I love the look of film right from the scanner. I always loved black and white photography, but when I was shooting digitally I was never happy with the conversion and the resulting tones, regardless of the tools used. My first scan of a simple black and white negative was already a revelation. Film is like a beautiful canvas the image is painted upon.
Another reason are the beauty of old film cameras. They are a joy to use, their simplicity, their vintage feel, the big, bright view finders to look through, the sound of the shutters, the feel of the mechanics when forwarding the film. All these factors are not measurable in megapixels, dynamic range or frames per second, but they inspire me and contribute to the joy I have when photographing. Maybe I am stretching it a bit, but I think they also have a positive impact on most people I photograph. Especially using a large format camera tends to fascinate people, they feel like being part of something special.
In the last of three posts about the craft of writing, Tony Bradman tells us a thing or too about Plot:
Firstly, remember that plot grows out of character. If you have a good central character, with a real problem to face or conflict to overcome, and a specific goal to follow, then it should be fairly straightforward to devise actions that character will take. Those actions will lead to reactions from other characters, and so on. But all those actions and reactions should be consistent with the kind of characters they are. As soon as you lose sight of that, your characters will become puppets that you manipulate, and the story will feel unreal and contrived. It’s taking the easy way out – it’s much easier to think up what feel like dramatic scenes on their own than to create living characters. But it’s often the kiss of death for a story.
Secondly, it’s vital not to give too much away, especially at the beginning of the story. That might sound paradoxical – isn’t plot all about giving hints and clues? But that’s the point – you’re teasing readers, making them interested in your world and characters, hinting that there are thrills and spills and surprises to come. The temptation to start a story with huge chunks of exposition and character description is strong, but must be resisted at all costs. Remember, you can hint at something and then not mention it again for hundreds of pages, but if you do it properly you’ll have readers in the palm of your hand. And if you can let them
work things out for themselves sometimes, they’ll love you even more.
And thirdly – study plot in all its forms. Try to be aware in your reading of what the writer is doing. Watch out for those early clues and hints, and try to follow them through the story. Do the same with the films you see and the TV programmes you watch. Stories told on screen are often very plot-driven – they have to be to hold an audience’s attention. One particularly good example of plot is in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. What Macbeth hears from The Weird Sisters in the first act sets him off on a course that leads ultimately to tragedy. And at the end their words come back to haunt him. It’s a brilliant example of a number of storylines coming together and delivering a satisfying surprise. Reading crime fiction is also a good way to study plot – it’s all in the clues!
Another sad day in the history of photographic film…
Fujifilm Tokyo confirmed that the Neopan 400 B&W film and the Provia 400X slide film have been discontinued. Following the fate of Neopan 1600, Fujifilm takes another loved and acclaimed B&W negative film emulsion off the market. That leaves Neopan 100 as the only remaining B&W film manufactured by Fujifilm. And with Provia 400X, the last high-speed slide film is now finally gone, leaving Provia 100F, Velvia 100 and Velvia 50 in Fujifilm’s slide film lineup.
Highly recommended blog post about reviewing by Tony Bradman, prompted by the announcement of Philip French’s retirement as film reviewer for the Observer:
A good critic should engage objectively and fairly with a book, and that also means not giving in to any special pleading. I’ve often heard the argument that as children’s books get so little coverage, it’s somehow ‘wrong’ to give ‘bad’ reviews. I don’t buy that, and I’m sure Philip French wouldn’t either. People sometimes forget that a professional reviewer is being paid by a newspaper or broadcaster to provide a service to readers or listeners – and to be anything other than objective and honest is taking money under false pretences.
Kodak announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell off its two remaining imaging divisions — which includes its photographic film business — in a major deal worth $2.8 billion.
The company is handing over control of its Personal Imaging and Document Imaging divisions to the United Kingdom’s Kodak Pension Plan (KPP), which is the bankrupt firm’s largest creditor.
In addition to settling $2.8 billion in obligations with KPP, Kodak will be receiving $650 million in cash and other assets in exchange for the divisions.