Have you ever felt a longing for the nostalgia of old-school street photography? Do you harbor a fascination with the raw and authentic moments captured on film? If so, then let me introduce you to a timeless classic: Kodak Tri-X. This iconic black and white film has been a favorite among street photographers for decades, and it continues to hold its ground in the world of digital photography. Coupled with the Mavis CW camera, a reliable and compact companion for any street shooter, Tri-X produces stunning results that capture the essence of the streets like no other. In this blog, we will delve into the allure of street photography with film, and explore why Kodak Tri-X is the perfect choice for those craving a vintage aesthetic with a touch of modern convenience.
Street Photography with Film: Kodak Tri-X (feat. Mavis CW)
I’ve always had a troubled relationship with film photography. I’ve come at it many times over the years, but I’m not able to justify the extra cost of shooting on film. Plus, to be very honest, I get kind of tired of hearing people say film has so much soul to it, and digital is so soulless. This is usually from people who couldn’t tell the difference between an image shot on film or a digital image. But recently, I’ve got back into film photography and I’ve been really enjoying it. It’s not because I want to harken back to some golden era of photography, but rather because I feel like the process itself might have something to teach me.
About Mavis CW
In my journey into film photography, I’ve sought out other photographers who shoot on film as their preference. One such photographer is my friend Mavis. Unlike other photographers, Mavis doesn’t shout about shooting on film or wear it like a badge of honor. On her Instagram, she often doesn’t mention how or what she shot her images with. But her photos stand strongly on their own and she never suggests she’s a better photographer because she shoots on film. She quietly tells you that she finds the process itself satisfying and admirable.
The Investment of Shooting Street on Film
As a street photographer, I don’t have a high success rate. I might go out for hours, shoot dozens of images, and only come home with a few keepers. When you translate that into buying rolls of film, chemicals, and the time spent developing each roll, it becomes a huge investment. In contrast, digital photographers can be more casual in their shooting. I believe that people who shoot street on film truly earn every image they capture.
Mavis’s Experience with Film Photography
Mavis fell in love with film photography when she was young, watching her mother capture memories on a point-and-shoot film camera during their travels. She was fascinated by the process and the excitement of loading film into the camera. When she got the opportunity, she tried film photography herself and discovered the joy of capturing memories and reliving them through the developed photos. She now uses a manual Leica M6 camera with a 35mm lens for street photography.
Mavis’s Approach to Street Photography
Mavis sets up her camera manually, using a fixed aperture and shutter speed for quick shooting on the streets. She prefers to use a 35mm lens for its versatility in capturing the fast-paced environment. She focuses on subjects within a certain distance and adjusts her focus quickly if necessary. Mavis shoots with Kodak Tri-X 400 film for its wide dynamic range, allowing her to shoot in different lighting conditions. She occasionally pushes the film to 1600 for a high contrast and grainy look.
Inspiration from Other Photographers
Mavis draws inspiration from other photographers who have worked with film, such as Gary Winogrand and Joel Meyerowitz. Winogrand’s work showcased a sense of movement and life, while Meyerowitz captured the time and space of New York City in his photographs. These influences have inspired Mavis to capture the essence of London during specific periods, like 2019-2020.
Overall, Mavis’s approach to street photography with film provides a unique perspective and appreciation for the process. Shooting on film may require more effort, time, and investment, but it offers a rewarding experience and can teach photographers valuable lessons. Film photography still holds its importance in the digital age, reminding us to embrace the artistry and soul of the medium.
FAQ – Street Photography with Film: Kodak Tri-X (feat. Mavis CW)
Q1. What is Kodak Tri-X film?
A1. Kodak Tri-X is a black and white film known for its high contrast and grainy look. It has been a popular choice among street photographers for decades due to its versatility and ability to capture stunning images in various lighting conditions.
Q2. Why choose film for street photography?
A2. Film photography offers a unique and nostalgic aesthetic that many photographers enjoy. Street photography with film adds an element of surprise and anticipation, as you won’t see the results immediately. It also encourages thoughtful composition and careful decision-making due to the limited number of exposures on a roll.
Q3. How to use Kodak Tri-X for street photography?
A3. Using Kodak Tri-X for street photography with Mavis CW camera is a wonderful choice. Set your camera’s ISO to the film’s recommended speed, typically around ISO 400. This will ensure optimal exposure. Pay attention to lighting conditions and use appropriate aperture and shutter speed settings. Experiment with different compositions and angles to capture intriguing street scenes.
Q4. How to achieve the best results with Kodak Tri-X film?
A4. To get the best results with Kodak Tri-X film, proper development and scanning are crucial. Find a reputable lab or develop the film yourself using dedicated black and white development chemicals. Ensure proper agitation and development times for optimal contrast and tonal range. When scanning the negatives, make sure to adjust the settings to capture the film’s unique characteristics.
Q5. What makes Mavis CW a good camera for street photography?
A5. Mavis CW is a compact and lightweight camera that is easy to carry around, making it ideal for street photography. Its manual controls allow you to adjust settings swiftly, capturing those spontaneous moments. The camera’s built-in light meter helps in determining the correct exposure, and its versatile lens produces sharp images with excellent contrast.
Q6. Can I use Kodak Tri-X film with other cameras?
A6. Absolutely! Kodak Tri-X film can be used with a wide range of film cameras, not just Mavis CW. Just make sure to adjust your camera’s ISO settings and expose the film properly according to the specific camera’s capabilities.
Q7. Where can I buy Kodak Tri-X film and Mavis CW camera?
A7. Kodak Tri-X film and Mavis CW camera can be purchased from various online photography stores, as well as from local camera shops. Make sure to check availability and compare prices to find the best deal.
Q8. Any tips for beginners interested in street photography with film?
A8. Absolutely! Start by familiarizing yourself with your camera and the film you choose to use. Experiment with different settings, compositions, and lighting conditions. Join photography communities and learn from experienced street photographers. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to take risks and embrace the unpredictability of film photography.
I hope you find useful my article Street Photography with Film: Kodak Tri-X (feat. Mavis CW), I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.
If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.
Best of luck! and follow your passion.
Please consider joining my newsletter or following me on social media if you like my content.