Monday, March 29, 2010

Finally Figured It Out

WARNING: Shitty photos below...

I have finally figured it out. For the longest time (ok, for about 2months), I have been wondering why there was this undesirable green tint on my subway and bus photos taken with my film camera. For all this time, I blamed it all on my faulty manual exposure using my eyes as my light meter. I thought that I had it all wrong because, well, after all, the brightness of florescent lighting can be damn difficult to judge, after all it seems damn bright but it's ever so cool to the touch. So I thought that I had underexposed all my shots and the poor lab technician was trying to resurrect the photos by push processing them, causing the colours to fade into oblivion.

Well, it turns out that it was all because I had daylight balanced film loaded into the camera, and the whiteness of daylight is different to the whiteness of florescent lights. When the eye sees the two different whites, the brain automatically makes an adjustment to give a human interpretation that they are similar in colour.

Similarly, when a digital camera also makes the same adjustment, although sometimes incorrectly. In the world of film, the camera cannot adjust for the different colour temperatures, which is the cause of the green tint.
Very rookie mistake to make.

This leaves me in a bit of a dilemma. After preaching about the wonderful world of film, I suddenly find myself in a position where I can no longer use colour film in my daily commute, which in most cases represent the only time during which I can take photos. There are solutions around this, of course:
  • use a warming filter to remove the tint, but this little camera has a very unique lens diameter that they no longer manufacture filters for
  • use black and white film - these cost an arm and a leg to buy and a few more toes and fingers to process, even though the processing process is actually easier than colour film (but is a manual process instead of done by machines, hence the cost). Of course, I can try to process the film myself and save, but then I get funny smells in the house and I will need a dark room - the real estate may just prove to be even my costly.
So I guess I am stuck between a dark room wall and a flureacent light. What is a man to do when he can have neither? I guess he goes back to a place from whence he came. Digital.So after all my preaching in the previous couple of weeks, I came to the conclusion that I should go back to the interior but more flexible option. Make no mistake though, the little Canonet will not be packed away. It will not be banished to a closet somewhere and left to gather dust. It will be used whenever the liking takes me and the conditions
are right.

I am a sucker for punishments. I know.

PS: It turns out that I was indeed underexposing my fluorescent shots, but that's not the point... :)

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