flickr

International Film Buying Day

Over on Flickr right now, there is a new group promoting "International Film Buying Day" which states

I ask all who enjoy shooting on film to go out on the same day, October 1, and buy a roll (or rolls or sheets for that matter!) of film. I'm sure the sudden spike in film sales would be noticed and the industry will realise there is still quite a considerable sized market for film.

I appreciate the motives for such an endeavor but I wonder how effective this will be.

No business that wants to survive is going to heed any "spike in film sales" that occurs on one single day. I don't see suppliers investing in new capital equipment or raw materials or retailers increasing their stock orders and revising their sales projections based solely on the results of 1 day.

And this assumes that a spike will even be detected. Film suppliers typically do not sell directly to the public so any "spike" will be filtered out by the staggered resupply dates of the retailers.

What is needed is a positive trend of film sales over time which requires us to buy (and shoot) film continuously, not save up all our buying for a single day, once a year. I am sure the businesses would appreciate a more predictable customer base.

Every day should be International Film Buying Day so go now and buy some film and shoot some film.

Link: http://www.flickr.com/groups/internationalfilmbuyingday/

Update 10/1/09 : Turns out I did buy film today. I bought some in anticipation of Toy Camera Day coming up in less than two weeks and actually forgot that Oct 1st was International Film Buying Day until I saw this post was read in my blog stats.

Post Processing XPro

Cross Processing, often abbreviated to "XPro", is deliberately processing film in the wrong chemicals. One example of that is processing slide film in the C-41 chemistry normally used for color print negative film and this sometimes results in ultra saturated photographs with wild colors and strong contrast. During the week, I was reading a post in the LOMO group on Flickr about "post processing" xpro photos and as usual, people were saying they never post process their photos. (I have a separate rant about that subject here .)

The following cross processed photo was taken on Fuji Sensia 400 and was scanned with an Epson 4490 scan with all of the internal correction turned off.

To me, this "unprocessed" photograph is a little flat. To bump up the contrast, and to give the photo a little more punch I used Photoshop to adjust the levels albeit, ever so slightly. You can see the results here.

To my eye, this is a much better cross processed photograph and this is how I presented it when I first posted the shot in 2006.

But the discussion on Flickr got me thinking about post processing cross processed photographs. Back in the day of optical printing, what you got on the paper was probably a fairly good representation of what was on the negative but with the digital scan/print process that most labs do now, I wondered about all of the "correction" going on.

As a test, I loaded my flat scan into Photoshop and decided to give it auto-levels, auto-contrast and auto-color. The result was completely different than my original scan with the green cast completely removed and the sky rendered a nice blue.

I believe that unless you ask for "no correction", this is what a lot of commercial labs will give you back as prints.

So, is this last example post processed? Absolutely it is and for the analog purists out there I wonder is this what you are getting back from the lab when they hand over your cross processed prints.

Link: "How much post editing do you do? " - LOMO Flickr group discussion.

The future of Polaroid (?)

The wait is over. Polapremium launched today with an assortment of Polaroid film types to satisfy every instant photography buff to their hearts content. eh.. wait...OK. That was what I was planning to write but to be honest, the actual launch of the site didn't live up to the hype. From what I can tell, Polarpremium is just a new name and web location for Unsaleable.com (that website now points you to Polarpremium.com). Right now, the site appears to be selling the same stock that was available on the old site although there a few items that maybe are new stock (is the B&W 600 new to the site perhaps?).

There has been a lot of discussion about this on Flickr in the Polaroid and Polapremium groups with the general concesus being that people are dissappointed.

I'm pretty disappointed. It's just Unsaleable with a new face.

Next time, dont give us a countdown to nothing.

The SavePolaroid.com people, who appear to have some connection with Polapremium, are saying that this is only the beginning but I have to admit as a beginning this was pretty lame. It's like Polapremium started their count down clock before they were ready. Before they got their hands on the "...completely new products, never produced before, high quality material, hand assembled during the last production runs in Mexico (last packfilm factory) as well as in Enschede (last integral film factory)." (see here).

I am willing to keep an open mind. Maybe Polapremium jumped their own gun and maybe there will be some big announcment soon that will live up to the hype.

Photojojo's Photo Time Capsule

A while back I signed up for Photojojo's Photo Time Capsule. What this does is twice a month mail you photos from your Flickr account that you uploaded a year ago.

It's a nice way to remember what you were doing twelve months ago as well as jog your memory on what style or cameras you were shooting back then.

As an example, here are photographs I posted to Flickr a year ago. The first two were actually taken during the previous winter in Stateline, Nevada but I guess I only got around to developing the film 11 months later. These were shot on a Yashica Mat 124G.

Thunderbird

Chevy

The other 3 photos were taken with my newly purchased Diana+ which had been released by the Lomographic Society a few months earlier. (The tell-tale square frame reflections give it away that this is a Diana+). I remember taking these in Shoreline Park in Mountain View, California.

Flying High

Bird

Kite

So check out the time capsule and send photos to your future self.

Hot Shots by Lomokev

If you frequent Flickr.com there is no doubt you will have heard of Lomokev, aka Kevin Meredith. It was one of his photographs that convinced me to buy a LOMO LC-A a few years ago. (That photo of Imogen Heap on a bicycle that was on the login page of Flickr for years.)

This month, Lomokev publishes a book called "Hot Shots". Check out the preview below.

The book won't be available in the US until March 2009 but Amazon Canada have a October 1st release date so if you can't wait until next year you can order it from across the border.

If you have never heard of Lomokev check out his Flickr photo stream.