"Film" look



I shot my last roll of film in August 2001. I was an early convert to digital cameras and have used them ever since. While appreciating their quality and workflow advantages, I have always been somewhat disappointed by the "look" of digital camera images.
By this I mean the relative "flatness" of the raw file. This has its plus side of course, as the images have a certain "elasticity" when it comes to post-processing. Leica M8 images are an exception to this as they are seriously "punchy" right from the start.

When shooting film I used Fuji Velvia 50 "pushed" one stop, which gave great contrast & colour, but which required careful exposure and composition to avoid blocked shadows & blown highlights. Since I was working as a travel photographer at the time, this type of image proved very popular.

For my digital landscape work in particular I have never abandoned this look. I always post-process every image I take, & in many instances I will boost the colour and contrast. I have often been asked whether I still shoot on film & I suspect this is the reason why.
Too often I see images which I feel could have significantly more impact if processed with a "film" look.

lumix GF1 45-20

These images shot yesterday are a good example. The UK is experiencing some torrid weather at the moment, but when the sun appears the light is wonderful. Through a combination of road works & tailbacks I ended up in a place I never intended to go! Broadway Tower in a gale looked magnificent against a deep blue sky. Looking at the files when I returned home, I realised they needed something more to recapture the reality of what I saw. I even used my Tiffen software filter programme to add a fake polariser effect to some of the shots.

While digital capture is useful in so many ways, it does often struggle to portray the drama of the world in a convincing way. Fortunately there are the tools available to rectify this.

lumix GF1 45-20

lumix GF1 45-20