Friday, July 29, 2011

Full Circle - Medium Format

Musician at a chinese opera performance
Well it has been exactly 3 months since I stepped into the world of medium format and what can I say other than WOW! For those who know me long enough, they'll know that I like to try out new things / techniques that can change my picture style. I'm never very happy staying with one style for too long as I tend to get bored with the repetitive images.

Along came Mr Medium Format in all its glory to open my eyes to this new form of canvas for me to paint on. Subject perspective, details, dof from the shoots enabled me to see things that I've never seen before. While waiting to restore my dad's Mamiya-6, I managed to obtained the Mamiya C3 and C330 TLR's (twin lens reflex) which gave me good portability for street shoots as compared to my RB67. 

Aunty watching chinese opera at Kuan Yin Teng Temple
I used a tripod whenever I'm shooting with these fellows to ensure that I do not introduce any camera shake into the photos (these babies are heavy!). The tonal range coming out from the film scans (using a CanoScan 8800F) are incredible to say the least with the histogram showing full tonal range right across the graph. I've never been able to obtain that from DSLR but we have to be fair, as the medium format film size is 6 times that of a full frame DSLR.

Kek Lok Si - Wishing Ribbons
Working with this beauts are not as difficult as it may seem and once you get your exposure / metering figured out, it is pretty much down to composition and the usual stuff. For those who are not aware, a roll of medium format film (120 format) will give you 10 shots (6x7 format), 12 shots (6x6 format) or 15 shots (6x4.5 format). These means that you will not only need to think before you shoot but you will also need to manually meter with your eyes (unless you're using a light meter which I don't as I find them too cumbersome to use) as you will only have those limited number of shots. Developing time for color films will take only 15 mins for the negatives while BW (black & white) will take a couple of days as they need to be manually developed as oppose to the machine developed color negatives.

Once scanned, I'll do the usual post processing on the photos. Why still need to post process? For one, post processing will enhance the photo further by bringing out the sharpness, details etc. And again for those who are opposed to this, well everyone has their own way and this happens to be mine ~ no offence. 

Audience at a chinese opera performance

I know a lot of old timers will be laughing at me as they have already experienced this eons ago but hey, better late than never ~ big grin!

If you have any questions with regards to the above article, please do not hesitate to contact me : kevin@kevinchooi.com

For more photos, you can either go to my facebook or flickr :

http://www.facebook.com/kevinchooi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinchooi/

4 comments:

  1. Love the shots...very suitable for some nat geo type of magazines...

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  2. wow thanks for the kind feedback Beh :)

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  3. This is one nice article. Great work with ur Mamiya!

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  4. Thanks Kalvin..need to go for coffee one of these days :)

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