Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/10/15

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Subject: [Leica] Fwd: Digi/film combo shooting
From: bdcolen at (B. D. Colen)
Date: Fri Oct 15 08:39:06 2004

Bob - This isn't your story, is it?

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Bob Palmieri
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 11:24 AM
Subject: [Leica] Fwd: Digi/film combo shooting

Begin forwarded message:

> Folks -
> This dispatch was posted to another list yesterday in response to a
> discussion of the relative merits of shooting film or digital for 
> wedding-type gigs.  It might have some relevance for some of you 
> LUGgers, so here ya go...
> So it seems I got a call a few weeks ago to shoot an "elopement;" the
> gig was described as follows.  Basically, the couple lives in LA and 
> will be stopping in Chicago to marry (in a 15 minute civil ceremony 
> with 2 guests in attendance), they then want to be taken around to a 
> few scenic spots in Chicago for a couple of hours and have a bunch of 
> photos taken. "Shoot 4 rolls of film and give us the contact sheets, 
> we'll take it from there"  he said.
> I told him I don't really shoot weddings, I'm an art & music guy.  He
> says they're specifically looking for an art guy and not a wedding 
> shooter (he's the CFO of a major art museum); I say OK.
> A few days before the downbeat he calls to ask if maybe I should shoot
> dig instead, seeing as how they're off on a 1 month honeymoon after 
> the big event; I tell him I'll probably shoot mostly  film with some 
> digital and have the film scanned onto CDs, (although since they won't

> be shlepping a laptop I'm not sure why this is gonna be an 
> improvement.)
> I brought 3 cameras.  A motor-driven Canon film mill with fill flash
> and 28-105 zoom was supposed to be the main axe, with my M6 35/50/90 
> and a Pentax digicam (Optio 555) for backup.
> Within 3 shots I could tell that the Canon was getting its revenge on
> me for ignoring it so much over the past several years.  Despite some 
> exercising of all switches/levers and some tests a few days earlier 
> the camera just wasn't doing its thing.  Immediately grabbed the 
> digicam and started shooting away.
> In the end I shot about 70 jpegs and 1 roll of 36 Portra 160 in the M6
> that I had left over from some headshots a coupla years ago (just past

> the expiration date but  "what the heck, its been in the 'fridge...")
> I load the jpegs into the laptop (my distinctly amateur digicam
> doesn't do raw and takes too long between shots for TIFF's).
> Really mixed light, mixed contrast, mixed everything; basically they 
> each needed to be massaged in Photoshop individually.
> Took a couple of hours, really;  (my Photoshop skills aren't the 
> slickest.)  This pesky pink jacket she's wearing just won't quite come

> around at the same time as the skin tones, I'm thinking of doing an 
> out-of-gamut search, etc....  I also can't seem to get everyone's skin

> to look good at the same time; I'm hoping that My Friend the Film is 
> gonna save my butt...
> I get the film back along with a Kodak Photo CD. It looks truly
> hideous.  Cyan skies, completely washed-out color (even for a 
> low-saturation film.)  More hammering, one shot at a time.
> In the end, they loved the results but it sure took some hours in the
> "lightroom"  to get there.
> Conclusions:
> The skill of being able to present 100+ acceptable-to-really good
> color images of people is not something to be minimized.  Not that I 
> think the folks on this list need to hear that...  As someone who's 
> accustomed to shooting a few rolls and working up a few shots, this is

> a skill that I'll need to be working on if I ever intend to take 
> another gig like this.
> These amateur digicams can really be a drag when called upon to to a
> DSLR's job (I suppose I already knew that.)
> Maybe these film expiration dates are a bit more serious than I
> thought.
> That "little bit of fog" on my 35 4th gen. 'Cron that Don Goldberg & I
> both shrugged off last month will hafta be exorcised. I shot most of 
> the film with this lens and I'm pretty sure it was a major factor in 
> the washed-out look.
> Under many conditions the workflow involved in delivering said 100+
> images might actually be better with film. However, it sure is great 
> to be able to fix so many foibles in-house.
> When you're 5'-9" and you're shooting someone who's 6'-4" it's hard to
> shake the thought that with an assistant and a ladder life would be a 
> bit better.
> Bob Palmieri

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In reply to: Message from rpalmier at (Bob Palmieri) ([Leica] Fwd: Digi/film combo shooting)