FAQ Roundup

My friend, Michael Hooper. Smoking a cigarette made from unicorns. Kodak Portra 400 shot outside with minimal lighting.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions via Facebook about cameras specifically, how I get the ideas for my posts, what film to use, etc so I wanted to compile them here for another quick FAQ roundup! I’ve decided to do this bi-weekly or monthly, depending upon how many questions I receive πŸ˜€

Q: Where do find the cameras you have featured in your blog? There aren’t any camera stores around me and the ones online are expensive!
A: I find cameras in the weirdest places! Usually antique stores and thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army. The cameras aren’t expensive here because if they are worth anything significant, chances are the people selling won’t know the value. I’ve bought a couple at yard sales as well, many times the owner doesn’t think it works or they don’t know how to use it. That’s where I pretend to bargain and toy with whether or not I’m going to buy it when secretly I’m jumping up and down inside my head because I found a Leica for $10. Just kidding, I wish. For more detailed info on camera hunting, check this post and this post.

Q: How do you think of topics to write about? I tried keeping a blog once but I ran out of post ideas.
It’s not easy, sometimes I have to sit and think hard about what people, both amateur and professional photographers, will read. The more I blog and get to know my audience and the type of readers I’ve been attracting, the easier it is for me to think of what to post. I follow a lot of camera discussion groups, especially groups targeted towards antique cameras, and they are very inspirational for post ideas. I also search other blogs to see what people are talking about. My last idea post on The Photo Palace Bus found by an article someone sent to me. If you want to try keeping a consistent blog, my advice would be to keep in the know about your topic and what people are talking about.

Q: How do you choose people to be interviewed? What made you choose to interview Johnny Martyr?
A: Johnny and I are friends, so he was easy to get a hold of. More importantly, I feel that he is a very knowledgeable film photographer, so his input was necessary to my readers. I also enjoy his work and I wanted to share it with others! In the future, my next interview I am lining up will be with a film photographer who specializes in weddings. Look for it please πŸ™‚

Q: What film should I use?
It depends! If you are using basic 35mm, I typically use Kodak Portra 400. The color rendition is always beautiful and the 400 speed is good for both bright days and overcast days as well as well-lit indoor photos. You can choose to go 100 speed film for bright outside shooting or 800 for indoor shooting. Trying out different types of film is all apart of setting your own style. I also use black and white T-MAX from time to time but I am more of a color person. My suggestion would be to just try out as many types as possible and when you find one you love, HOARD IT.

Q: What’s the difference between digital photos and a digital scan?
A: Thank God someone asked this. Been waiting. In my opinion, film has a different look to it altogether than digital. Digital scans are only an accessory to what you can create with negatives. Scans are nice because it allows film photographers to share their work online. With the negatives, these photos won’t ever be lost. You can make giant prints, scan them again, make copies, and save them forever. A digital photograph can be printed out, sure but it’s original version will always be inside of your computer. We all know technology doesn’t last forever. Once something is gone from your harddrive, it’s gone. Let’s not forget that resolution quality!

Attman’s Delicatessen shot with Kodak Portra 400 with daylight and fluorescent lighting.

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