I was doing a little digging today, and happened upon this little gem from when I was just getting started in my club shooting days.
Shot on film at South Beach’s then-notorious afterhours, called The Mix, I took it for a class project at UM no less.
I shot this frame on a roll of store-bought Fujicolor Xperia 400 film for my Intro to Color Photography and Printmaking (ART 3xx?) at UM in late 1999. We had to develop our own film, and then print it out on a very disagreeable Kreonite RA4 paper processor.
Often offline, or out of service entirely, the printer, similar to the above, was a hotly-contested piece of hardware over in the photo lab at UM. The irony being of course the amount of money it cost to go to UM, and we were saddled with a creaky processor.
I’m sure nowadays, time has improved the department somewhat (sidebar, if anyone from the UM photo department reads this, I’d love to do a guest spot!), and the learning path is almost entirely digital.
Which begs the question, in the photo world, is it possible to effectively learn the fundamentals when you can immediately see the results?
In the real world, there are plenty of shooters out there who make a living of it, and have never touched film or learned the formalities. They shoot via the Golden BB method, hoping that if they spray enough projectiles in the air, one will hit the target. Personally, it seems like a waste, even in the digital realm. Plus I feel you don’t really learn if you depend on getting that one lucky photo in a session. I would much rather analyze the situation, set up accordingly, and push the shutter button once. I guess, in military terms, I’d be a sniper. One shot, one kill. I’m not in a hurry.
Photos like the above weren’t composed with the Golden BB method. You only had a finite amount of frames to work with, and none could be deleted and reused. Each shot had to count, for the most part.
It’s a more efficient and elegant workflow anyhow. Each image counts, rather than just one throwaway amongst many.
The benefits of digital technology on photography have been enormous, with digital sensors objectively outperforming film in almost all aspects. However, along the way, certain techniques and refinements have been lost. The Golden BB method is sadly prevalent, unfortunately.