Recipes I like (I)

Do you learn more from experimenting, or from following predefined steps? Yes, a rethorical question indeed. One of the nicest things about developing your own black and white film is that it allows for experiments. It keeps it fun, since there is always some other thing to try.

But sometimes, you do need some predefined steps to get to guaranteed results. Experiments should leave one with a couple of solid recipes too. Sometimes, you just need to get results, instead of fooling around.

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Seems easy, isn’t….

To make good photos, you need a good camera, knowledge to operate that camera and nice scenery. That is what many believe. And It’s pretty far from the truth.

If I say portraits are easier if you have good people skills, you probably won’t be surprised. For wildlife photos, you’ll need knowledge about the habits of animals. And sports photography without understanding of the rules and nature of the game: a tall order. For documentary photography, a knack for story telling will help a lot.

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Black, white and all in between

Black and white photography is a weird animal, a bag full of contradictions. It’s historically at the core of photography. Colour became an option only long, long after. In the tradition of photography, monochrome has been the norm for a long time.
Yet, photography is often associated with a link to reality. Black and white actually strips away an important element of reality. Reality isn’t black and white, after all.

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Why film?

So, why film? Well, first of all because “analogue photography” is a complete misnomer. Both a sensor and film react rather similar to light, in a pretty binary way (it’s registered, or not). So if binary logic equals digital, then both are in fact digital.

But no, this isn’t about the dictionary.

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The right tool for the job…

When I was still pretty active on a photography forum, one recurring discussion was between those who got all excited on the latest and greatest gear with all the new features, and those who claimed that the camera doesn’t matter because it’s all down to the photographer. In other words “with this camera, you can finally really make good images” versus “tools don’t matter”.

Yet another example of unnecessary polarised discussion.

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Photography online

The internet – a blessing or a curse for photography?

If you were to believe “serious photographers”, you’d believe it’s a curse. An abundance of photos of parties, food, fun with friends and other events. Countless selfies. Influencers desperately trying to hide they’re just an advertisement (and failing to hide that). Quick shots from the hip. Images that have no purpose beyond publishing more pictures.

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