I used to love the magic of the dark room, the processing of the film, the image appearing on the paper in the chemistry. I have never found that magic with Capture One or any form of RAW processing.
Transparency film that was always a magic experience, dropping the film at the lab and wait the hour ( back in the day ) and there would be the magic object in your hand.
I cut my teeth on E6 ( Tranny ). E6 taught me how to expose and the importance of understanding what a 3rd of a stop can do to an image.
Using my old school knowledge, I now put it to work by getting the final image straight out of camera (SOOC) with my Fujifilm digital system.
There is a walk near my house which is a 3 hour loop that I intend to walk regularly. I’m intending to revisit the same locations as the seasons change. This particular walk is a kind of recce… once I have walked it a few times I will know the places I wish revisit again and again.
“This day in March was not a dynamic day in terms of light… it was overcast, fog and cloud coming in, the smell on impending snow and that blank white-box sky”
For the walk I explored the B&W + R film simulation mode as I didn’t want colours distracting from the shapes & forms.
I set the camera to sharp +1, highlight +2, shadow +2 and on the compensation dial -1/3rd; an old E6 habit that still holds true with jpegs and my approach to photography.
Maybe I’m lazy, perhaps impatient… but my spot metering days are long gone with my old Leica, I now shoot with a Matrix exposure instead.
Using a 3rd of a stop pull with the compensation dial is normally enough to hit the ‘correct’ exposure, but the 3rd of a stop bracket makes for 3 very different ‘moods’ of image
This means the image on the left is actually the cameras “correct” exposure. I’m bracketing everything under the ‘correct ‘ exposure….
For me, none of the images are wrong in terms of exposure, it’s all subjective and each has a very different mood and feel.
Left – The cameras ‘correct’ exposure feels very ethereal in the mist, probably a more commercial image than the other two, but the image is not as strong in terms of forms.
Middle – My ‘correct’ exposure is good with the foreground detail, plenty of details in the shadow.. but I’m leaning towards the one on the right
Right – This image is full of shadow, details in the trees are being lost… there is however more texture in the middle greys, the middle distance. The tree trunks in the middle ground bring out the vertical lines.
“Image right is the finished image… no processing required.”
This was my approach with the entire walk – looking for textures, strong lines, old roads and man made marks in nature.
Most of my work now is in 1:1 or 16:9. The square goes way back to Bronica and Hasselblad days, the 16:9 has only been a year or so, I’m still training my eye to see in that view ratio.
I love the freedom of going between the two formats. As we all know, the X100T is fixed focal length, but with the use of 1:1 and 16:9 I am in effect using two focal length lens ( kind of ).
Because of the crop, the square is giving me a kind of 50mm feel ( if not focal distance, that’s what my feet are for, moving back and forth )
The 16:9 feels wider than 35mm and has that very cinematic feel to it.
Somehow the two aspect ratios work better together as a body of work than squares and 3 :2 ( traditional 35mm )
I did the walk one week later using colour, and in that walk I used ISO bracketing instead …. but that’s a whole other blog..