Fabulous Film Fridays – September 2, 2011

Back in 1999 (doesn’t that seem so long ago?) I lived in the town of Jasper. I was a full-time stock photographer and of course was still shooting film. All the stock agencies in those days only wanted images captured on slide film. I loved slide film but it had a very narrow range of exposure latitude; it had to be perfectly exposed and even then it could only handle a small range of contrast (about 5 f-stops from pure black to pure white). Negative film, on the other hand could handle a whopping tonal range of 7 to 9 f-stops. If only I could shoot with negative film and enjoy the benefits of wider tonal capture!

Well, in 1999, I shot all year with negative film and then scanned my best ‘negs’ on a high end digital drum scanner and then ‘worked’ the scans in Photoshop and had the digital files output as 4×5 inch LVT transparencies (in other words, big honking slides!). The stock agencies loved these big slides, and I loved the wider tonal range I got with this process. I did not like the expenses of drum scans and LVT output costs and so only output a few select images per month.

Fast forward to today and in my basement sits a dusty binder full of 1999 negatives from Jasper that have never been scanned nor seen by anyone (even I barely remember what is in that binder. I plan to revisit this little treasure trove of lost memories from time to time to share a few negs from my ‘bad old days’ as a bachelor in Jasper. For now here are two images shot on negative film that turned out to sell well with the stock agencies.

©Darwin Wiggett - Mamiya 645 Pro TL, Mamiya 80mm lens, Fuji Reala Film

©Darwin Wiggett, Mamiya 645 Pro TL, Mamiya 35mm lens, Fuji Reala Film


7 Responses to “Fabulous Film Fridays – September 2, 2011”

  1. Peter Calamai Says:

    Fascinating tale. I shot some colour negative when I lived in Africa 1979-82 for the same reasons of latitude PLUS the fact that the only Kodachrone processing labs were in Cairo and Johnannesburg and I lived in Kenya. Also have a binder with negatives waiting to be scanned. Hoping for a harsh winter in Ottawav to force me to do it

  2. Reala is a beautiful film, I’m only just getting into it but it looks a lot nicer than Pro 160S in my opinion. You can still get LVT’s at fairly reasonable prices too. I use my own drum scanner but am very tempted to do just what you have said here and produce some nice transparencies from my neg scans – after all *nothing* beats a transparency on a light box.. (IMO!)

    Realy like both of these shots and they’re great examples of what neg is good (and presumably no grads needed too!)

  3. these are simply beautiful, classic images. I’m looking forward to the seeing the gold mine of celluloid treasures.

  4. Is that you in the first picture? With a mullet? 😯

  5. Tareq Alhamrani Says:

    Nice shots! Film rules!!!

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