Yes, I know. When we were very young people used to show their holiday slides to any victim who couldn’t think of a good enough excuse to be somewhere else.
“We have been to Cornwall. Relive our memories of getting sunburned on Rock beach with us, and enjoy our memories of our holiday, even though you weren’t there, and were at work that week”
You know the thing.
To a very great extent, recent posts on this blog are a modern equivalent. “I’m here in Cornwall. The weather is bloody lovely. You’re not here. Too bad”. But, my recent posts while on holiday were not intended to rub any noses in it. They were intended to show my Mum that the weather was nice 🙂 (Sorry Mum!)
No. What this post is about is the wonder and the joy and the shear perfectness of a well exposed and composed photograph taken on “slide” film. A positive image in all senses of the word.
With slide film, you have to get it right. You have to get your exposure spot on (it’s pretty unforgiving of sloppy exposure), with maybe only one stop either side of “right” to play with. You can soon see a poorly exposed slide.
With colour print film, where you shoot a negative image and have it printed to a positive print, the film technology allows for a decent amount of leeway, making the medium definitely more forgiving.
With digital, with a modern, decent camera, you have a huge dynamic range to play with. Under-exposed? Over-exposed? Don’t worry. Fixable in Photoshop, or Adobe CameraRaw.
Not so with slide film.
Get the photograph back from the processor in a nice plastic mount. Stick it in a good projector onto a good screen, and that’s it. What you took is what you see. No messing about. No fiddling. No adjusting exposure or white balance.
Now, there are still a few of us who shoot E6 film. A dying breed. There will be fewer of us next year, and fewer still the year after. Most of us who do, I suspect, scan our film and manipulate on the computer. It was the best of worlds and it was the worst of worlds. Neither film in it’s purest sense, nor digital in its most versatile, scanning film leaves one in a tricky bunker somewhere on the 10th tee.
So… the point of this blog post? Scanning slides is brilliant. You have a real colour original as a reference (as oppose to a colour negative on a pink/orange base…) and it makes scanning so dead simple it’s stupid.
Here are some scans of slides I took last week in Cornwall. You can’t see the real thing, unless you come round to my house and see the slide. But you can see the scans of them.
These two rolls of slide film have restored my faith in my Leicas. My photography.
Let’s just hope that slide film lasts a little longer yet…