Jesse in Inverness, California (2005)
The shoreline of Tomales Bay
Happy April Fools Day Everybody!
And I am the April Fool. Before yesterday - I had posted 8 images in a row shot on Provia 100 film in 2005. Four with Molly followed by four with Jesse. Yesterday's portrait of Jesse was shot in 2005 as well. In fact, it was shot four days before the 'Delta' series. But it was shot with my first digital SLR - the Canon D60. I felt certain someone would comment on either the difference or how good the film looked - but nobody took the bait. Today's image and the rest of this series is also digital.
That said - having worked the film images and then these - I will never feel as loving about film again. I loved Provia 100 transparency film. But working with similar images these past few days has been an eye-opener. Here, I will examine my thoughts on the matter:
Foremost is the time involved in scanning the film images. Most of my working transparencies are unmounted. After having them processed, I would cut them into lengths of six frames and store them in archival sleeves.
I began by looking at the images on a light table (in the sleeves) - noting the frame numbers of those from which I wanted digital scans. Next, I'd pull out each strip, load it into the carrier and insert that into the scanner. The scanner would quickly make an 'index' view of the six images. I would select a frame I wanted to scan and the machine obediently created a 'pre-scan' of that image. With the pre-scan I could adjust the edge to make sure I was not wasting storage space on black or clear acetate edges. Finally, it was time to scan. At maximum resolution - this took about 30 to 40 seconds to complete.
After the scan session - I would then import the images into Lightroom both to index them into the system and to work on them.
On some of the images - I would note a small number of either flaws or dust that the scanner couldn't automatically handle. Most of these took just a couple of seconds with the either the healing brush or the clone tool. But every once in awhile, there was some pixelated spot where scanner hit something that scattered the light. The result would be a small spot where the pixels were scrambled. If this happened at the tip of a nose, or the edge of an eyeball - it required rebuilding the area, one pixel at a time. It has only happened a couple of times- but still...
And this doesn't get into the cost involved with film. I have spent roughly $10,000 on seven digital cameras since converting to digital in 2005. I have sold two of them and given 2 away.
In that time - I have created 87,000 images on file. Even buying a brick of film at a time - a 36 exposure roll of film cost $6. 87,000/36 = 2,417. 2,417 rolls at $6 a roll = $14,502. Now let's process those rolls. I had an account at a high quality lab here. I paid $7.50 a roll. 2,417 x $7.50 = $18,127.50. Add those together and you are looking at $32,629.50. And I still haven't added our sales tax. Even saying I would have shot half the number of frames - rather than 'waste the film' - I am still bundles ahead - and I can't imagine the nightmare of storing that much film.
Back in the film days - if I wanted a print from a transparency - that was another major cost. An 11x14 from slide cost $10 to 12. and would take a week. A 12x18 off of the Pixma printer sitting right beside me here costs about $2.30 and the quality is far better with much more accurate color balance.
Don't get me wrong - I am very grateful to be able to move my slides into the computer. But working with straight RAW files has suddenly become a delicious luxury.
© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California / www.JoyOfLight.com
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