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Scott Alan Photography

Creating portraits and documenting life!

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film photography

Photography is Photography and Digital is Convenient.

A while back I had a conversation with another photographer and he was explaining how he had done some weddings but they made him real nervous. I had told him I had done a number of weddings over the years myself but I wasn’t really a wedding photographer but more of a portrait photographer. He learned that I started photography back in the film days. He asked if I had shot any weddings on film. I told him that I had. He said that back in the day it must have been super nerve-racking to shoot a wedding on film. I explained to him that it wasn’t any more or less nerve racking than shooting one digitally. He replied with the fact that we couldn’t see the images right away. I told him I could shoot a wedding with a digital camera with the LCD screen shut off. I explained to him that I had learned photography, learned exposure, learned how light works, memorized f stops and shutter speeds. I explained to him that I know if I have to change a particular f stop I could compensate with the correct shutter speed on the fly to maintain a correct exposure. I told him that we had to know photography, we had to know our gear, and we knew our cameras were going to capture whatever images we shot regardless of the fact that there were no LCD screens. And if our cameras malfunctioned, as professionals, we had another. I explained to him that everything digital has brought about is for convenience, but not necessities to make great photography.

Triple Exposure

Here is a shot I did on film… Kodak Portra 400… I left the shutter open and had the subject pose. I popped the flash and she moved to a new pose. I popped the flash again, and she moved to the third pose and I popped the flash for a third time.

Kodak Portra 400

I shoot more black and white film than color but when I shoot color I have 3 film stocks that are my go to for different reasons. They are Kodak Ektar 100, Fuji Superia XTRA 400, and Kodak Portra 400. I generally shoot Kodak Portra 400 when I’m doing portraits. I’ll even shoot film and use Portra on paid portrait shoots. Portra is a pretty versatile film and it looks good at box speeds as well as over exposed by a stop or two. Here are some examples of what Kodak Portra looks like. These are unedited photos straight from the film scans.

Kodak Ektar 100

Here is a photo from one of the first times I shot Kodak Ektar 100 film doing some landscape type stuff.

Sunset at Eagle Mountain Lake

When I Returned To Film Photography…

I started photography in 1995 during the film era. Sometime in 2000 my dad handed down his Bronica ETRS camera to me. This was the camera he used for many years shooting weddings and little league baseball team photos. After I graduated photogtaphy school in 2001 I went digital. From that point on I was strictly a digital photographer using many different Canon Cameras. I worked full time and ran a part time photography business until early 2012. I got burned out. I shut down my studio, sold my digital cameras, and sold all of my studio equipment. Several months went by and I started to get the itch to start shooting again but I wanted to do it on my terms, not a clients terms. The only cameras I had were two film cameras. I had my Canon Elan 7e and the Bronica ETRS that my dad had given me. I decided to give a go at film photography again. I figured out the film process (and look) is what I had loved and missed about photography. It was kind of intimidating at first to go back to film, because of course with digital you had the screen on the back of the camera to reference. I remember when I first started taking shots on the film camera I’d look at the back as if an image was going to be there. LOL. it didn’t take long to get back into the swing of things. I had to trust my knowledge of photography, trusted what I had learned, and trusted the camera was going to do what it was supposed to do. Here are a couple of portraits (with off camera flash) that I had made when I first got back into film photography.

Camera: Bronica ETRS

Lens: Zenzanon 75mm f2.8

Film: Kodak Portra 400

Automatic In San Diego

My wife and I married on Jan 1 2017 in San Diego, California. That trip was the first time either of us had been to California. Obviously, me being a photographer I had to document the trip. I didn’t want to worry about camera settings and such. I just wanted to be in the moment while I was there. So I decided to bring along two point and shoot cameras… and film cameras at that. These are a handful of photos that I made on the trip. I ended up making a book which includes these images. The book is titled “Automatic… in San Diego” which has now turned into photography projects when I travel.

That 70’s shoot…

I got approached to do a 70’s styled shoot. The images were going to be submitted to a magazine for publication for a vintage issue. I decided to “keep it real” and since digital photography didn’t exist in the 70’s, I shot the images on film. Because what’s easier than shooting film to get an authentic film look… Here is one of the photos from the shoot.

Summer of 2018

In the summer of 2018 I took a road trip to visit my grandmother in Virginia. I stayed at a couple of state parks on the trip. Here are a few images from Natchez Trace State Park.

North Texas Film Photography : SSS June 8 2019

Ever since the digital boom in photography film photography has been on the decline… Until about 5 or so years ago. Texas has one of the largest film communities in the nation. The North Texas Film Photography group meets up once a month on the second Saturday. The group usually meets for coffee, a drink, a bite to eat, good conversation, and photo walks…

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