Digital to Film Project (Sharilyn Wells)
As you are aware of, this last weekend a friend of mine participated in the first session of my Digital to Film Project! All in All I think Shari did a fantastic job! To clarify the Project once again, this project is all about getting back to the roots of photography. Back to where we as photographers trusted out skills and instincts, and not our LCD screens. The Project is split into two parts, the first part is an actual film shoot where I coach the photographer the whole time. The second part is an interview in which the photographer answers a few questions about shooting film. So now that the stage has been set, I would like to present Sharilyn Wells and her recent experimentation with film!
Tell us a little about yourself, your photography and what type of camera you shoot?
I've been doing this photography thing for years, but went professional about 3 years ago. I love shooting lifestyle images, the ones where you just let your subject do their thing and you just snap away. This is why I love families and children so much, they don't need to be told to be themselves. They just interact with one another perfectly and it makes my job so much easier! I also shoot events for this reason as well. People just do what they do, and I let the magic happen in front of the lens. I used to be a hardcore Nikon fan, but I'm slowly shooting more with my Cannon. I have a Nikon D300 and a Cannon Rebel T3i.
What were your expectations about shooting film and how did it differ from digital?
Film has always scared me. When I was younger, I shot film all the time with a little point and shoot camera. Everything was auto and everything was a 50/50 gamble if your precious images would be recorded or not. That's why when the digital age came in play, I was super excited to know that I was actually capturing my memories (and I would get super sad when a memory card messed up). BUT film does have it's advantages, as I was shown throughout the mentoring session. I wanted to learn the ins and outs of film, but just never did. My film sat next to my camera on my dresser for literally a month ... because I was afraid I'd waste my time and mess up the images -- which in the past has proven true.
What were your biggest fears about shooting film and do you feel that you over came them?
Not knowing the right exposures ... I can shoot and shoot, but when the film was developed, they looked like poop because I had no clue what I was doing. I believe the mentoring session helped me realize that I need to take my time and think about my shots. I also need to get a lighting meter if I wanna continue to shoot film, my math and guessing skills stink.
Can you describe what was going through your mind as you participated in the digital to film project?
My brain was a jumbled mess. I had shot three other rolls of film (using manual settings) before doing the shoot and one was ruined at the lab, the other two were over exposed, or light exposed due to my error. So basically, I hadn't successfully created an awesome image using film ... besides maybe my hipster lomography pictures... maybe. So, I was freaking out. But once we got to the end of the shoot, I was feeling more comfortable with the camera and was actually believing something was gonna come out in the end. Which, they did.
What did you like and not like about shooting film?
I'm an instant gratification kinda girl. I really wanted to see my images right then and there. I wanted the assurance of knowing I got the shot. (which ended up being something I liked about film as well. When I saw the images for the first time, I was like, "Wow. I shot that!") I also kinda regretted not having my digital camera to see my images in color as well. (I chose black and white for my session.)
Do you see yourself shooting film in the future and if so would you recommend it and what advice would you give to someone?
I do see myself shooting film in the future, but after I was to get a light meter and have my digital on backup just in case. ;-)
Film (when properly done) has so much more depth than any image that comes from a digital camera. You can see each camera's personality in the images it produces on film. Film also MAKES you understand all the technical aspects of creating an image. I definitely recommend anyone who wants to get serious with their photography to play with film, for just that reason. It's actually pretty fun getting back to the roots of photography.