For a couple of years now, film photography for me has been at times a challenging task, in terms of providing satisfying, consistent results. More satisfying and organic than digital, but still a challenge. This has mostly been the case with my landscape photography. “The Golden Hour” simply is not a realistic photographic rule to follow in 2012. Of course, shooting midday can result in overexposure, blown highlights, cold color temperatures, the list goes on. But why not try to get results, as opposed to not shooting at all?
I have had a Hoya filter kit, my father’s, in my bag for a long time now. Recently, I decided to try out the red filter. In reading up on these filters, it seems as though the yellow is a good “middle” filter to start with. And that an orange filter is great for skintones. Hoya has been around for a long time, and sure there are better filters out there, but a lot of “cheapos” as well. It is likely described as a middle-higher quality filter, with well engineered glass and coatings. Their original filter brochure from the 70’s, which once was a “must have” accessory in film photographers’ bags, still is a great read today. Chances are the modern day counterpart is in .pdf form.
So why start with the red? It makes for dramatic high contrast. It darkens what might be pale or blown out skies. And it can make clouds pop. Similar to my experiments last year with the Polaroid #516 Cloud Filter (Polaroid used orange glass, over the exposure eye and the lens).
Wanted to share a few recent results here, these taken at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Watershed in Sterling, MA, with the Canon Rebel G and 50mm lens. If you are metering through the lens (TTL), your exposure will slow down, a lot. These were handheld. Recently, I bit the bullet and secured a good tripod. As I shoot mostly handheld in 35 and medium format, tripods have never been a favorite. A different topic for another blog article. The late, great Kodak Plus-X 125 is the film here, developed in HC-110 for 9 1/2 minutes-