cameras

The Power of Nostalgia: Why Shooting with Analog Cameras is Awesome

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There’s no denying the many benefits that come from digital photography. You don’t have to worry about film. You save cash on printing costs. You can immediately see your picture to decide if you like it or if you want to reshoot. Not only that, but digital images are also easier to share with friends and on social media pages — and digital photography is more environmentally friendly!

But just like many music lovers prefer the sound of vinyl over CD, so too do many photographers still find value in using analog cameras. In fact, it is widely recommended that all aspiring professional photographers work with an analog camera at least once in their lifetime.

Below are a few of the numerous reasons why we still love our analog cameras:

Great Colors and Dynamic Range

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Experienced photographers will admit that most digital shooters are merely trying to imitate the vibrant look that only an analog camera can produce. This is because film has an amazing color palette coupled with a dynamic range of detail in both shadows and highlights. Digital cameras also boast a strong dynamic range, but only black-and-white film theoretically has an infinite number of shades of grey.

This means that it’s very difficult to mess up your highlights; even when you over-expose you won’t get that bleach-white effect, and instead still have some shade of grey. If you do get your hands on an analog camera, take a picture with it and then do the same with a digital camera. After comparing the two you’ll see how much smoother and more natural the film image looks compared to the digital image.

With film, your images look amazing right out of the camera and rarely need photo editing tools like Photoshop. But if you do want to spice up your shot, all it takes is a trip to the darkroom. The most common practices are dodging, which decreases the exposure for areas you want to be lighter, and burning, which instead involves increasing the exposure by darkening the image.

They Can Make You a Better Photographer

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When shooting with a digital camera, there’s no consequence for snapping a ton of photos. All you have to do with the bad photos is tap the delete button to never see them again. There aren’t any costs or limits you have to worry about besides digital storage space, which means you can take several shots and hope someone in the family doesn’t have their eyes closed in one of them.

But when you using an analog camera you only have so much film to use, which means you’re forced to be much more selective when taking a shot. Every time you hit the shutter button, you’ve made sure the picture is framed to your liking and that objects and people are in place. You also do your best to get exposure just right to avoid a loss of highlight detail or muddy look.

After using an analog camera or even your average Polaroid camera, you may find yourself taking your digital pictures more carefully. This will also save you time during the editing process since you’ll have far less images to work with. And since your pictures were more planned and carefully taken, all the images you have to work with will be of higher quality.

Film Cameras are Inexpensive and Last Forever

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One of the biggest drawbacks of digital photography is the fact that your camera essentially becomes outdated every year or two. This is because a newer, better camera with more megapixels is always around the corner, ready to produce images with more detail. While it’s great that technology allows us to shoot better digital images, even with our smartphones, it’s not fun having to worry about finding the best deals just to keep up.

Analog cameras are different. Images taken on film are always full-frame and have the same image quality as other cameras, eliminating the need to upgrade. Knowing this, one would expect an analog camera to be very expensive. While this was true 20 or 30 years ago, now it’s pretty easy to find a decent 35mm camera affordably, just to get a taste of the film camera experience.

That being said, using an analog camera does require you to buy and develop film, which costs money. But when you do the math, spending cash on film ends up being less costly than upgrading a digital camera every few years.

Which analog cameras do you absolutely love to use? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Incorporate Your GoPro in Your Cinematography

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The GoPro was designed to solve a problem that Nick Woodman discovered while surfing in Australia in 2002; he wanted to capture the intensity of taking on big waves to share with others, but since he couldn’t afford the expensive equipment available at the time he had to settle for filming the surfers from the beach.

Enter the GoPro.

Although they didn’t immediately become widely used in Hollywood, GoPro cameras today are used in many professional productions, such as 2012’s “Leviathan” and 2014’s “Need For Speed.” Like these big-budget movies, you too can create amazing scenes with your GoPro. Of course it’s not enough to just strap it on and see what happens — you’ll need to plan ahead to enhance your cinematographic experience with this innovative tool.

Show Multiple Angles

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One of a cinematographer’s greatest responsibilities is giving viewers a sense of space. Another term used for this is coverage, which involves using several shots to let viewers know where they are. GoPro cameras make it easier to gain this footage since you can pretty much strap one on anywhere you desire.

GoPro cameras are especially useful for action scenes, such as an intense car chase. You know filming the cars from a distance isn’t going to cut it, so what you do is attach a GoPro camera to one of the vehicles. Seeing the action close up as the vehicle zooms past surrounding objects will provide an entirely new level of immersion for the audience.

To really give a sense of space, professionals recommend using more than one GoPro camera. This was done in “Need For Speed” to give them more angles to use with during editing. With more views and footage to work with, they were able to combine together the shots that were more effective at sucking you into the action while not leaving you disoriented.

Use The Protune Setting

Simply put, the Protune setting on a GoPro allows you to capture a higher level of color image quality. You can seamlessly integrate between your GoPro and cinema footage to deliver gorgeous scenes, even if your regular camera is much more powerful. Even though the GoPro footage isn’t enhanced dramatically, but it is enough to be used in professional films.

With the Protune setting you can adjust a number of things, including exposure, ISO, white balance, sharpness, and more. More importantly, its color correction features lets you capture highlights and shadows by setting the color to flat. A flatter look provides more flexibility when looking to improve the footage in post-production.

Take It Anywhere, Shoot Anything

 

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Getting the most out of a GoPro camera means using it in ways no other camera can be. Arguably the neatest perk is its small size, which means you can easily take it anywhere you go and strap it onto anything. GoPro has given filmmakers all over the world the freedom to deliver video from immersive perspectives that previously required overpriced equipment.

Think outside the box to give an otherwise forgettable scene a bit more memorable. Shooting a scene where a bulky guy is benching hundreds of pounds? Strap the GoPro onto the end of the bar to let the audience feel the heavy weight being pushed up and down. From vivid sports moments and calm nature scenes to an intimate documentary interview, the GoPro eliminates the limitations of a regular camera.