Friday, October 16, 2020

Beginner Film Photography :: The Second Roll - Fujicolor Pro 400H

      So here it is.  My second roll. Technically, this is almost like my first roll because the last one was started over 10 years ago, so that film was beyond expired.  This was a roll of Fujicolor Pro 400H.  I was excited to shoot the different film stocks I'd acquired just to see what the color rendition would look like.  I was pretty happy with these.  

     Overall, I am happy with these.  I wanted to learn a lot from shooting this roll on my Canon AE-1, and boy, did I learn a lot.  From watching a bunch of videos, and reading up on shooting film, I repeatedly heard that film does a great job of controlling the highlights even when you overexpose.  There were definitely times where I knew I was overexposing the shot, and I'm actually pleased with how the images came out.  I didn't do any heavy editing on any of these - just a little dodging of the shadows a bit.  I didn't mess with the color at all (except for one black and white converstion), because I wanted the photo to really represent how the Fujicolor Pro 400H looks.

     My biggest issue?  Definitely the manual focusing on the camera. It is evident here on the first frame.  No words are needed here. 😂

     I found it easier to shoot a larger scene because I could just focus to infinity and the photo would be sharp.  This is a great example of that. 

     I really wanted this photo to be amazing, but clearly I missed the focus on it.  UGH. So close. The composition is okay though.

     I love the pastel color of this film when overexposed.

     Over the course of the roll, my manual focusing skills did improve.  I was honestly shocked my dog is in focus here.  One of the things that I found helped a lot was to have some straight lines in the frame, such as the stairs here.  It made it a lot easier to see which parts of the image would be sharp as you turn the focusing ring. 

     The grain really shows when you convert to black and white. My dog hates me.

     Here's another thing I learned.  Just because your lens can shoot as wide as f1.4, doesn't mean you should.  I noticed a lot more softness, where I wanted it to be sharper.  Next time, I may not go any wider than f2.8 and see how that makes a difference in my photos.

     Shooting at f4 might've made this one look a lot better.

     Had the guy with the pink surfboard been alone on the beach, I might've really loved this photo.

     I really love the dynamic range of film.  I took this same photo with my digital x100v, and I actually prefer the look of this film photo over the digital.  

     There was some strange vignetting to the left of this photo, but I cropped it out.  Not sure what it was, and it may have just been my camera strap in the way since the frame immediate before and after this one were fine.

     Focusing to infinity makes the landscapes so easy. 😊

     I wanted to compose this one differently, but unlike with digital, you've got to ask yourself, is it really worth shooting another frame? This did teach me to slow down a bit and not just fire away without thinking what I want the composition to be.  Bonus points if you can spot the plane. 

     This is my favorite photo from the whole roll of my mom eating lunch.  I liked the composition and the focus was where I wanted it to be. I also really love the colors in this photo.  Sorry, I don't think she wants to be on the internet. Okay, that's a lie. She doesn't know what the internet is. 😂

     During this excursion, I discovered that I don't like the way Fujicolor Pro 400H looks at sunset.  I know some people dig this color, but I don't really like it. 

     No, I wasn't trying to get the pumpkin in focus. 😑


     This one isn't bad.  Focus is a tad off, but it's passable.

     By the time it was my last outing with the AE-1, I finally felt like I had a grasp on the manual focusing on the FD mount lenses.  I had just acquired an FD 28mm f2.8 lens.  Again, it might be that the widest I could shoot was 2.8, and that's why more of my shots are in focus.  Definitely something to think about when I go out with the FD 50mm f1.4.  

     Another case where I wanted to take more compositions of the scene, but had very few exposures left. 

     Another thing I learned was how to gauge the turn around time for The Dark Room Lab.  If I mail out the roll on a Saturday, I may receive the scans by the following Friday.  That's not a bad turn around time.  I think I'll see about picking another lab to try and compare the service. I've already loaded up the AE-1 with a roll of Kodak Portra 400, and will hopefully be shooting more people with it.  I also have a little surprise coming in the mail, but I'll save that for another post.  Let's just say I hope I don't electrocute myself. 😂😬  Thanks for reading!