New directions. the move from digital to hybrid (the photography junkie)


As you know I have been a digital user for a while favouring the Sony system over other systems such as canikon et all.

Something got me to thinking though, every man and his dog has a digital camera these days and with easy access to Photoshop and great learning online its ever difficult to stand out from the crowd as a true professional.
So much to the point now that photography in general is not seen with such special regard as it once was.

So what's a good photographer?
These days the cameras are full of ability to get a decent exposure using automatic means so a good photographer is no longer about having the ability to get a well balanced image.

These days the notion of i`ll fix it in Photoshop is a popular one and to me an incredibly lazy one at that! I know that will be an annoyance to some people who use that phrase often but I don't care its how I feel and I don't apologise for it.

So what's a good photographer? Its a person who has the ability and artistic vision to get a good image in camera. Just because you may be a good image maker does not make you a good photographer!

OK rant over.

So for me to class myself as a good photographer I need to slow down, I need to think about what I'm shooting you know the way you had to when shooting on film ......... Hmmm film now theres an idea.

Film the new digital?
There's a bit of a trend at the moment going away from DSLRs towards alternate formats such as micro 4 thirds,fixed lens systems and of course film so that's the direction I wanted to try.


Gear choices.
Well the camera system I have decided to go for is the bronica etr system and it's completely manual everything! I mean everything I even had to buy a prism finder just so I could have a light meter built in.

I decided to go the hybrid route of scanning the negatives rather than the full darkroom route but I did choose to develop my negatives myself.

Cost wise it worked out incredibly cheap by comparison to a DSLR such as a 5dmk 3
So here's a cost breakdown
Every thing bar the chemicals bought on eBay so you may get cheaper or you may pay more.

Bronica etr with 75mm lens 120 film back and polaroid back £139
Epson v500 scanner £129
Jobo cpe2 colour film processing gear £159
5 rolls of Kodak ektar 100 film £25
5 rolls of fomapan 100 film £12.50
Chemicals for both colour and b&w film processing £30

In use
Let's just say I love it!
Because every shot you take costs you money you really do have to slow down and actually trust in your ability and think about the shots beforehand this leads to a massive increase in keeper shots.
OK you shoot much less images but that's not a bad thing.

Let's face it there is something magical about film every polaroid you open is like Christmas morning with feelings of genuine excitement.
Cost wise if you develop your own it works out at 33p a shot colour and 20p a shot b&w and a whopping £1.25 a shot but for those who want that instant feedback its worth it.


Scanning in you get ridiculous amounts of resolution more than you will ever need.
Because certain things like the look are determined by the film post processing time is cut down too.

In conclusion
Its not going to be for everyone there is a cost to factor in for sure but I've already had a wedding booked purely on the fact I'm including film in the services I offer so there is still some magic for customers.
And once again I love it I love what its doing to my photography I would absolutely recomend it to try for everyone

The photography junkie