Examples of shooting Lauren Cantrell in both digital and 35mm
Ok y'all... It's time to dive deep into my philosophy of post production.
Little history lesson first:
I started playing with the idea of photography in 2011. iPhone at the ready, Instagram filters galore. It was bad but the vibe at the time. I didn't have any intentions to expand into photography, I just wanted to share my story. In the same year I started a thing called FOLLY with my best pal Kyle Steed and discovered the power of social media. I traveled the nation and connected with people I wouldn't have otherwise been able to if it wasn't for that dang iPhone and connecting on social; sharing my story and the products that helped me along the way. Through that my interests started peeking to get the next best shot. This helped me professionally and personally as I developed my eye for photo concepts and identifying what light was and how to manipulate it to meet the needs of my intent.
FILM!! In 2012/13 I picked up a film camera and didn't look back at my handheld pocket camera/phone. I love/d everything about film and the struggle of learning light. Most of the initial film cameras I used had no batteries therefore I learned light metering through trial and error one roll at a time. This developed a very strong base of light knowledge that eventually transitioned into digital photography through the medium of the Fujifilm X-Series cameras (still my favorite travel cameras to date).
When shooting 35mm I was true to the film and provided no digital enhancements to create a better shot feel. If the shot didn't turn out then I needed to make note and do better next click. I subscribed to this principle for years, until recently...
The thought hit me... when shooting RAW (no matter how expensive you camera is), the shots look mediocre at best. The idea is there, composure locked in solid, but the image just doesn't capture the eye like I want and it's not supposed too... it's RAW. So... why not apply the same principles to film the way I do to digital? Maybe it's because I wanted to stay true to what film is but then I thought... what makes everything come together so well in film? Answer: the development of film. A good film developer is worth their wait in gold and will cost about as much. "What do they do that makes an image pop so well", they enhance the image through chemically processing of the roll; analogically enhancing the shot like we do digitally in Lr and/or Ps.
Let's go hybrid!
To justify digitally enhancing an analog shot, I thought through this process for the last 2 years and have come to a happy place taking my film shots and putting the true edit of what I envisioned when I released the shutter. As you'll see below, the edit is slight, but great! Not detracting from the original image or film vibe but complimenting it for what it is.
Below the 35mm example you'll see a much more significant example of my post production before/after using a Canon 5D MarkIV. Even then you'll see that I do not derail from the idea of the shot or over enhance to create something that isn't already there. The goal in all of my post production is to micro enhance and create a vibe that will make the client smile at first glance as well as feel an emotion they want in a photo I take (i.e. why they hire me).
At the end of the day, photography is here to capture an emotion in a split second of time. I am absolutely in love with that idea to my core and why I strive so hard to learn my craft better with each shot. I'm slow to adopt a new principal in my process as any good thing is slow to absorb and implement but once I have it, it's there for life.
Canon 5D Mark IV
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