Worfkflow reflections / by Mike Stacey

For the past 6 months or so I've shot a mixture of film and digital at all my shoots. Previous to this, it was all film except for a brief period during 2006 where I owned a Nikon D60 - which broke just before I was going to throw it away anyway.

The film box for a recent shoot. Always way too much in there but old habits die hard.

It's interesting to now reflect on how my workflow has changed to the film/digital mixture and I haven't even considered it, it's just morphed into being and I've gone with with the flow. These days, in a 2 hour shoot, I'll usually shoot around 150 - 200 digital images and at least 2 or 3 rolls of film. The film is always TRI-X and usually some Portra 400 as well. So that only 20 - 30 film shots but the thing is, there are always a handful of good ones from those few rolls of film so the hit rate is much higher. Guess that has to do with the care taken composing a shot with the Pentax 67, which is a beast to hold and focus but it does cause you to slow down and compose the image better.

 What a shit photo. Anyway, tells a story at least. Some 35mm Portra 400 from last weekend emerging into the world.

What a shit photo. Anyway, tells a story at least. Some 35mm Portra 400 from last weekend emerging into the world.

Still, after all that, my shooting style is becoming more fluid as I slowly shed the rigidity which has come from decades of using a large format camera and shooting things that don't move. I'm loving this new world of dynamism and movement. I need to be quick on the feet, quick with the creative mind and quick with the technical aspects. It keeps me on my toes, keeps me challenged and interested. Many landscape photographers, including myself previously, have little idea how much extra technique, creative vision and photographic ability is required for shooting human subjects and coming up with good images.

I have the best of both worlds using the film/digital combo. I get to be a part of every stage of image development with the film shots, from film processing to scanning to editing. With digital I get to move fast and I see instant results.

Portra 400 colour negative off the scanner before inversion.

After inversion and with a rough 5 minute edit.

So all up, I'll just continue with the current workflow, it's working well and is continuously changing with seemingly no input from me.