Wedding on Film

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Alpha, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    To film or not to film...that is the question.

    I've been asked to shoot a friend's wedding. I still haven't gone digital. I'm debating whether I should stick to my roots and shoot film or not. I'm well versed in shooting with dSLR's. I just don't own one.

    In 35mm it would be a pretty simple task. I have all the equipment one would need. I'm not really phased by the idea of shooting it in full manual. I know my exposure and I know my gear. I'd shoot it just like the wedding photographers of yesterday. Hell, I'd probably even clip-test.

    I'm kind of itching to shoot it in MF. Except my favorite films aren't made in 220 anymore, and I don't have a 70mm back for any of my cameras. I think that's probably a deal-breaker.

    Then there's the digital option. For some change I could rent a body, two lenses, and a speedlight. It doesn't sound very fun. But I could do it.

    Thoughts? I'm especially interested to hear from anyone who has shot weddings on film.

    And please don't give me any of those "Please don't do it! You're going to ruin your friend's wedding!" responses. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  2. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What are your scanning options?
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Sky's the limit, though I'd probably batch on a Coolscan.
     
  4. Rich Ardt

    Rich Ardt TPF Noob!

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    It's kinda sad. Cartier-Bresson said something to the likes of "Don’t use a flash out of respect for the natural lighting, even when there isn’t any."

    Ektachrome just got sacked, and your trusty 220 is off the production line. Sometimes technology sucks, and the fish who cunningly avoided the plastic bait now are desperately sucking on the last air from a dying ocean.

    Or, is it?

    You are asking a tough question, especially for those of us who still fantasize in wonderment over the magic that silver halide photography presents. And who feels blackmailed to shoot digital, simply because it's the way the cookie is crumbling.

    Film will sure still be around for some time. At least I think most of us will not see a complete demise in this lifetime. For Ektachrome fanatics there are still other choices, new emulsions to explore, or turn to. And for you, I am sure that your 220 will be replaceable by something that you could grow fond of.

    In the end it all depends on your resources, and on what is comfortable for you.

    I say: If you respect your friend, shoot silver. After all, it's his WEDDING! ;)

    That's just a humble opinion...
     
  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I dunno what I'd shoot in silver but there's lots to choose from. Turns out I was wrong about the 220. I thought Kodak nixed Portra 220 since they seemed to be going through a bout of "layoffs." So I could shoot 160NC. I wouldn't dare shoot slide...not nearly enough lattitude. I need more than a split second to decide exposure when shooting chromes.
     
  6. Rich Ardt

    Rich Ardt TPF Noob!

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    Nooo... Anyone shooting a wedding on slide is nuts...

    And Portra is still going strong. Kodak released an improved version last year (the last one I know of), with even finer grain and the neutral skin tones have been what has made it the choice of MANY pro fashion and wedding shooters. That is obviously still Portra's biggest market.

    My first assisting job was for a fashion photographer in the chokes of the last century; we went all Portra after some tests when it was introduced.

    160NC, 160VC - it's your choice. The VC is a slight bit more grainy, but hardly noticeable, and obviously more saturated.

    I would even shoot 400VC indoors to be able to get some natural light shots (obviously depending on many factors). To be quite honest, I have never used a flash on a private wedding (in contrast with contracted weddings I did for a photo concession), and shot 400VC and 160VC by default. Didn't do any weddings for about 2 years now though.

    PS- Portra IS silver...
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  7. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    Shoot silver and make sure your friend appreciates it! :D As far as I'm concerned true photography is measured by the final product, not by how quick you got to an inferior product so you would have time to count the money you saved by shooting digital.

    Reading this will hopefully kill off any dregs of uncertainty you may have: The Visual Science Lab: Everything old is new again.....Photography 180.

    I wonder what Jerry would have to say about this topic, considering his focus on wedding photography right now and the digital path that he's taking ;)
     
  8. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I think I'm on his ignore list :er:
     
  9. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    If you are comfortable with using film, and have a Coolscan. You have the best of both worlds. As for film choice, I can't really help you as I only shoot slides in my Bronicas. Although a couple weeks ago I almost bought a 20 pack of Kodak 160VC to give it a look. Was close dated and for a good price. But I eventually passed on it. I basically shoot slide just so I can process it myself. I have the capability to do negatives and prints as well, but don't shoot it enough to warrant filling up the machine with chemicals.
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Huh? Wha...?

    I'd say do what you want... as long as you have sat down with the B&G and made VERY clear the situation, results and set expectations with their needs being #1. If in doubt... just don't be the primary photographer, but still do your thing along with Mr/Ms Primary shooter.

    My big thing is not film vs digital, never was. Film can be amazing... when done by the right person in the right way. Weddings have been successfully done with film for decades and I am still often jealous and in awe of film's capabilities, even though I think film is a dying art and won't really be around all that much longer. It is already mostly relegated to the "truly devoted only" club already.

    My thing was getting some newb-wanna-be Jasmin Star "slash" Jesh DeRox ex-uncle Bob screwing up the shots becuase they are clueless as to what it takes to do it right.

    I don't think Alpha quite fits into that category.
     
  11. EhJsNe

    EhJsNe TPF Noob!

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    Id say use the stuff you have....Im sure your friend would understand you dont have digital equipment....I doubt they would even care! Both film and digital both record images!
    The only thing you cant do is edit your pictures....which isnt a big deal...saves you time!

    I think I may need to get a roll of 120 velvia for my trip to arizona.....at least for the grand canyon...also its a reason to grab my Kodak six-20 Series II :p
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Play to your strengths and shoot with what you are comfortable with.

    I was still shooting film when I first started dipping my feet into the wedding photography pool. I didn't think much of it at the time...although now that I shoot digital, the ability to switch the ISO easily and at anytime, really is helpful. Chimping (instant review) is a nice benefit of digital but certainly not something you can't get by without.

    When shooting film, I think it would really be handy to have at least two bodies on the go, each with different film. I do this with my digital bodies but mainly for the benefit of different lenses...and also for shooting with & without flash.

    Depending on the volume of shots you take, it might be worth it to just have the lab scan the negs when they process it (I assume you aren't going to process your own color negs). This should be enough to give you decent digital images for the client or smaller prints...and you can choose the best of the bunch to scan yourself, to take to a higher level of editing etc.
     

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