Monthly Archives: March 2012

Oakland Shoreline Park

Oakland Shoreline Park, originally uploaded by Stephen Foster.

This was shot on color negative film and scanned into Adobe Lightroom.

An easy mistake for me to make would be thinking that I’m a better photographer because I use film. Analog photography is not more “real photography” than digital. A time consuming process does not give greater cachet to the results. A good photograph using film and paper does require more work than digital, but the value of the image is from the concept and execution.

Shooting film helps me become a better photographer because taking time and thinking about what I’m doing makes me a better photographer.


Som T.

Som T., originally uploaded by Stephen Foster.

I got our youngest to sit still for a few minutes the other day. The next three rolls of film will be 3200 ISO. I’m looking for grain and shadows.

Knobby Roots

Knobby Roots, originally uploaded by Stephen Foster.

I have been making photos in Newhall Park, Concord, for years. It is not a large park; middling size for a suburban park. I have to walk all of ten minutes to get to this scene. One can find plenty of subject matter close to home. Don’t wait to take a trip – cover your neighborhood in detail.

Oakland Inner Harbor

Oakland Inner Harbor, originally uploaded by Stephen Foster.

I have been asked why I shoot film still when digital photography is so available and advanced.

I shoot both digital and film. I shoot film as an artistic exercise.

It’s so easy with digital to hold the button down and pick out the best shot from many dozen lesser frames. My usual memory cards (4Mb) hold 240 frames each at the fat file format I use. It’s really easy to do that way, until it’s time to organize and process.

With film I’m severely restricted to fewer frames. Thus, I have to think about what I’m doing before I trip the shutter. Interestingly, I get as many good frames out of one dozen film frames as I have from a gross of digital frames. The discipline has helped me slow down when shooting digital; shooting fewer frames and getting more keepers.

I shoot film because it helps me improve my digital photography.

Muir Beach Overlook, California

I’ve been having a lot of fun shooting with my “new” Fuji GW670 (6×7 medium format). Way back when – perilously close to adolescence – I was sure that 35mm was the cool way. Had I known then…..well, you know.

I particularly like detail and sharpness across the full frame. Medium format is a nice compromise for detail and ease of use. The 4×5 gives much more detail, but is rather cumbersome; nor do I have a good means of publishing 4×5, for now.

Point Reyes Station – Building Detail

Point Reyes Station, originally uploaded by Stephen Foster.

I’m in league with many other photographers to shoot old, abandoned buildings. It seems to me that there are a lot of us out there, but that is just confirmation bias on my part because I pay more attention to them more.

Lime Ridge – A Lesson in Attentiveness

Lime Ridge, originally uploaded by Stephen Foster.

I’ve been shooting with a rangefinder lately. I’m starting to discover some sloppy habits that are missed when using an SLR.

The patch of light in the foreground is distracting because it is out of focus. My preference is to have the foreground sharp. In this case I would want the entire frame to be sharp. Had I been viewing through-the-lens I would likely have paid more attention and attempted to keep greater depth-of-field. With a rangefinder one must be mindful that the lens sees differently.