Analog Film Photography

by Jill Waterman ·Posted
Since its debut in October 2015, the B&H Photography Podcast has offered weekly conversations with insightful and entertaining guests, on topics most important to the contemporary photographer—from gear and technique to history, science, and art. To commemorate Black History Month, we present to you this compilation of episodes celebrating photographers of color who have appeared on our show. Photograph "Looking Out"  (detail) © Earlie Hudnall Jr., Courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas TX
0 Views ·Posted
Black-and-white photography and the name Leica have a synergy unlike any other medium and camera company, which is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Leica has introduced its fourth camera in eight years to wear the Monochrom nameplate. What is interesting is that with the introduction of the new Leica Q2 Monochrom, Leica has expanded the Monochrom brand beyond its fabled M-series bodies to now include Leica’s popular Q-series
by Allan Weitz ·Posted
There's an adage among artists that goes, "If you can't make it good, make it big. And if you can't make it big, make it red." There's an awful lot of truth behind that statement, which I won't get into right now, but whenever I see photographs with big eye-grabbing pops of color, that pearl of wisdom always comes to mind. The same cannot be said about black-and-white photography. Color elements do not exist in B&W photographs. In their place are infinite shades of gray, book-ended by whatever measures of pure black and pure white exist
by Bjorn Petersen ·Posted
Like a painter mastering realism before advancing to abstraction, photographers benefit greatly from learning to shoot film before moving to digital. Stark black-and-white images can swiftly and brutally reveal a weak composition. And shooting with film teaches photographers to be thoughtful about what subjects are worth one of their precious 36 frames. Beginning with black-and-white film helps creates a visually articulate and well-rounded shooter. Which is why many universities have stuck to the practice, despite our entrenchment in a
by Todd Vorenkamp ·Posted
Did you know there is a virtually separate camera store that lives inside the B&H Photo SuperStore, in New York City? The B&H Used Department can be found at the top of the staircase leading to the second floor of B&H Photo’s expansive showrooms or online! There you can sell your used gear, or you can purchase used gear in great condition. Not only does it have a selection of
by Allan Weitz ·Posted
One of the reasons people have been rediscovering, or in some cases, first discovering the art and craft of film photography has to do with the analog experience that goes hand-in-hand with it. Few people will dispute the imaging abilities of modern digital cameras, nor can one poo-poo the imaging abilities of the latest smartphones. What is missing for many photography enthusiasts is the hands-on analog experience that is inherent to film cameras. Setting one’s camera to auto-everything might be the quick and easy way to capture technically
by Cory Rice ·Posted
Imagine a time before photography: no computers to livestream current events, no phones to show your friends what you ate for breakfast last weekend, no albums to preserve the appearance of long-dead relatives. In 1840, the American novelist, poet, and critic Edgar Allan Poe celebrated the invention of photography as “the most important, and perhaps the most extraordinary triumph of modern science.” Judging in terms of visual culture, it is difficult to argue the contrary.
by Bjorn Petersen ·Posted
Traveling with film isn’t quite as straightforward as traveling with a digital camera. With digital, you simply need to pack your camera, pack your lenses, and take some batteries and memory cards. This is all the same for film photography, except, instead of some memory cards, you have to make an active decision about which and how much film you’re going to bring. The more often you travel with film, the easier this question becomes. But even still, as a veteran, I always second-guess myself each time I’m packing film for a trip. The issue
by Allan Weitz ·Posted
Along with camera bags, camera straps are among the few photography accessories that enable you to make a personal statement. Cameras and lenses are impersonal—scuff marks and scratches aside, your cameras and lenses look like pretty much everybody else’s cameras and lenses. Camera straps are different because they set you apart from everybody else strutting about with a camera slung around their respective necks. Most of us have preferences when it comes to accessorizing our cameras. Some folk prefer narrow straps, others wider straps. Some
by Allan Weitz ·Posted
Despite several semi-successful attempts at purging my archive of more than four decades of color slides and negatives, I still have a good number of analog images I need to digitize and archive. After completing this process, except for maybe 10% of my very, very best negatives and slides, I plan on bagging the lot and hauling it off to a nearby shredding center. I parted with my darkroom long ago. I’ve since had a few spins around the block with a succession of film and flatbed scanners, but these days the only way I can view film images is
by Allan Weitz ·Posted
When the Contax G1 was introduced, in 1994, I was immediately smitten. Leicas were out of my price range and, despite the accuracy of Leica’s viewing and focusing, the thought of composing through a viewfinder and not seeing exactly what the lens was seeing made me queasy, especially when out on assignment. The G1 was different. It was a rangefinder camera, but it offered the choice of manual focusing or autofocus. You also had the choice of Auto, Aperture priority, or Manual exposure control, and TTL flash. The G1’s viewfinder automatically
612 Views ·Posted
In this video, photographer David Flores demonstrates how to digitize film slides with the Nikon ES-2 Digitizing Adapter. He discusses some of the techniques he uses for capturing the best image possible from each slide, including shooting in raw format, using a compact lens, lighting your slides with an LED, enabling autofocus, and more. Check it out! We hope you enjoy the
by Allan Weitz ·Posted
Some cameras challenge you every step of the way. The Fujifilm G617 is such a camera, but the results are worth it. First introduced in 1983, the G617 is a wide-field camera that captures photographs with 3:1 aspect ratios measuring 2.25 x 6.5" (6 x 17 cm). The G617 was designed for shooting landscapes, architecture, and—from personal experience—speedboat catalogs (more on this later). The G617 is fully mechanical and fully manual—no batteries required. Ever. You compose pictures using the camera’s fixed optical finder, which isn’t coupled to
by Josh Taylor ·Posted
If you want the past to be part of your future, there’s no better way than shooting modern vintage-look pictures with an old film camera—or a brand-new one that’s managed to survive the digital onslaught. Sure, there’s truth in the cliché that the person behind the camera is the most important thing, but photography is a technologically based art form. That’s why the photographic medium (film or digital) and the camera you use to take the picture have a much greater influence on the result than, say, an artist’s brush, or a writer’s pen.
by Allan Weitz ·Posted
Agfa Scala was a wonderful, ISO 200 black-and-white slide film that was produced about 25 years ago. Scala had an amazing tonal range with rich blacks and lovely highlight detail. If there was a downside to shooting Scala, it was that there was only one lab in the US that would process Scala—Duggal Color Labs, in New York City. Luckily, I worked down the street from Duggal so, for me, it wasn’t a hardship. Then digital technology bulldozed the business and like many films, Scala became a thing of the past, and instead of shooting black-and-