Getting Started with Film
with sandra coan
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Have you always wanted to shoot film but are just unsure on how to begin? Well then, this is the class for you. In this course you will learn everything you need to know about getting started with film. You will learn how color and black and white film stocks differ from each other and from digital sensors, all about the incredible latitude of film and what that means for you as an artist, how to “rate” and meter your film in a variety of lighting situations for best results and a desired look, how to push your film for artistic flare and how to communicate with your lab, so that you get perfect scans every time. By the time this class is done, you’ll be shooting film with confidence. Just know, shooting film is incredibly fun and incredibly addictive… you’ve been warned!
**Please note that to allow for film processing times, this course has an SIX WEEK time commitment. There are only four teaching weeks – there will be two break weeks to allow students time to process their film.
daily shooting encouraged
4 hours of work per week
this course has prerequisites
All students will need a film camera (either 35mm or medium format), film, and an external light meter. Sandra is happy to make suggestions for both cameras and meters for all budgets. She will also provide a list of recommended film stocks. Students should be comfortable shooting in manual mode.
With over fifteen years experience working in both film and digital photography, Sandra Coan has become Seattle’s premier maternity, newborn and family photographer. Her award winning work has been featured in a variety of publications including Click Magazine, Lemonade and Lenses, Seattle Bride, Plum, Bump and The Knot and on the popular blogs Let the Kids Dress Themselves, Light Inspired and Beyond the Wanderlust. Sandra’s work is also now a part of the Seattle Museum of History and Industry’s permanent collection. As co-founder and editor of Little Bellows, an online community celebrating the beauty of film photography, Sandra shares her passion for the medium of film with others. She also works as an educator, teaching fellow photographers through her workshops and, most recently, as an instructor at the 2015 Click Away conference in San Antonio, TX. Her portfolio is available here.
The following photographers also participate in discussions and provide assignment critiques as teaching assistants:
A number of course alumni may be invited to engage in discussion, share insight with students, and provide feedback and encouragement throughout the course.
Welcome & Preassignment
What you need to get started with film
Reading: We will start by looking at color film. We will learn about the characteristics of the three most popular professional grade color films, how to rate and meter for best results and we will gain an understanding of the incredible exposure range color film has to offer.
Assignment: This week we will practice with color film by shooting different stocks in a variety of lighting situations, paying attention to metering and using what we know about the latitude of color film to take creative risks.
Reading: We will learn about three popular black and white stocks and how black and white film differs from color film in latitude. We will discus how to rate and meter these stocks best results and look at effects of pushing black and white film.
Assignment: We will practice working with black and white film by shooting different stocks in a variety of lighting situations, paying attention to metering and using the inherent qualities in black and white film to play with shadows and highlights.
Reading: Join any film forum and you will read about people “pushing” their film. This week we will get into the specifics of what it means to push film, what it does (and doesn’t do) to your film and how to use it to add pop and drama to your images.
Assignment: This week we will practice pushing film is a variety of lighting situation to achieve a desired effect and we will learn how to communicate with our lab when so that our pushed film is properly processed.
Reading: When you are a film photographer, the lab you choose makes a huge difference in your final outcome. This week we will learn how to get the most our of our film scans by leaning how to choose the best type of scan for our style and how to communicate with our lab of choice.
Assignment: Take what you’ve learned and put it into action! Choose two film stocks based on a desired look and feel and, begin a person to person dialog with your lab based on your style.
Study Along students will have access to all materials and will be able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum and receive access to their own private subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments.