S and a Bonnie Marcus To Do Checklist Notepad and surprise Dad this Father’s Day!

TO ENTER:

1. Follow @kodakmomentsapp and @bonniemarcus

2. Like the giveaway post

3. Share with a friend by tagging one person in a comment on the giveaway post

4. You are entered for a chance to win!

 

KODAK ALARIS
FATHER’S DAY Sweepstakes Rules

These rules govern the Father’s Day Sweepstakes being conducted by Kodak Alaris Inc. (together with its affiliates, “Kodak Alaris”).

  1. How to Enter. You will be entered in the sweepstakes automatically if you (i) follow @kodakmomentsapp and @bonniemarcus on Instagram, (ii) like the post on each of accounts announcing the sweepstakes, and (iii) tag at least one of your friends on one of the posts announcing the sweepstakes. You may also enter the sweepstakes by sending a postcard with your name, e-mail address and employer’s name and business address to the following address: Kodak Alaris Inc., 2400 Mt. Read Blvd., Mail Stop 03024, Attn: Social Media Manager, Rochester, NY 14615.  No purchase is necessary to enter or win, and any purchase will not affect your odds of winning.  All valid entries registered or received by Kodak Alaris by 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time on June 19, 2016 (the “Entry Deadline”) will be eligible for a drawing to win the Grand Prize.  Kodak Alaris assumes no responsibility for late, lost, damaged, misidentified or misdirected entries.
  2. Eligibility. Eligibility is limited to persons at least twenty-one (21) years of age who are legal residents of the United States or its territories and possessions.  Limit one (1) entry per person.  Multiple entries will be disqualified.  The sweepstakes is void where prohibited or restricted by law and is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.  Employees (and their immediate families and household members) of Kodak Alaris or its affiliates or advertising and promotion agencies and paid subscribers are not eligible.  Any person who was awarded a prize or received other promotional consideration from Kodak Alaris within six (6) months prior to the Entry Deadline is also not eligible.
  3. Grand Prize. All prizes are subject to availability.  The Grand Prize is one (1) iPhone 6S approximate retail value $650, and one (1) Bonnie Marcus notepad, approximate retail value $20, or a substitute prize (or prizes) of comparable value. All taxes on the Grand Prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.
  4. Random Drawing. One (1) Grand Prize winner will be selected by random drawing, to take place on or about June 20, 2016, from all eligible entries received on prior to the Entry Deadline. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  5. Conditions of Participation. Participants agree to be bound by these rules and all decisions of Kodak Alaris’s sweepstakes manager, whose decisions will be final. All entries become the property of Kodak Alaris and will not be acknowledged or returned. Kodak Alaris reserves the right to use any and all information related to the sweepstakes, including all entries, for editorial, marketing and any other purpose, unless prohibited by law.   The information you are providing for the sweepstakes is being provided to Kodak Alaris and will be used to notify you if you have won, to inform you about special offers from Kodak Alaris and our trusted partners, and for other business purposes.  Kodak Alaris shall not be responsible for registration errors or for lost, late or misdirected mail (including e-mail), or telecommunication or computer hardware or software failures.  If, for any reason, the fairness or integrity of the sweepstakes becomes compromised, or the sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort, Kodak Alaris reserves the right to terminate or modify the sweepstakes, and to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process or the administration of the sweepstakes or otherwise violates these rules.
  6. Grand Prize Notification. Upon drawing, the Grand Prize winner will be notified by e-mail or direct message on Instagram within seventy-two (72) hours of the Entry Deadline. The Grand Prize must be claimed within thirty (30) days of first attempted notification or will be forfeited. The Grand Prize winner must provide all information required for tax reporting in order to claim the Grand Prize.  Kodak Alaris makes no warranties with regard to the Grand Prize. The Grand Prize is not transferable and the winner has no right of substitution (in cash or otherwise).  Kodak Alaris reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value in the event of unavailability. You hereby agree to release Kodak Alaris from any liability resulting from, or related to, participation in the sweepstakes.
  7. Announcement of Winner. By registering or submitting an entry, participants grant to Kodak Alaris, its agents and others working on their behalf the right to use the winner’s name for advertising and marketing purposes, without additional compensation, unless otherwise prohibited by law. The name of the Grand Prize winner will be posted for sixty (60) days after the date of the drawing at https://1000words.kodak.com.
  8. Tax Reporting. Unless the Grand Prize is forfeited, the Grand Prize winner will be required to submit an IRS Form 1099 for the total value of the prize when filing taxes for the year.  Kodak Alaris will provide IRS-1099 forms to the Grand Prize winner prior to January 31 of the next year.
  9. Social Media Platforms. By participating in the sweepstakes, you acknowledge that the sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with the various social media platforms used to administer the sweepstakes, and release said platforms from any and all liability arising from or related to the sweepstakes.

KODAK PROFESSIONAL Film App: Now on ANDROID and iPad, Hear Ye, All Film Photographers

KA-Phone-KProAppOver the years, our team has met and worked with incredibly talented photographers who have an unbridled passion for film. Each has a personal reason for working with film: the unmatched look and feel that differentiate themselves in the market, the experience, the richness. Contained within their passion is a curiosity and an unquestionable commitment: KODAK PROFESSIONAL roll film sales – both color negative and black & white film – grew more than 5% worldwide from 2013-2015.  

For recent devotees and seasoned veterans alike, we created the free KODAK PROFESSIONAL Film App to feed into that curiosity with the answers to often-asked questions — What kind of film should I use for fast action? Where can I buy KODAK PROFESSIONAL Films such as TRI-X (and PORTRA, T-MAX, EKTAR)? Where can I get my film developed?

First introduced on the APPLE iOS platform for iPhones, we’re excited to now bring the same experience to iPad and ANDROID users, plus an updated version to support iOS 9.x for iPhones.

Noteworthy capabilities of our app include:

  • Film types—get a recommendation on the best types of film to use in different settings
  • Film formats—learn about different formats, and those you can get with KODAK PROFESSIONAL Films
  • Where to Buy Film – Updated/improved retailer location services
    • Individual retailer location search options for buying and processing film (color/bw)
    • Search radius of up to 200 miles (switches between miles/Kilometers)
  • Where to Process Film — find a developer for your film
  • Sun calculator – sunrise/sunset times in countries around the world
  • Home B&W Darkroom Tools – all you need to know about at-home darkroom processing

In each section, we share inspiring examples of each type of photography. You’ll see what can be done with our films and what others have done with them.

For ANDROID users, the app is now available in the GOOGLE PLAY Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kodakalaris.mobile.film.activity. For iOS devices, download the new version for iPad and the updated iPhone version in the APPLE App store: Kodak Professional Film App. Once you download and work with the App, let us know what you think. No matter what smartphone photographers carry in their pocket, we hope our app helps you explore, experiment, and create beautiful work with KODAK PROFESSIONAL Film.

Kodak Moments app Mother’s Day TWITTER Chat & Giveaway

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Join us from 9pm to 10pm ET, Monday, May 2 for a Twitter Chat about Mother’s Day, your stories, photos and inspiration! Learn more about the new release of the Kodak Moments app and the new social sharing feature.

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Three fabulous Mother’s Day Prize Baskets will be given away during the Twitter Chat! Valued at $100 they have everything a you need to display your favorite photos and cards, plus a few other items sure to put a smile on anyone’s face! Win it for yourself or surprise someone else with it!

To join the chat just follow @KodakMomentsApp, @EnlistMoms and the hashtag #KodakMoments from 9 to 10 pm Monday night. Hope to “tweet” you there!

Introducing: Kodak Picture Kiosk – all new Robokiosk Edition

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We’ve taken the Walk-up Photo Kiosk one “step” further with a Robokiosk that “Walks up to you!”

For the ultimate in photo printing convenience, add a personal, user-configurable, autonomous robotic agent to your daily life. This mobile, modular design will accompany you throughout your day to chronicle your every movement with pictures, post them to your FACEBOOK page and print the very best shots. Your selfies never looked so good.

FEATURES:

• Built in camera and flash units to capture the best snapshots of you as you go about your day.

• Wi-fi enabled for posting your photos to FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, SNAPCHAT and more.

• Facial recognition, mood detection and GPS assists in auto-captioning of photos.

• Equipped with exemplary taste and artistic eye for printing all the best shots on the spot.

• Programmable calendar to automatically print photo cards for all friend and family birthdays and other special occasions.

MAINTENANCE:

• Running low on printing supplies? The RoboKiosk new “self-feeding” feature helps itself to more consumables as they are needed.

• If you make a mistake you can always restart your session simply by saying, “Gort Klaatu verata nicto”

• Batteries are included…

WARNING:

RoboKiosk is intended to be used to conveniently print your photos and photo products. All other uses including but not limited to; operating in hazardous conditions, driving vehicles, household chores, and planetary domination are strictly prohibited and may violate the terms and conditions of your warranty.

If you see the warning message: ERROR CODE 104: “Annihilate all Humans”, please contact your service representative at your earliest possible convenience to reinstall the “Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics” software patch.

 

 

Behind the Scenes of The Memory Observatory: Meet the Director

These past few weeks The Memory Observatory has gone from a plan, to a framework, to shipping crates and now a completed structure at SXSW.

The sleek angled physical design of The Memory Observatory is only an indication of the journey that awaits visitors that enter it. To bring that experience alive was the challenge for Marcos Lutyens, one of the world’s leading sensorial artists.

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Marcos Lutyens has exhibited internationally, including 340 performances over 100 days at dOCUMENTA(13) and with many other museums and institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Royal Academy, the National Art Museum of China, MoMA PS1 and many more. Partnering with Kodak Alaris, his next stage will be The Memory Observatory at SXSW.

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Lutyen shares his vision of The Memory Observatory with the following…

“I fused the beauty of dreaming and the reality of life into a single blissful color.” – Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

In a world where technology often isolates us and digital images disappear faster than our recollection of the original events, The Memory Observatory develops a counter-flow that regenerates memories while bridging the gap between us, as social beings. It serves as a platform of collective consciousness across space and time.

There are so many popular references to shared memories and access to other people’s consciousness that it has pretty much become an expected cultural and cognitive reality. Movies like Total Recall, Inception or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind have popularized the idea that not only can memories be localized within the brain, but that they can be shared and viewed by others. MIT neuroscientists Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu have proved that this is the case by being able to pinpoint specific memories within the brain, thus confirming what is often predicted in fiction long before science catches up. A good example of this is space travel, which was first written about in Roman times in a book called ‘True Stories,’ predating the moon landing by some 1,800 years. However, the lags between fiction and reality nowadays are very much shorter and so the idea of sharing memories in a full sensorial spectrum seems within our grasp.

The Memory Observatory is really just a way of accelerating predicted reality into a tangible form.  In this case the subject matter is shared consciousness. The use of imagery to extend memory dates back over thousands of years, but it was George Eastman who turned frozen memories into living ones by developing the idea of the snapshot. This was conceived of as a window, not into a formal idea of a moment, such as in the case of a bust or a portrait, but rather a real, lived instant with its lasting and yet spontaneous emotional imprint combined with the social dynamic of the moment.

In The Memory Observatory, we reverse engineer a synesthetic process to heighten the emotional state of visitors, combining sounds, color and smell. In so doing we create a state of enhanced consciousness, which forms the perfect environment for absorbing a sharable memory.

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The structure and induction.

Two structures are joined by a passageway. They have fractal patterns carved into them as they taper upwards. The smaller of the two is called the Reflection Room.  Similar in name to my installation called the Reflection Room as part of the Hypnotic Show performance at dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany, and similar also in the sense that the word ‘Reflection’ is about looking inwards rather than the presence of mirrors.

Inside, an ‘Experience Guide’ discusses with a visitor about memories, about past experiences and also whether that guest has any image that s/he would like to share.

The Experience Guide makes note of the emotional feelings related to this memory, and according to a specially developed synesthetic wheel, a cascade of color, musical notes and smells are gathered in preparation.

The guest then goes through a narrow passageway until s/he reaches the larger of the two spaces: the Memory Observatory in which the visitor is immersed into a heightened vision of his/her own memory.  Other guests are there too to experience this memory, and after a while their own memories are integrated into the kaleidoscopic array.

Emotion

Emotions are linked to specific colors, smells and sounds according to a synesthetic wheel developed for the Memory Observatory. This wheel has been generated through research in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, olfactory and sound design theory.

Memory

The original experience or ‘meaningful moment’ is frozen as a snapshot within the photo library of the visitor until the moment it is brought back alive and augmented within the Memory Observatory. The aspect of sharing one’s memory with others through enhanced sensory cues is the truly innovative aspect of this installation

Senses

Memories are formed, triggered and replayed through the sense centers in the brain, this is why we are using the sense of smell, hearing and sight to bring these memories back alive to their fullest extent and beyond.

* According to The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley,

‘Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe…According to such a theory, each one of us is potentially Mind at Large.’

The Memory Observatory will debut at SXSW on March 12 in the Austin Convention Center, Ballroom B. Hours are March 12 Noon-6pm, March 13-14 10am-6pm and March 15 10am-3pm. More info at www.kodakmoments.com/memory

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The Memory Observatory: A KODAK MOMENTS Experience at SXSW

Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us. – Oscar Wilde

What is your first memory? Most likely it’s hazy around the edges… vague. If you have a photo of that memory it is probably sharper and easier to remember. Because what is a photo, but a memory frozen in time?

Now what if you could experience a memory, in a physical way, outside of your own mind? This is what Kodak Alaris is offering at this year’s SXSW. Kodak Alaris partnered with Marco Lutyens to build The Memory Observatory, an interactive installation that explores memories through the senses and what Moments mean.

Why SXSW for this one-of-a-kind experience? SXSW Interactive has become known as the launch pad for creative and emerging technologies. SXSW attendees are hungry for new ideas, such as ways to digitally connect and share their stories, but are faced with the challenge of cutting through the clutter. The Memory Observatory, inspired by the new KODAK MOMENTS App, turns photos into a memory journey. It’s a reminder that in this digital age, your most precious memories and their stories need a special place of their own.

The Memory Observatory opens at SXSW on March 12. Our team has been busy preparing for that day. Every experience begins with a plan and the hands to build it from the ground up. Construction on The Memory Observatory began last month. Here are some sneak peeks at the bones of the installation that will be bringing memories to life.

If you are going to SXSW be sure to visit The Memory Observatory in Ballroom B of the Austin Convention Center. If you aren’t traveling to SXSW, stay tuned for the stories and experiences we will be sharing for you to follow along with at home.

The Memory Observatory: A KODAK MOMENTS Experience.

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