19 May 2011

When Film and Digital Collide

I’m split between two camps at the moment. Photography camps that is. In truth I tend not to be a hardcore fanboy of any one particular brand, movement, product or system which enables me to experience the best of what each has to offer. For that reason my camera bags are full of both digital and film photography equipment.

Although I’m a fan of both mediums I use them for different purposes and almost never together. Digital for example tends to be used when I’ve planned a specific visit to a location to take photographs or have a specific photo in mind. Film on the other hand (following the principles of Lomography) is used more spontaneously and is brought along on the basis I might see something interesting that catches my eye without worrying about perfect exposure and pin sharp focus.

Also whereas my digital workflow is likely to include at least some post processing, when using film the images are simply scanned and saved to disk. I wouldn’t be against editing the photos captured on film outright but in keeping with the principles of Lomography they have up to now remained untouched.

Just recently though after returning from a trip to Warwick Castle I came across one of my 35mm black and white photos and immediately saw potential for it to be edited in the digital realm. I have nothing against the original photo and was very pleased with the performance of the little Fujifilm Silvi F2.8 and Neopan 1600 but it looked perfect for some tilt/shift trickery.

For those who don’t know, a specialist tilt/shift lens (specifically the tilt aspect) can allow selective focus to simulate a miniature scene. It’s a photography technique I have a fondness for but could never afford the prohibitive cost of the lenses required. Fortunately you can replicate the effect in the digital darkroom using tools such as onOne’s FocalPoint 2 software.

Wanting to preserve the “analogue” aspect of the photo as much as possible I made the decision to do no further alterations than the selective focus required to produce the effect. It felt important to keep as much of the original image as possible as it came from the camera. This might seem trivial as once it is altered significantly in my opinion it would no longer qualify as lomography. Yet if i’m to marry the two mediums to produce an image it feels important to me to retain as much of the original as I can.

Here is the original:

Warwick Castle, April '11 (Fujifilm Silvi F2.8 & Neopan 1600)

And with the selective focus applied here is the edit:

Warwick Castle (edit), April '11 (Fujifilm Silvi F2.8 & Neopan 1600)

Overall I’m very, very pleased with the result. It’s my first attempt at creating the effect and as the photo originally came from my fondness for film/lomography it means that little bit more to me. I still concede that with such an edit the resultant photo can no longer be considered true lomography but as an interesting photo that combines the best of two mediums I think it works brilliantly!


Post a Comment