On the recommendation of a friend who’d attended Utah film photographer Jonathan Canlas’ workshop Film Is Not Dead, I booked onto the Ibiza workshop earlier this year, not really knowing whether I’d ever be using film in my work as a wedding and portrait photographer. I’ve attended a variety of workshops in the past, just to refresh myself and my work and I always gain something from each one that I find I can incorporate into my work so I hoped this workshop would also give me something new to take away with me.
I grew up using film cameras (see here and here) although I had varying results, depending on the quality of light and the type of film I was using. Things have come on a long way since then and the new types of film from Fuji and Kodak are so much better than they used to be, especially the professional film they manufacture like 400H and Portra – film with low grain and high colour. At the beginning of September, I bought a few rolls of both along with some Kodak Ektar and packed my case for Ibiza! I wanted to take a couple of camera with me on the course and decided on a Canon EOS3 35mm SLR and my Mamiya 645AF medium format camera with 80mm lens.
When we arrived at the villa where we were staying, Jon hugged us all and made us really welcome. We had taken over the villa in the hills overlooking San Antoni with a beautiful swimming pool and view – there were photographers from all over the world, along with five of us from the UK.
Jon gave us a bag of Kodak film each, the results of which you see here. We shot and shot and shot for three days and nights – and we talked, and ate delicious food made by Flossie, a chef flown out from the UK. It was an absolutely fantastic experience and one which I’d love to repeat after I’ve had more practice of shooting film with a handheld light meter, as we did on the workshop.
Oh yes – although my Canon EOS3 and Mamiya performed perfectly, I came back really badly wanting a Contax camera. That’s the ‘Canlas’ effect 🙂
The images which are really saturated in colour here were shot on the EOS3 with Kodak Ektar – a film I’m not sure about using again as it can create some punchy red colour – the rest are shot on Kodak Portra 160 and 400 and I love these films!
I came away from the workshop with a lot more knowledge of film and how best to shoot it. All the people I met there were inspiring in their own way and I’ve made loads of friends, kept in touch via Facebook. I also came away with a commitment to bring film into my work – so for 2013, I will be shooting engagement sessions on medium format film whilst my weddings for the moment will remain fully digital.