Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What is Film?

I realized as I was writing part 2 of my development guide is how can anybody understand the process unless they actually know what they are working with.

Film is a major medium that is used in photographic still cameras and movie cameras. While many people have declared film as being a dead media, the majority don't even realize it is still vastly used in professional, amateur, and fine art work.

There are several different types of film that are still used and some that aren't.  These types include black and white, color (c41 process), color reversal/positive/slide (E6 Process) and infrared. Infrared film comes in black and white now, and used to come in color. Color infrared film is no longer available for general use, but can probably still be found on EBay or some obscure web sites, and newer cameras can be converted to it if need be.

The process of recording the image is kind of interesting, at least it was for me. The film has a coating of a silver halide gelatin mixture. The ISO of the film is how big and how dense the silver crystals are on the film, making it more or less susceptible to light. When you hit the shutter release on your camera, the shutter opens exposing light to the surface of your film. This image is called a latent image. Once the film has been developed, it is called the recorded image or a negative. The negative is then placed either into a flatbed scanner or into an enlarger which prints the image onto special photosensitive paper.

That was kinda boring huh. Hopefully that was understandable. There isn't too much to it, but there are some factors that you have to watch out for. Black and white film is fairly susceptible to blue light, so they tend to mix together if you have multiple blue objects near each other. The other major factor is the rate of reciprocity failure. This is an issue with trying to develop the colors correctly because the film has an odd quirk to it. One that comes to mind is Fujifilm Velvia RVP 50 that has some odd color shifts if you have an exposure longer than 30 seconds.

If you have any questions, ask them in the comment section and I will answer them. Thanks! :-)

Well if you are all still awake, I will have my last post from my last Disneyland trip, which is from Disney's California Adventure. Parts 1 and 2 are available here and here. You can check out some of my older work on my page at Smugmug here.