I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing weekend!
In the midst of your festivities and relaxation, please take a moment to think about the real meaning behind this holiday. I will be thinking about all of the 5th Special Forces Group soldiers who have been killed in the Global War on Terror.
Captain Benjamin Tiffner
Staff Sergeant Ayman A. Taha
Staff Sergeant Gary R. Harper
Sergeant First Class Brett Walden
Staff Sergeant Matthew Kimmell
Captain Michael Tarlavsky
Staff Sergeant Paul C. Mardis
Staff Sergeant Aaron Holleyman
Sergeant Major Michael Stack
Master Sergeant Kevin Morehead
Major Paul Syverson III
Sergeant First Class William Bennett
Sergeant First Class Daniel H. Petithory
Staff Sergeant Brian C. Prosser
Master Sergeant Jefferson D. Davis
De Oppresso Liber, heroes.
If you would like to learn more about Memorial Day, you can read at this link.
We did Shawn’s bridal portrait session at beautiful, historic Riverwood Mansion here in Nashville, TN. Shawn’s dress is a family heirloom, and she will be the 5th lady in her family to wear it on her wedding day. Given the vintage nature of the dress, we wanted a classic setting and style to create a seamless overall look. I looked to the old dutch masters for inspiration on this shoot, and I’m quite proud of this series of images.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you Shawn, and congrats on your wedding today!
Its always an honor when another photographer chooses you to photograph their wedding, and I was particularly pleased when the talented Columbus wedding photographers Doug and Jackie decided that they wanted me to document their engagement and wedding. They drove all the way down from Ohio to do this session!
With their background and passion for photography, I was also thrilled that they elected to have me shoot their entire engagement session on black and white film. This session was shot on a mix of 35mm and 6×7 medium format, using a variety of film stocks.
It was a VERY hot day, so while we started out over at the Steeplechase in Brentwood, midway through the session we decided that we just needed to cool off in Percy Priest Lake. I was thrilled that Doug and Jackie brought their beautiful weimaraners Layla and Gunner, who added a great presence to the shoot.
I’ve had a lot of folks asking me lately: “Hey Evan, why are you shooting film? What do you feel are the advantages?”
First off, let me assure you all that I still really enjoy shooting digital. I love digital. Digital can create wonderful and special images. Many of the best images I’ve ever captured are on digital. But my first love will always be film.
The best explanation that I can offer you is that the difference between film and digital is something I measure with my heart rather than with my head. I love the classic, organic look of a great fiber print, and you just can’t make digital prints look like that. If you wanted to argue that modern 35mm digital cameras offer better resolution, practically grainless low-light capability, easier and more comprehensive post-processing available, and various other objective advantages of digital, I wouldn’t argue with you. However, when it comes to putting an image on paper, the traditional film and silver-gelatin process creates gripping prints with a unique depth and grace. You can try to simulate the appearance of film and classic printing processes with modern digital technology, but you’ll never completely replicate the look. Even if you get close, the best you’ll ever be able to say is that you’ve created good fake film.
In the end, authenticity is what matters to me. I love the look of vintage black & white, but if I get there through digital trickery, I will always know that my work is pretending to be something that it is not.
If you’re a car lover, I have an analogy for you:
Some people lust after the 2010 Shelby GT500 Mustang, because its faster, handles better, and wins almost all of the objective measurements of car performance, comfort, and reliability.
Some people love the 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang, and will accept no substitutes. It’s not about a top-speed measurement, or modern air conditioning. Its about the unique growl of the engine under the hood, or the solid feel when you close the driver’s door. Its a passion.
And of course, some people will settle for replicas of the ’67. They’re nice cars, and might even fool the folks on the street. They might be fun to drive, and there is nothing wrong with them. But deep down, they’ll never be a real ’67.
I believe in classic cars.
I believe that Champagne only comes from Northern France.
I believe in products that are hand-made, the old fashioned way.
I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter.
And I believe in black and white film.
While 35mm is the traditional medium of photojournalists, I decided a while ago that medium format was an essential addition to my arsenal of cameras for portraiture. Medium format cameras offer a significantly larger piece of film, which gives great enlargements, and a unique dimensionality that is difficult to achieve on a smaller format. This week, I received my new Mamiya RZ67 camera, which records 6×7 centimeter negatives, nearly 5 times the size of 35mm. Its a big, boxy camera, but still much more user-friendly and faster than a 4×5 (inch) large format camera, which is the next size up.
I am so neurotic, I pulled out a reflector for an iPhone photo.
I’m excited to begin working this amazing tool into my portraiture, both at weddings and for portrait sessions. Here are some quick test-shots I took in the back yard with my gorgeous wife, to ensure that the camera was operating properly. These were all taken with the 110mm f/2.8, but I should have a 180mm f/4.5 portrait lens arriving tomorrow as well.