Digital SLR vs. Polaroid (22/03/2014)
It's been awhile since I've posted. I'm still working on the theme of Growth and Development. I'm steering it towards the development of photography, specifically three main mediums; Digital format, Instant cameras, and Film format. This photo shoot was based upon portraits, and how these three formats handle detail and how it operates in a studio environment. I shot the Digital and Film images in a mimic way (models were posed in the same way and the lighting was the same), but for the Polaroid shots I tried to shoot in an aggressive way. By aggressive I mean harsh lighting, I had this mental image in my head which was based upon 90s Grunge fashion, and the way it was shot. The lighting was quite harsh, and the photography style was rather candid. Like Terry Richardson's style, but it's best not to get into that controversial debate...
Here are the images:
This photo surprisingly got great reception on 500px, and made it to the Popular page which made my day!
I aimed to capture a harsh contrast and sharper detail, that's why I chose people with quite striking facial features, with beards and such! I placed a light to the right of the camera and had black card to block light from bouncing back onto the left side of their faces. In terms of manageability and accessibility I found that Digital was a lot easier to use; I could take test shots to perfect the lighting, and I could edit the RAW files in such a large way.
Here are the Polaroids:
This was my favourite shot with the Polaroid SX-70, I got James to 'flip the bird' at the camera, and the way film developed sort of censors the gesture.
The film I used was the Impossible Project PX-600 black and white film (with a black frame). Because the film was intended for the Polaroid SX-600, I had to use an ND filter to measure the light properly. However I think I should've just shot it normally and turned the light meter to +3 on the darker side. I shot this with the SX-70 Mint Flash, I set it to full power and got them to pose from about 1.5m - 2m, however there is still a lack of detail in their facial expression and the clothing. It has a rather greyscale finish than a black and white one. In terms of reliability the SX-70 lacked it this time, the flash failed to fire three times. I do like the effect the Polaroid cameras have, this isn't high fashion, I aimed for Grunge style, which is quite crude and raw, which these shots look. I find that the Polaroid images is aimed at a lighter part of fashion, a younger, hip version, but not for serious brands and magazines.
I don't have the film developed yet. When I do I will conclude this studio comparison. So keep an eye on this page for an updated link to the film comparison.