Black and White Film Photography:
In the age of digital camera and vast high-quality printing facilities, why are we talking about the black and white film photography? Because it is the traditional way of photography and many photographers still use the film. The most amazing black and white silver print image from the film photography looks different from any digital print. Because the materials used in both methods are different and produce different results.
The black and white photography is difficult enough because we have to visualize the world without colors but if something goes wrong, you can manage it in digital photography. Photoshop and other software can help you in that matter in post processing of the photograph. But, you can’t avail this facility in film photography which makes it even harder.
The photography film requires the different sort of discipline, skills, and working methods. In film photography, the redemption chances are less than few, unlike digital photography. To master the black and white film photography, you need to pay more attention towards details like light, textures, shapes and practice it more.
Practice is really important because film gives you limited exposure–only 36, so think economically. Other than the economic value of practice, consider the time you have to spend in the darkroom to see the photo result. The mistakes in film photography will cost you both money and time. That’s why you don’t only need to master the film camera techniques but sharpen the darkroom skill as well.
In order to master the black and white film photography, it is important to get a better understanding of a film and its composition. A black and white film is composed of three layers. The first layer is light sensitive emulsion layer that contains the grains of silver salt. These salt grains are when exposed to light; they react with the developer and halt down into clean silver. The second layer is a plastic strip to the emulsion and final layer is an anti-halation. This layer prevents the light from rebounding back and capture the light coming through the emulsion and plastic layer.
Format Of Films
Photography films come in a variety of formats and stocks. Typically, 35mm black and white films are used and these films contain either 24 or 36 exposures. There are different film brands that are available in the market and offer different formats. So, instead of buying one brand, you should work with different film formats to figure out which one you like.
Speed Of Film
The speed of the film depends on the silver salt grains in the emulsion layer. The larger the amount of silver salt grains, the faster the film speed–because they need less light to capture the photograph. So, exposure to light decides the speed of film, therefore, films with smaller grains require more light to capture the photo that are slower in speed.
These grains has a larger impact on final print of the image, the larger grains will result in the grainier photograph. To understand this concept better, film speed is given in ISO number and film speed ratings are available in the form of ISO 50, ISO 100, ISO 400 etc. You can find higher rating ISO films as per your requirement. To get the faster speed you will need higher ISO rating film and vice versa.
So at the end of our journey, we learned about some basic stuff related to black and white film photography. There are different options available for you related to film format, speed as well as photographer papers of printing. These options will help you out in creating the outstanding and fabulous black and white photographs in old fashion way.