Film Photography News — May 2021 Recap

New LF Camera, Summer Sale, Shooting Guides, and Another Silberra Fail

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What’s new?

Three new shooting guides, a summer sale on cameras and the magazine. Also: PayPal fails payment to Silberra and a new LF camera on Kickstarter.

Three new shooting guides.

This month I’ve added about an hour’s worth of reads to the website, mostly centred on what I felt was missing from the online discourse in terms of technical know-how:

8 Technical Reasons to Shoot Black and White Film.” You may have already considered creative and aesthetic differences when picking your film type; however, those aren’t particularly unique compared to digital cameras. Changing colour scans into monochrome files isn’t difficult, which is essentially how all DSLR images go monochrome. However, when it comes to our favourite analogue medium, black and white film has some tangible advantages colour can not replicate.

How to Make Candid Portraits On Film.” It’s no secret that candid portraits are sometimes preferred over posed ones, though getting them right may not be as easy as one may think. Doing so on film has special considerations — gear and technique-wise — that I’ve spent hours researching and gathering from personal experience for this enormous resource. And because it’s so involved, I’ve turned it into a mini downloadable e-book, available for free.

How to Get “Correct” Exposure on Film.” I remember the feeling of terror shooting my first manual camera: what if I mess up the exposure? And my discomfort reading the judgemental forum comments, “it’s underexposed!” — even though I intended my images to be dark. This guide is a culmination of years of practice and research meant to put these kinds of fears at rest. In it, I share my understanding of the true meaning and purpose of exposure (hint: it’s not the same as brightness), dynamic range, 18% grey, and metering for shadows.

Summer sale.

FilmBase is a tiny Etsy shop I’ve been slowly growing over the past two years, listing some of the best things I came across or made — all centred around film photography.

It’s a quality-over-quantity operation, where every camera is film-tested, with all its quirks described — so please read. Shipping is free on most items; it is also carbon-offset, and the items are packaged with great care no matter what you buy.

This summer, I hope to see more of us spending time outdoors, taking photos, and generally staying away from the screens. I’m dropping my prices by 15% until June 1st to facilitate these healthier activities. Not to sound alarmist, but things tend to sell quickly on FilmBase, so I’d suggest you make up your mind fast. And I will do my best to fill the shelves with more stuff once I get some free time to shop, test, and print.

Get 15% OFF film cameras, accessories, and magazines at FilmBase.

In other news.

Silberra, the brand that failed to fulfill its promise to a good number of its backers, seems to have trouble processing payments over PayPal for its new colour film batch. Ever since they collected the funds via their IndieGoGo campaign, they’ve left Twitter and ignored requests for information. Today, they claim their C-41 film is “like Kodachrome” as the largest online payment processor may be onto them (though that’s not confirmed).

A team of Hong Kong photographers is promoting a lightweight modular 4x5 “snapshot” camera called Cosmos Circle on Kickstarter. The apparatus can handle a large variety of focal lengths, promising to be a viable solution for those looking to shoot large negatives with various lenses on the go.