The folks over at COOPH recently tamed up with Brooklyn-based freelance photographer Joe Greer to put together a helpful “beginner’s guide” of sorts for anybody who wants to get started with film photography.
The short video consists of 7 quick tips that’ll help you get off on the right foot if you want to explore analog image making. In short, the tips Greer covers are:
- Keep a Logbook – Film photos don’t come with EXIF data. If you want to improve quickly, keep a logbook so you can learn from your mistakes and capture more keepers.
- Choose the Right Focal Length – Consider your location and the story you’re trying to tell, and choose the right focal length for the job.
- Experiment with Different Film Stocks – Test out as many different film stocks as possible, both B&W and Color. This will give you the experience you need to choose a film stock to match the “mood” you’re going for.
- Over and Underexposing Film – Many film stocks are less forgiving than digital in the shadows, but more forgiving in the highlights. Generally speaking, it’s safer to over-expose than under-expose when shooting film.
- Make Mistakes – Don’t let the expense of analog photography scare you away from taking lots of pictures and making mistakes along the way. It’s the fastest way to learn, and there’s a lot of beauty in the imperfections you’ll accidentally capture.
- Choose the Right Aperture – Until you really know your camera and lens, choose a higher number. You’ll miss fewer moments if more of your frame is in focus by default.
- Forget the Tips – Cliché but apt: it’s important that you find your own aesthetic. Don’t let tips—these included—keep you from experimenting and carving out your own path.
If you’re been reading PetaPixel for a while, you’ve definitely seen a few of these before, but they’re worth repeating for the beginners out there. As film photography continues to grow in popularity, simple tips like these lead to fewer wasted frames and a more enjoyable experience for those who are just starting out.
Check out the full video up top to hear more about each of the tips above, and see some of Greer’s own work sprinkled throughout!