My Early Days Of Film Photography

May 27, 2015

My Early Days Of Film Photography

M y early days of film photography started in 1998, well actually earlier in 1978! I got hold of my parents Kodak Instamatic 33 camera and shot 24 frames of our pigeons we kept. When caught out, I claimed that I only shot 2 frames and got a hiding for that! Later, around 1982, our family friend Rob, gave me a Kodak Junior to try out.

Kodak Instamatic 33

Kodak Instamatic 33

After getting married in 1998 and going on honeymoon to the Kruger National Park; spending how many hours in the heat waiting for the preverbial hippo yawn to take place at Kanniedood Dam in the North of the park, snapping the shot with a point and shoot camera, feeling elated about it, did I think that I had made it big!

The joke was, after returning home, and developing the film, finding out to my absolute HORROR, that the hippo was merely the size of a match stick head in a postcard size print! It looked NOTHING like the coffee table books I had seen!! It was there and then that I decided to purchase my first real film camera! This was to be a Pentax MZ-50 with a 80-320mm lens for wildlife. I then bought a Tamron 28-200 for all other purposes. I shot a lot of wildlife, sport and weddings on film at that time. The film photography bug had bitten!

My Favourite Film

My favourite film  for film photography was Agfa Professional Film. I especially enjoyed the slow Agfa Ultra 50 for extremely punchy colours and ultra fine grain. This was a fine arts film with an exaggerated color palette; skin tones will appear orange, so this was not for photographing people (unless you like orange faces!), but perfect for landscapes and other subjects. My other choice was Agfa Optima II Prestige ISO 100, 200 and 400, of which I still have an unopened roll of Agfa Optima II Prestige ISO 400 in the fridge. By keeping film in the fridge, it helps prevent it from ageing as it is under a constant temperature.

Agfa Ultra 50

Agfa Ultra 50

Agfa Optima II Prestige ISO 200

Agfa Optima II Prestige ISO 200

The Pentax later grew up and became a Nikon F90X, which I still have and use today. This was my first introduction to Nikon gear. I am glad I had my foundations of photography based on film photography. In the day, film was expensive and every frame had to count, more so professional film. There was no image preview, no delete and try again, everything was manual. Exposures had to be perfect, if you weren’t sure you could work off of sunny f/16 or ISO 100 for sunny days, ISO 200 for cloudy days, ISO 400 for rainy days and sport, and ISO 800 for night shots. Another trick was to check the persons pupils for the amount of dilation and then determine your f-stop accordingly.

I then went on to join ELPS and grew photographically. We were required to complete set subjects for the month until our next meeting. Above that we had to shoot in different film mediums; that being monochrome, slide or transparency and film. That being said, we had to shoot in different genrés to stretch and extend ourselves; this forced one to grow photographically. Once our goals and objectives were achieved, we were then promoted to the next level. Ultimately, one could achieve a licentiate through PSSA.

Later came photographic competitions, my inspiration was the Agfa Wildlife Competition, the entrants of the day were Richard du Toit, Nigel Dennis to name a few. I never made the grade for the Agfa Wildlife, but did excel locally though.

Finally came publications in local magazines SA 4×4 Magazine.

Some Of My Achievements:

The GPS Challenge

Click on the images and articles for full view.

KJ Bolton Consultants, now NavWorld ran a GPS competition, of which I was a part of, met two great journalist on that trip, and had my images published in three editions of SA 4×4 Magazine.

December 2004 – Full page spread 62; single pages 63, 64.

December 2005 – Single page 42 and 47

February 2006 – Double page spread – pg 46, 47; single pages 48 and 51.

December 2004
SA 4x4 Dec 2004

SA 4×4 Dec 2004

SA 4x4 Dec 2004

SA 4×4 Dec 2004

SA 4x4 Dec 2004

SA 4×4 Dec 2004

December 2005
SA 4x4 Dec 2005

SA 4×4 Dec 2005

SA 4x4 Dec 2005

SA 4×4 Dec 2005

 

February 2006
SA 4x4 Feb 2006

SA 4×4 Feb 2006

SA 4x4 Feb 2006

SA 4×4 Feb 2006

SA 4x4 Feb 2006

SA 4×4 Feb 2006

Tourism Buffalo City Photographic Competition

I entered a competition run by Buffalo City Tourism in 2002 in East-London and came out tops with an aerial shot of the East-London breakwall, unfortunately the second shot wasnt sharp, as this was taken from a rather windy and bumpy helicopter ride on the day. I would have preferred this to have been the winning shot.

Thankfully film photography is not dead, and I can still shoot film. If you havent tried film, I suggest give it a try, you will grow in leaps and bounds, as it will slow you down to think about your composition, your settings etc. Another thing, it may even offer you a better marketing strategy to say that you shoot film, not many people do these days.

Newspaper Article

 

IMG_0002W

Daily Dispatch Feb 26’02

Winning shot on the board.

The Winning Shot

 

East-London Breakwall ©2001

East-London Breakwall on Agfa Ultra 50 ©2001

 

My Preferred Winning Shot

 

East-London Breakwall ©2001

East-London Breakwall on Agfa Ultra 50 ©2001

I hope you will be inspired by this blog to try film photography, furthermore to push yourself past your expectations, who knows, perhaps your images would appear in a recognised magazine too.

CRAIG FOUCHÉ

I am a Western Cape Winelands photographer based in South Africa, photographing locally and internationally. I am a registered NPS (Nikon Professional Services) member, a contributor to Nikon South Africa's social media pages and website. I photograph a broad variety of genres, using film and digital medium and are very passionate about my work.

My work has been published several times in SA4x4, Getaway Magazine and Wildside Magazine, and I am also a contributor to Media24, which is the print media arm of the South African media company Naspers. I finished as a Top Ten finalist in the 2016 Getaway Magazine Gallery Competition, finishing with Highly Commended.

Please feel free to comment and share. You can also click on the social media buttons in the footer below and see what I am currently doing, or sign up for my newsletter and follow me.

Until next time, thanks for your support, appreciating my work, and reading my blogs.

Craig Fouché, Dubai 24H, Dubai Autodrome, UAE
©2017 Craig Fouché Photography


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