Upload & Sell: On
| p.1 #9 · 81st anniversary of the passing of the man who popularize photography |
I was developing and printing B&W about 1965. Forget color-you couldn't develop Kodachrome transparencies outside of a million dollar lab. The output was "slides" back from the lab with a hot light through a projector to illuminate a beaded screen in a dark room. You could do some slides and negative but color printing was not for the amature. You sent you color print work out and hoped.
Slides were always very high contrast. The shadows blocked in daylight. The nice light was overcast. Forget interiors at ASA 32/64, without some kind of soft lighting. On camera flash was horror. There was color negative. It had lots more dynamic range but lots more grain. I always felt I was copping out when I shot negative and you couldn't project it.
The top quality print output was a "Dye Transfer" print. Your 35mm slide was duped to a 4x5 copy negative and, to an extent, the DR of the image was tamed for print. I paid about $200 1970 dollars for a non fading 8x10. Thirty years later I scanned the same Ektachrome (shot on a soft lit overcase day) slide into photoshop and spent hours in PP to make a nice 24x32" Inkjet print. A typical digital file would have taken me 1/3 the time.
The suoer pro SLR of the '60s was a $500 Nikon F with $600 (1965 $) F36 motor drive. You had 36 shots (yes there was a hugh 250 exposure back with huger battery but I never saw one) at 2.5 fps and boy was it loud! The fast film was Tri-X @ ASA 400 which could be "pushed" to 800. ASA 800 Tri-X has an grain overlay that was/is more apparent than my D4 at ISO of 128,000/256,000.
To shoot indoors you often had to use, a manually focused, 50mm F1.4. Further degrading the keeper rate. Yes wonderful film pictures survive but what modern day digital shooters can't understand is how ponderous and expensive the process was. So many exquisite photos were never taken because the film was so slow, slides-high contrast and negative so grainy.
My friend, now over 90 years old, played the Cello in the leading classical orchestras of the world. He took B&W of the famous conducters and soloists from the pit. I scanned some of his 55 year old underexposed negatives (negatives I couldn't begin to print in a chemical darkroom) into photo shop. I came out with never before seen quality prints for his photo exhibitions.
This is why I don't miss and don't use the film equipmemt I still have on hand. The grotesque relics of the chemical darkroom have long ago been discarded. I have my very own 44" carriage printer and it thrills me to walk by it (takes a stride or two since it is 7' long).
The remants of film nostalgia are for the few captures that were possible and survive. The sorrow remains for the 1000s of images that were lost because the film process was/is so condition specific. Sports/action/dance and candid portraits (my primary work now) suffered the most. Finally, I have never failed to get a "film look," if I wanted it, out of my electronic darkroom but it's often not possible to duplicate the "digital" look out of a film negative. YMMV!