Victory on Film

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Victory on Film

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:29 am

Shot the Tony Martin victory party last night digitally for a local online news site, but also used my Bessa for some additional shots. I missed a lot of shots due to shooting largely wide-open with a f/1.5 lens, I should have used my Fuji PRO 400 film instead of Kodak Porta 160 VC.

As always C&C is appreciated.













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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Nando on Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:21 am

I'm glad to see that the Jupiter-3 is serving you well.
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:05 am

No critique? Is that your polite way of saying they suck? Very Happy
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Nando on Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:54 am

No.
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:59 am

Haha.

I just expected you to natter on about the colour tempature being off or how loose some of my crops were. The grain signature of the Porta, etc.

These were scanned from my Epson 4180, btw and not the Nikon Coolscan 4000. I'm going to run them through tomorrow, probably.
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Nando on Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:58 pm

Although I think B&W would have looked better, I think it was wise to use colour given all the orange in the background and the orange clothing. 160VC is fast enough for the Jupiter. 400 would have helped if you intended to use the 21f4.
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:34 pm

Yah. Truthfully I was really ready for the Porta to wow me, but it never happened.

The Kodachromes I got back today did the wowing for me. When I shot that roll (like a month ago) I was hoping the reds and yellows would come out super-saturated and it didn't disappoint.i
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Nando on Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:11 pm

I find that Portra is a finicky film when it comes to colour when it is scanned. I always have to do a bit of colour correction in the post-processing and its not always the same. Perhaps its my scanner or the Vuescan software. Scanning on my M1 with Silverfast seems to give more accurate colour. I find the main advantage of the Portra line is the fine grain relative to its speed and that it scans very nicely. Despite the colour issues, the Kodak Portra and 400CN films seem to give me more detail and the largest range of tones of any negative film I scanned on my Nikon. Granted, I haven't tried the new updated Fuji 160S and 400H yet. The new formulations offer improvements for scanning. The film that yielded the best scans from my Nikon so far was some recent Ektachrome slide film that I scanned for a friend. As I mentioned in that email, the Kodachromes I did for another friend, that dated back to the 1950's, also scanned superbly. It's an awesome film and its a real shame that its close to extinction. Nobody will write a song about Portra.

I haven't tried the Pan-F yet but my Nikon seems to work better job with colour negatives and slides. I have 5 rolls of Adox CMS 20 on order along with the dedicated Adotech developer. That film should easily resolve more than what my Nikon is capable of scanning.
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by crowellphotographs on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:51 am

I love these Ken. I think you did a great job of getting the story across, and with such a great aesthetic. That Cameron Ross photo is absolutely haunting and just keeps me going back to it. The framing, DOF, tonal range, and basically everything visual is just fantastic. For me, the best part is the moment you captured. The almost labored, slightly frantic smile mixed with his sweat shined forehead have absolutely nailed a politician in defeat. That one goes miles beyond just reportage photography for me, it's a beautifully real moment of weakness shown by a man who's job is to never show weakness.

I also find the second and third shots to be brilliantly composed. I'm guessing the second one might be where you are referring to the "lose crops", but I think the subject's expression is so powerful and telling of the moment that she's an incredibly powerful focal point and does well with the breathing room. The rest of the frame just goes to further help with the story of how things were. (The man by himself at the obviously once filled table, beer included; and the group of people talking in a circle to the right.)

The third is a great one as well. Tony's expression and body language matched with the concerned man to the right. Just far enough out of focus to be a well balanced second focal point without taking away from the primary.

I'd have to say that with how nice the others are, the fourth shot is just lost for me. It's, on it's own, a great expression from that woman, but doesn't really add anything to the package. It's probably the only shot where I do find a bit of loose framing. Sorry, but I know you wanted/appreciate honest CC.

I find the 5th shot brilliant as well. The stationary sign with somewhat frantic movement and anticipation around. Great job at furthering my understanding and feeling for how the evening's mood was unfolding.

The 6th is probably my second to last favorite, but still on the "hit" side as opposed to a "miss". I think it really shows off the film feel with the nice transitions of light on the walls. I would say that my eye travels a bit awkwardly in this one. Starting with the girl then moving to the bottom left as I follow the signs right off the page and away from the crowd. This may have been better shown from a head on angle.

The last one is a great "last chapter" to the story. He's tough because he's always so red faced when speaking, but this definitely shows him and how he felt. Though not really that distracting for this one, I would watch out for the light at the left of the frame, especially when these kind of highlights draw the eye off the edge of the frame. I do feel that this one is small enough to not be a distraction as I didn't notice it the first time i quickly scanned the images.

Now, I will say that, especially for the situation, I really like how this film rendered the situation. I'll be really excited to see how it goes if you rescan, but I wouldn't be disappointed with these results. Color wise, it feels real to me which I always appreciate with photojournalistic work. (that cold polished trend just misses for me sometimes. I feel easily disconnected from the event because of it.) The color cast with the Ross shot is definitely different from the rest, but I'm stuck as to what to do with it. It's just SO perfect like it is, even being different from the rest. I don't know if I could in good conscience suggest changing anything in that shot, or the others to match it.

Though apparently you don't really like hearing it, (hopefully I have bashed enough to be permitted) this is a great collection of photos and a great job telling the story.

Two thumbs up.
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:08 am

Thanks for the feedback Colin. I wrote captions, I should add them when I post.

What I don't understand about the Cameron Ross shot is why his colour is right but the background is so wrong. Nothing changed in the background over the other shots but he's under a video light, which is a different temperature than the fluorescents in the room. I would think the opposite should have happened.

I like shooting "news" on film, though it's pretty impractical. I couldn't develop until the next day because it ended so late and then I had to scan.
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by crowellphotographs on Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:19 am

I can see a cyan/greenish cast to his face as well as the background, though I think it works REALLY WELL. I guess it's just the rest of the tv light bouncing around the room. This may also be an indication of the sensitivity of the film to different colors. It looks like you had to tighten the shutter speed to compensate for the new light source reducing the amount of ambient light in the room. It might have been just low enough to really limit the amount ambient light actually registered by the film.
I know that with things like BW film, skies are even more prone to blow out because the film is far more sensitive to blue.
Quite possibly, if it hadn't been for this color of light being introduced, the background would have been darker.
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by crowellphotographs on Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:22 am

To bad about the fast turn around with your organizations stories. Definitely BIG sacrifices to be made. Not to pick on anyone, but If I were working for this town's weekly paper, I certainly wouldn't be using digital exclusively. That said, there go some of your profit margins. It's a sad sad time for photography. Quality sacrificed for speed and money. Where's the craft?
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Nando on Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:01 am

Number 4 doesn't really belong. Perhaps if the photos were accompanied by some text explaining the contents, it would make sense to me. Number 3 would be really good, i think, if you were positioned just slightly more to the left. This would eliminate the fellow on the left and would have revealed the concerned looking woman in the centre that is half-hidden. Given the circumstances and nature of this type of photography, its a given that not all shots are going to be perfectly framed but at the same time, this does instill sense of urgency or movement. Garry Winogrand once said that a good photograph is one that's on the edge of failure.

I agree with Colin that the first one is good but my favourite is number 6. Framing is good. I love the expression on the young woman's face. She's clapping but it seems that she'd rather be somewhere else. It could be interpreted to represent the notion, felt by many Canadians, that the election was a waste of time and money.
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:20 am

crowellphotographs wrote:To bad about the fast turn around with your organizations stories. Definitely BIG sacrifices to be made. Not to pick on anyone, but If I were working for this town's weekly paper, I certainly wouldn't be using digital exclusively. That said, there go some of your profit margins. It's a sad sad time for photography. Quality sacrificed for speed and money. Where's the craft?

Well it's certainly not limited to the one source. I got teased a bit by one of the newspaper photographers who asked "do you LIKE shooting with toy cameras?" The Bessa is far from a Holga and more expensive than many digitals, not even including the lens.

Another newspaper photographer saw my Bessa and quipped "oh my god, the F word!"

I felt bad for the first photographer because she also had to carry a point & shoot in her left hand WHILE shooting her 40D in the other so she could have video for the website. That is just too much to juggle. I did one assignment like that and ended up with average video and mostly average pictures because I couldn't focus on one medium or the other. That is the way the papers are heading these days, though, with video required for the online stories.
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by crowellphotographs on Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:59 am

Unfortunately, those who aren't skilled enough to use film attempt to sound elitist about digital. Any TRUE photographer knows how stupid those statements are. What's truly laughable is that they're too dense/ignorant to know how stupid they sound.

Elitist about digital...... HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
I still think of my DSLR as a "toy camera" I don't really take any shots I've captured with it seriously and would be laughed out of any prominent gallery I tried to show them in.
The attitudes that have come out since digital are at least hilarious. A subject I was shooting yesterday made multiple attempts to tell me how I should shoot the portrait. I love how everyone with a Point and shoot thinks they're a photographer now.
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Nando on Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:01 pm

Alright Ken, give me their names! Twisted Evil

Once, while I was shooting with my MP, I was approached by someone and was told that a cameraphone would take better pictures than "that old thing." I can understand the ignorance but I always wonder what possesses people to say such things in the first place.


Last edited by Nando on Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:41 pm

I think this is an even better Cameron Ross shot, the colour cast doesn't seem to be here in the new scans with the neg scanner so I must have done something wrong with my flatbed scans.



Conservative Cameron Ross was gracious in defeat, addressing the media when he stopped by Tony Martin's victory party Tuesday night. Ross commended NDP incumbent Martin on running a "clean campaign".
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Nando on Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:22 pm

I like this one better. Great expression and I like the person in the background who seems to be laughing.
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Re: Victory on Film

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:50 pm

It's a little soft, I think the recorder in the foreground is what's in focus. It's a good expression.

No one wants to comment on my Kodachromes? Very Happy
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