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Freda Banks – film vs digital…

A couple of months ago I received an email from photographer Freda Banks saying she needed causal, natural portraits for her website that show she is artistic in a friendly and approachable manner.

I had never met Freda, I had only seen her beautiful work online, so when she answered the door looking like this…020paigegreenFreda5214-002239-R1-012I was immediately very excited and extremely intimidated.

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Very excited… because she wanted me to photograph with film, which is my most favorite way to photograph.

Extremely intimidated… because I always assume every photographer is more talented and knowledgeable than I am. So photographing other photographers means having to wrestle my brain into silent submission, at least enough so I can do the job I was hired to do.

001paigegreenFreda5214-002240-R1-002Also extremely intimidated… because Freda is stunningly beautiful with an incredible sense of style, which meant I felt this overwhelming pressure to take the most amazing photos of my life, in order to live up to this fun opportunity to play with film and with beauty.

031paigegreenFreda5214-002238-R1-008But because Freda really is artistic in a friendly and approachable manner, it didn’t take us long to feel comfortable with each other, allowing me to silence my overactive brain and focus instead on finding good light. We talked and played and talked and played, and before I knew it, three hours had passed, which is a long time to make one person model, so I reluctantly put away my cameras and we said good-bye.023paigegreenFreda5214-002239-R1-015

(All of the above photos were taken with medium format film.)

While I do love film, it was a long painful wait for the film scans to return… luckily I had a few digital files to tide me over until the film scans finally returned.

Digital photography is a wonderful tool and I am so grateful to have it, but when given the opportunity to shoot with film… it is really hard for me to put down the film cameras and pick up the digital ones again.

I just love the sensory experience of photographing with film cameras. I love the sound of the shutter and the crisp, yet ethereal way the world looks through film lenses.

But film is slow, it is expensive and it can be unpredictable. You don’t always know what the results will be like and you have to wait a long time to find out… which for me translates to: exciting and risky (like the hard-to-get, tall cute guy, with big glasses and mismatched socks, who I married.)

Digital is fast, it is inexpensive (if you don’t factor in your editing time and you don’t upgrade your equipment every 9 months) and you know immediately if you got the photo or not… which for me translates to: boring and predictable.

But the advantage of shooting both digital and film is that I get to show a direct comparison between the two and you can decide for yourself which you prefer.

Below are examples of similar photos taken in both digital and film, with no retouching and very minimal color alterations on the digital files…

freda

digital                                                                              filmfreda1

digital                                                                              film freda2

digital                                                                              film

I admit, it’s a really close call… but film still wins my heart. What do you think?

“You Can Pick Your Friends…

…You can pick your nose,

But you can’t pick your friend’s nose.”

-Roger Green

This is one of my father’s top-ten most popular sayings. My best friend, Lindsay, who is also a wonderfully talented writer, wants to do a book about the amazing things our fathers said… anyone have any good ones to share?

It’s All About the Light…

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Melissa and Kevin got married at Windrush Farm, a place very close to my heart.

It is the farm where… I fell in love with my husband, where I lived for a year and a half in a barn and learned how to milk a cow, collect eggs, and help sheep have their lambs, and where I photographed my very first wedding five years ago.

So it was really fun to photograph another wedding there, and to think about all that I have done and learned in the last five years. But one reason why I like photographing at Windrush Farm so much is because the light is amazing… both inside the house and outside of the house. And the secret to getting good wedding photographs is choosing a place with good light.

It helped that Melissa and Kevin had their ceremony at sunset. They made that decision to honor their Jewish traditions, but I like to think they made the decision to help out their photographer. Regardless of the reason, it was so much fun to photograph because the light was beautiful every direction I turned.

It also helped that the ceremony was in the middle of a pasture and that it was timed perfectly with the rising of a full moon. So the light, the moon, the people, the red tail hawk crying over our heads… they all were incredible…. and unfortunately so was the wind.

The wind was very, very cold. But everyone huddled together as best as they could, and afterward we all had a greater appreciation for the big ball of fire in the sky and for the tall silver poles of fire that were on the patio and in the tent during the reception.

Congratulations, Melissa and Kevin. Good job picking such a great place and time of day to get married, and thanks for letting me document your beautiful big step forward.

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