You digital people don’t know how good your life is! You see dramatic light and shade, just switch to black and white! You see gorgeous colours, you switch to colour!
With film you’re set!
Got black and white film in the camera, too bad for the great colours. Ok, you can convert your colour film shots to black and white but I call that cheating! 😉
When I’m out and about with a roll of Ilford HP5 in my camera I do like Gary Winogrand… no, not photography wise. I could never reach his art.
But he said once “There are no photographs while I’m reloading”.
Just like that I say “There’s no colour when I shoot black and white”!
In fact, when I have a black and white film loaded I’m not looking for color. I don’t see colours, I just concentrate on shapes, on light, on shadows and structures. And people of course.
After developing the roll, I see that colour would not have done anything for the photos I got.
On the other hand, when I have a roll of Fujifilm Superia 200 in my camera, those shapes structures and light effect take second place. Those times I see the colours, I look for them, I need them.
I won’t be tempted by things a roll of HP5 would make me grab. Strangely this whole process seems entirely automatic to me. I don’t have to think about it. This switch in attitude comes naturally.
One more example, in my eyes, where restrictions help me to make satisfying photos. Help me to be creative.
I can’t explain why this should be so. Why the fact that knowing the type of film loaded would rewire my brain to just look for the relevant scenes. Without having to concentrate or actively think about it. Just as the fact that when I see a prospective photo I find myself automatically at the right distance and close to the right angle to get the best shot with the lens I carry on the camera (usually either a 35 or 50-ish lens).
I think it has to do with practice of course. To see the world as if through the lens of your camera you have to know it, you have to know what it is capable of and what not.
Call it ASS…. Automatic Selective Seeing?
When you’re ASSing around the world you can certainly be more creative than when you’re just shooting and trying to get the right photo in post processing.
Let me give kudos here to Dan James from 35hunter and his interesting concept about Irreversible Photography. In fact he’s a strong advocate against post processing and slowly but surely I come to embrace his views.
And what’s good for digital photography can only be better with film, no? Just kidding of course! But it’s a fact that with film you’re working with readily set film simulations. Simulations that last for about 36 shots. And you better make them count!
So if you loaded colour, colour you’ll get! And the world in colour you’ll see, as Yoda might put it!
If you loaded black and white, that’s what’s going to come out!
Now wether I prefer colour or black and white, that’s an entirely different question. Stuff for a future post I guess….
Thanks for visiting… and for your comments of course!