I think many of us agree that there’s still something special about film photography even in the digital age. Film photos have some magic to them, and there’s a lot that comes before we see their final look. In this video, Destin Sandlin of Smarter Every Day shows you the magic and the science behind shooting, developing, and scanning a roll of 35 mm film.
This personal project was born of lifelong pursuit of charting new paths upon the broad field of artistic landscape, combined with an unexplained passion for vintage ground glass focusing loupes. I’ll never seize looking for magical yet unexplored ways in which to see the world, and translating those findings into the language of photography; this is but one such journey.
British photographer Brendan Barry is well-known for his camera obscura projects. He has taken photos with a camper-camera, container-camera, and plenty more. And during the lockdown, he turned his own bedroom into a camera. In this short film, he shares behind the scenes of taking a color photo with a camera obscura, which is something you can do in your own home.
Making prints from our film negatives is often a bit of a pain. You have all kinds of chemicals you need to buy, and the range that’s available today can be quite overwhelming. In this video, Historic Process Specialist, Nick Brandreth at the George Eastman Museum shows us how to make prints using the salt process.
The salt process is one of the earliest silver-based photographic techniques and is used to make photograms, in-camera paper negatives and prints from paper and glass negatives – I suspect it might work on some types of film, too, either for contact prints or using an enlarger, although your enlarger would need a UV bulb in it.
I’ve been experimenting non-stop with a few new daguerreotype techniques, and however promising the results are looking so far, those experiments are slow going, and I’ll release at least part of it hopefully soon. But here’s something I thought up and was able to execute in a relatively speedy manner, which I believe warrants a look. I don’t believe this method of making a panoramic image has ever been utilized before, so I’m dubbing it ‘Antorama’.
One of the trickier aspects of shooting film is being able to share your work. If you have a lab develop your film, you can often have them scan it. But general lab scanning quality seems to have gone downhill over the last few years. Unless you’re willing to pay a fortune for it. If you develop yourself, then sending it off to scan can become even more expensive.
Drum scanners are still going to generally give the best quality, but they’re a bit out of the budget of most photographers. This is why good labs charge so much, to cover those costs. At home, the best we can usually do is a high end flatbed. Like the Epson Perfection V850. But even the quality of those can be drastically improved. In this video, Analog Process walks us through wet mount scanning our film for maximum quality.