Film photographers are used to options slowly fading away, but today we have news of the opposite variety: a film company making a dramatic return to the game. Originally announced via blog post in July of last year, Italian film company FILM Ferrania is finally preparing to start making film again in mid-September.
The Exif4Film app is a handy tool for Android-toting film photographers, but it’s not the only fish in the sea. Similar to Exif4Film, the Photographer’s Notebook app can help you to keep track of film rolls and record information about each exposure. Although Photographer’s Notebook feels somewhat rough around the edges, and it lacks a desktop companion tool for processing the recorded data, the app has several redeeming points that make it worth a consideration.
Like Exif4Film, Photographer’s Notebook allows you to create a list of camera and lens combinations as well as configure a vast array of options: from focus and aperture values, to film formats and flash settings.
Populating Photographer’s Notebook with cameras and lenses is easy enough. Switch to the Settings → Camera model section, enter the camera’s name and press the Add button. You can then specify lenses for the added camera. To tweak, for example, aperture values, switch to the Aperture section, and disable entries you don’t need. You can also specify custom entries. Before you leave the Settings screen, you might want to enable the geotagging feature in the General section which automatically records geographical coordinates for each frame.
Once Photographer’s Notebook has been configured, you can start using the app. First, create a new film roll using the button in the upper-right corner of the screen and provide the required information, such as the roll’s title (tap the Automatic title button to use the current timestamp as the roll’s name), film brand, speed, and type. Tap the Start film button to save the roll and open it. Recording information for each exposure is equally straightforward: use the available drop-down lists and fields to provide the required and optional info, then tap the Record picture button.
As already mentioned, Photographer’s Notebook lacks a desktop utility for writing the recorded data to the digitized photos, but the app makes it possible to export rolls in the XML format. The exported XML files can be opened in any text editor or processed using XML tools. On Linux, you can use the xml2exif Bash shell script cobbled together by yours truly to extract aperture, shutter speed, and ISO values from a generated XML file and write them into the appropriate photo.
To anyone with even a passing interest in photography the name of Ilford should be immediately familiar. Started off in the 1800s it’s now reinvented itself in the post-digital era as a lean an responsive outfit which is prospering where juggernauts such as Kodak have struggled.
CeBIT is better known as a huge IT fair than a hub of modern architecture. Indeed, most of the exhibit halls at the fair grounds are functional structures void of any architectural embellishments. And that’s exactly what makes them interesting photographic subjects — if you are into this kind of architectural minimalism, that is. I am, so I spent about an hour walking around CeBIT and shooting its architecture. The photo below is the top of one of the halls.
Nikon EM, Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8, Ilford XP2 Super 400
This is an old bus stop shed in Aarhus. It’s not pretty but it’s functional. It offers good protection against rain and wind (and we’ve got a lot of both here in Denmark). I spend many hours in sheds like these while waiting for the bus. Some may call these sheds boring, but I think they are charming in their own way.
There are only very few old bus stop sheds left in Aarhus. Most of them were replaced with modern glass-and-steel structures the primary purpose of which is to display ads. The new sheds don’t provide any protection against wind and rain, but they do attract vandals whose idea of fun is smashing glass walls.
Maybe it’s yet another any sign of me getting old, but I’d rather prefer it if the city kept the old sheds. Well, at least I’ve managed to snap a photo of one of the remaining old sheds before they disappear for good.
Nikon EM, Tamron 28mm f/2.8 Adaptall, Ilford XP2 Super 400.
This shot is actually the result of a technical malfunction. For some reason, my Nikon EM didn’t advance the film properly, and I ended up with this double-exposure photo. This happened only once, so I guess it was just a fluke, and a very lucky one at that.
This shot reminds me of Piet Mondrian‘s paintings, hence the title.
Nikon EM, Tamron 80-210mm f/3.8-4 Adaptall 2, Ilford XP2 Super 400. Aperture: f/8.0. Shutter speed: 1/125 sec. ISO: 400.