I’ve been posting so many live pictures, that I thought it was time to change it up a bit.
A few days ago, I picked up the prints from a roll of 120 film that I shot with my Yashica-A TLR. I’m so used to the ease and speed of digital, that it takes me a while to finish up a roll of film, because I often just grab my digital kit and run. I have to make a definite effort to shoot film. So, basically, when I develop a roll of a film, I usually forget what pictures are on it.
This roll was no different.
So, what did I find? Some flowers and landscapes, of course, but also some pictures from a promo shoot that I did all the way back in November! Jackpot!
Ok, great, but why do I love 120 film? Because of the tonality and the colors, first of all. Of course, part of that depends on the film you used (this roll was Velvia), but I’ve never seen a picture from medium format film that didn’t have great depth to it. And I adore the square crop. Yes, you can crop anything square in Photoshop, but that’s cheating to me. With medium format film, if you’re used to a 2×3 or 4×3 ratio, you have to really pay attention to your composition, which is good.
I also have a strong love for TLR cameras, most of which I’ve found to be medium format. Aside from the fact that they look so awesome, it’s a completely different experience to look down at a viewfinder. It causes you to really stop and think. Also, they’re great for shooting TTV (Through the Viewfinder) shots, so they have two uses!
Typically, the only music I shoot with 120 (or any film, for that matter) is band promos, but some day I’ll try shooting 120 at a concert. However, since all my medium format cameras are TLRs, I think this might be more disastrous than you think (for those who don’t know, in TLR cameras, the image in the viewfinder is reversed – so if the subject actually moves right, in the viewfinder, it’ll look like he went left – I’ve never been able to capture fast movement with a TLR). Perhaps I should just buy a Holga for this experiment 😉
This shoot was done in my house. The images with the TLRs were done with a single hot light, the digital images were done with a 550EX and a white shoot-through umbrella. Both types of lights were set up close to the camera, a few feet away from the subject. (You can see a bit of the setup in the video at the bottom)
Since the shoot was very laid back, and there were only the two guys, I wanted to make a diverse set of images. I took a set of digital pictures, just to be safe. These also provided crisp, clear, technically good images. But, those were my fall-back images. The vision of the shoot was do TTV images. For this, all I did was set up my Argus 75 and shoot down into the viewfinder with my digital. I put a black bag around the Argus and the digital camera, so that there was no light leakage or reflections into the Argus viewfinder, but the whole process was pretty simple.
If I had seen the images from the Yashica during the shoot, I would have shot more film. Ultimately, the tonality and look of the film is superior to anything that came out of the digital.