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Film in motion

Today I bring to you a few images that are symbolic of what I had in mind when I started planning my film project back in December 2011. I not only wanted to learn from shooting film, I had a specific vision for shooting film. Today, I will share with you several images of shooting analog, or film, while in motion. I wanted to shoot motion while in motion. I wanted to capture this with film.

Before I get into the images, I’ll share the technical details of my camera and film set up and why I chose what I chose.

  • Camera – Bessa R4A Rangefinder. I chose a rangefinder because I liked the simplicity and the durability associated with simplicity. Who knows, that may in fact be in my head, but I do believe simplicity is often times more durable. I also wanted full manual focus so I could zone focus and I needed something with an Auto or Aperture Priority metering system so I could fully shoot while moving without needing both hands to focus, adjust aperture and adjust the shutter speed. I chose the Bessa R4A over any other camera that fit this description because it is optimally designed for wide angle shooting.
  • Lens – Cosina Voigtlander 21mm f4 – I chose wide because I knew I’d not really be able to put the camera to my eye in most conditions or situations. The lens is incredibly small and lightweight as well. The 21mm allows me to be close and still be able to capture the entire rider if desired. Just point it and you have a good chance of getting it. The focus scale is very easy to read on these lenses as well so zone focusing while moving is pretty darn simple. I also searched Flickr and other photo sites/blogs and I like the images captured with this angle of view and this specific lens.
  • Film – I chose Kodak Tri-X 400 simply because that is what I shot in college and it is just sort of the look and feel I like. I also pushed this to 800 because we started early and I wanted a deep depth of field so that I could get all of the riders in, or nearly in, focus. Most of these shots are shot at f16 or f22. It worked perfectly. In bright light I’d shoot this at 400, but again it was early and we’d be riding in and through dark roads so I needed that extra stop that pushing to 800 gives.

Overall, I am very, very pleased and I can’t wait to go out and experiment a little bit more. I found the lens does have some flare that I need to be aware of, but other than that, my set up worked as planned. I also found out the 21mm is so, so wide that I kept getting the brake hoods in my photos. I did crop them out of one of the images below, otherwise all images are simply scanned as is and un-edited or processed.

The first few shots give you an indication of the look & feel for my vision of shooting film while in motion.

These last two really represent what I hoped to capture. Both of these images really make me feel like I am in the picture and participating as opposed to just shooting a snap shot.

These last two shots are probably my favorite images of 2012. Some may think otherwise, but for me it represents achieving a vision. It may sound a bit stupid, but it is an accomplishment that I planned in my head 6+ months ago. I put a plan in place and went for it. These visions don’t always come true or work out as planned so when the do actually achieve them I try to acknowledge it and celebrate it. I gotta say I am pleased and I can’t wait to capture some more.

Overall, with some more practice, I’m certain I can master this technique. I’m going to keep trying until I do. Until then, I hope you enjoy my learning process and experimentation.

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