Keep It Light

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Keep It Light
Anything Film Can Do, Digital Can Do ... Kind Of

With the rise of digital also comes a curious, retro-inspired love of photos that look like they've been shot on film. Apps like Hipstamatic and Instagram offer different "lenses" and exposures to give your photos the imperfect, occasionally overexposed and "artsy" look of analog film.

One of the disadvantages of working with film is that you can't simply click your mouse to lighten or darken a face or background image. That's why when you're shooting on film, you must be aware of how the natural (or unnatural) lighting plays out on your subject, as your ability to edit an image is not going to come as easily.

Remember that with film, you're manually lightening and darkening areas as you're developing prints in the darkroom. While dodging (lightening a dark spot) or burning (darkening a light one), you're either blocking or prolonging exposure to get the desired effect. To that end, you need to make sure you have an optimal lighting experience to start with. Too much strong sunlight can wash out an image or create shadows, so look for shaded areas or cloudy days. Using reflectors like a light-colored umbrella between the sun and your subject can help you capture an optimal image from the get-go.

On the other hand, lighting issues are one of the main reasons people prefer film over digital. Film can produce a larger range of color than a digital image, and it can also handle bright, white colors better. Film photographs often contain more imperfections -- unique flaws that some people find creativity in.

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