Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rainy Night In Paradise

I guess I've got a bit of a dejected look on my face, not so much from the rain - we needed the rain - but because I can't light up a cigarette to smoke while drinking my coffee. Like most Starbucks around here there's an outside seating area where you can smoke, but even the big umbrellas won't keep you dry if there's a bit of breeze blowing. Nowadays smokers don't have to worry about emphasema or lung cancer. We'll die from pneumonia first.

Oh well, it gives me time to contemplate other things, like the color film I've been using for the last few months. Professional color films are designed to give optimum color under certain types of light. One kind for daylight and electronic flash, another kind for the much warmer light of tungsten bulbs. With flourescent light daylight film is close but still has trouble coping with the greenish hue. Of course a true pro would never be caught dead buying amateur film in Walgreens.

So there I was a couple months ago on a Sunday afternoon, nearly fifty miles from home near the border of Broward and Palm Beach Counties, to shoot a reception for a wedding that had actually taken place months before. The groom, a newspaper editor, was a good friend of mine going back thirty-five years or so, someone I'd worked with on a few papers and magazines. "Black & white" he'd said, "We just want black and white. No color." I checked again before leaving the house. I put a dozen rolls of black and white film in my bag and headed north.

Of course by the time I got there there'd been a change of heart. Mad dash to Walgreens! I picked up several four packs of Fuji 200 which was on sale for a tiny fraction of what the pro stuff would have cost. That's how I discovered that it works great with sunlight or tungsten, mixed tungsten and electronic flash, even the flourescents in the kitchen. Great color! And why not, when you think about it. Amateurs aren't going to carry several kinds of film. It also has brighter punchier color than the pro film, and so far people seem to love the look.

Now that I have the "color problem" solved without going nuts "color correcting" everything, and carrying nearly a dozen color filters with me everyplace, I've started shooting more color just for fun. I still prefer the look of black and white for my personal work but I've been experimenting with what I can do in color. This is one of those experiments. It would look so nuch better, though, with a touch of cigarette smoke in the air.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That should teach you to never believe anything a groom says about wedding plans.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch on that comment above...I can only imagine what it means. ;-)

Al, I love your color work...wish you'd do more of it...perhaps you can bounce between color and B&W on your bog site here.

Best regards,

12:32 AM  

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