Film Photography: How any could masrer film and darkroom work?

Started Jul 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Scruntys NutPea Funch Veteran Member • Posts: 4,691
Re: Film Photography: How any could masrer film and darkroom work?

In most cases, for the whole of the 20th Century, no-one needed to master film and darkroom work. Just as today, when the vast majority of images pass untouched through digital post processing (Instagram being the exception), most film photography was processed in labs.

They used to be called 'Christmas Tree shooters' because a typical 36 exposure film would have a christmas tree on the first frames, some kid blowing out candles on a cake, some pictures taken on a beach, some more pictures of candles being blown out, and then another christmas tree on the last few frames. The happy shopper would then get back 36 prints, at least eight of which would have a sticker on them telling them it wasn't the lab's fault their thumb was over the lens, or they took a blurry photograph of their shoes.

This is no different to today, with soccer moms having an SD card full of images, not one of which has ever been downloaded. The only difference is the access to cheap DSLRs with more advanced idiot modes to reflect the advanced nature of the 21st Century Idiot.

The nails in the coffin of wedding photography happened long before digital came about. The rot started when couples started to reject the stilted, over-posed 'sniff-the-rose' soft focus saccharine work rolled out year-after-year by an industry out of touch with its clientele, and looked for more informal photography. The proliferation of cheap film compacts, with decent quality lenses and better film stock in the 1980s and beyond did more damage to the old-school craft of wedding photography than any DSLR ever did. And that was a good thing.

If you want to point the finger at specific events, try the combination of Kodacolor 400 (launched in 1977) with the Nikon L35AF (launched in 1983). This was a print film with excellent latitude, coupled with an autofocus compact camera with a relatively fast and extremely sharp 35mm f/2.8 lens. The automation of the camera might be primitive by today's standards, but it meant anyone had a reasonable expectation of producing photos that were well-exposed and in focus, and that gave rise to a wedding party full of Uncle Bobs.

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