Test shoots – Digital vs Film

The photographs above are took on digital, i decided to shoot digital and film so i could compare the outcomes in terms of colour and most importantly the detail. I used 3 lights with softboxes, one either side and one in front focusing on the subjects face, an assistant was also holding a white reflector underneath the models to remove the shadows from their heads. This is the layout i will most probably be using for my final shoot. I wanted the photographs to have very simple aesthetics similar to Daniel Lilleys Cadet series, i find that this allows the viewer to concentrate more on the face/uniform without any distractions. The photographs have a sense of coldness towards them, they reflect the aesthetics of metal which connects with this strong and powerful persona we familiarise with soldiers. I do much prefer these images to the previous shoots i did. I want to fully focus on the Soldiers faces, i want viewers to be able to notice just the small scratches they may have got from being at war, tiny details like the length of their hair and facial hair. I want these viewers to be forced into looking straight into these faces and almost feel uncomfortable with how close they are. The previous shoot concentrated more on how their posture changes from being in their uniform to normal clothes, before i wanted to focus more on the fact that these soldiers are just normal people but now I have decided to focus more on their experiences and connecting the viewers with these people, of course there will be a sense of the fact these guys are still just like one of us but i just want to add that extra bit of impact so the viewers are able to feel a similar feeling as to what they have.

Below are the medium format prints.

I do really like the colour in these photographs, i shot these with Portra 400 film which i haven’t used before and i can definitely notice a change in the colour. They have a slightly higher contrast then just Superia film and feel quite softer. I do like these images but when compared with the digital ones they are very quiet and have a lot less impact from the others. I could edit these and try and make them to an aesthetics that relates to the subject but i feel as if the film grain isn’t given them much justice. The digital ones are smooth and quite soft but then the colours and detail completely break that allowing the images to look sharp and precise. Soldiers at war also use digital photography to spot their victim so it would be a nice connection to work in a similar way, it also does reflect the speed and concentration these Soldiers use when their in a war situation.

I’ve just added in a print screen to show the incredible detail the digital images have. After having a workshop today on the Nikon D800s i have decided to use that camera for the final shoot. The D800 shoots massive files which are able to be blown up to A1 without any resizing at all therefore the detail the camera captures is really fine.


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