Day 18: Size matters.

As it turns out, we’re not quite done with film yet.

I just picked up a few newly-developed rolls of medium-format black and white film that I shot with my Lubitel twin lens reflex camera back in September. The flexibility of pictures taken in medium format is very interesting because it can result in the creation of many different pictures from one original image.

Here’s the original image that was scanned into my computer:

Day 18 - Lubitel boat and shore original


Here are two pictures that were cropped out of the original. First, my eye was caught by the ripples around the boat in the foreground:

Day 18 - Lubitel boat and ripples


Next, I wanted an image that showed some sky, and I was attracted to the interplay between the lines of the dock, the shore, the weakening ripples in the water, and the abrupt vertical of the pole at the end of the dock.

Day 18 - Lubitel dock


Finally, to show just how large this negative is, I’ve focused on one very small detail. Remember the original? Go back and look at it again. Ignore the larger boat in the foreground and pay attention to the small boat right next to the shore. Here it is as a more prominent player:

Day 18 - Lubitel small boat and shore

You can see how closely you can crop and still get a good clear image.

Please don’t ask me how many megapixels all of this translates into, or what kind of thingamajigs I did with or to the whatsahoosits. I understand these feats can be accomplished with digital cameras that can take large, high-resolution images. And that’s pretty impressive.

But I still get really jazzed at how much we could do before digital cameras were even a twinkle in their inventors’ eyes. Sure, CGI technology can create some visually incredible movies, but so did David Lean, Peter O’Toole, and entire brigade of Jordan’s Arab Legion in the glorious Lawrence of Arabia, shot on 65-millimeter film.

If old-fashioned film can produce stunning images, and so can new-fangled digital, imagine what a collaboration between old and new could do for a restored version of Lawrence of Arabia. 

What’s that? A balance? Between the blinding shine of the Next New Thing and the rose-colored tint of the Good Ole Days?

Why, that’s just what a modern day dinosaur likes to hear.


2 comments on “Day 18: Size matters.

  1. Lenore Diane says:

    Isn’t photography fun, Leonore? Great informative post on the coolness that is film.

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