SoFoBoMo – Alternative plan

Okay, I might just be totally nuts, but I am thinking of an alternative photograhy plan for SoFoBoMo. Up to till now, with the ‘short’ time constraint, I have been thinking that using my DSLR was going to be the way to go. At least it would give me a chance to turn around the images from the shoot, RAW conversion, PSC3 tweaking, Blurb ICC conversion and into the book template.

But now I am wondering if I have the available time to do this project with film.

When I purchased my RRS ballhead, I knowing did not purchase the camera plate for my Hasselblad, as that camera had gone onto my ‘hold’ shelf.  That is while I was trying to figure out how the DSLR fit into my work flow and thinking about what I might need to do if I wanted to continue using my Hasselblad system (The CM series, not the H series). So I just ordered the RRS plate for the Hasselblad while I noodle this over. And it will arrive before my SoFoBoMo shoot date in early May.

So now I am thinking about my time line if I choose to use film. I now have to consider the extra time for the color film development (pro lab, not me), film scanner (between 5 – 6 frames per day, because that film scanner at 4,000 dpi and 16x rescannes is sloooooow, but the results are mighty fine), then do the digital file spotting (scanner dust artifacts) and finally into the image tweaking mode. And while I am scanning, I am not working the image. I need to think about how I can bring another computer into the work flow if this is going to work.

But the to the real question: why do this in film??

First, I have been rethinking the film versus digital for a while. No final conclusion, but there is a slight differnce in the appearance of the image. With my current equipment, the Hasselblad would let me go really a lot bigger for my prints, not that I have a printer that does those big prints yet.

Second, there is a tactial difference in the feel with the clunky film camera versus the slick and smooth digital. There is something nice about firing off a half dozen RAWs in quick succession that is nice to capture a fleeting situation. The autofocus/autoexposure of the DSLR is nice as well. I have really enjoyed the ability with the DSLR to make long evening/night photographs and quickly assess if I was successful immediately.

From experience, I know that if I meter a situation with the spot meter, unless something drastic changes in the lighting conditions, I can just keep shooting for a while. That’s kinda like an autoexposure, eh?

But the subject that I am considering for my SoFoBoMo project does not need that autofocus, autoexposure and mutliple exposure taking capabilites. I am working on understanding a ‘place’, from an urban landscape perspective. I may (or mostly) be working off a tripod for this entire project.

And even if I do decide that this will be a film project, I will also have my DSLR right there along with my film rig. So a good chance it may be both digital and film, not exclusively film. Perhaps shooting with both, doing the immediate digital thing while waiting for the film to get processed and scanned. Then make the decsion as to which image/format I like best.

One thing for sure, with the DSLR, I have more focal lenght options to work with. Which is one big issue, as my DSLR will go much wider than my Hasselbald capabilities, and I do know that I have become an increasing big user of the wider angle compositions. And I am not ready to purchase a wider angle lens for the Hasselblad this month. So this might just push me back into a DSLR project at the end.

So I will be making sure that I have some 120 film in the frige that has not out-dated, or buy a half dozen rolls to get me started.  Maybe I can make this a ‘single-image, single-exposure’ project and just buy three 120 rolls and take only 36 exposures and make sure each one counts!

We’ll soon see what happens as I am going to keep my film options open;- )

Best regards, Doug

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