TWiP #186 – Is Film the New “F” Word?

This week on TWiP: Is film the new “F” word? The Partridge Family sues Corbis, and getting your learn on in 2011.

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Joseph Linaschke, & Tyler Ginter


PhaseOne Introduces New IQ Line of Digital Backs Featuring up to 80 MP and a Touch-Screen Interface
PhaseOne has come out with a new line of high-end backs that feature a touch-screen interface. The panel discusses when we'll start to see this technology find it's way into consumer level dSLRs and are we moving towards a future when a camera manufacturer will come out with a camera that will just use a smart phone as it's interface? Or, with the rise in popularity of lomography and film cameras, are we moving back into an era where people want something more simplified?

Actress Sues Corbis to Shut Down Online Marketing of Celebrity Images
Shirley Jones of Partridge Family fame is suing Corbis for what she feels is a violation of her publicity rights. Jones is arguing that by displaying her image on its database, and using her name to facilitate customer searches of that database, Corbis is gaining commercially from her name and likeness without her permission.

Panasonic Launches 4 New Lumix Cameras
Panasonic announced the release of four new Lumix cameras this week: the DMC-TS3, DMC-FX78, DMC-ZS8, and DMC-ZS10. The DMC-TS3 features include a rugged design, built-in GPS, compass, altimeter, and barometer. The camera also features the new Panasonic 3D Photo mode, which produces a realistic 3D photo by taking 20 consecutive photos and overlays the two best to create a 3D image that can then be played on a 3D HDTV and other MPO-compatible equipment such as digital photo frames and printers.


With the start of a new year, it's a good time for photographers to plan their calendar of photography events in terms of education and workshops. What workshops, conferences, courses would each of our guests recommend and/or which ones are they planning to attend?

Joseph – the way to improve is by surrounding yourself by people who are better than you at whatever it is that you're trying to improve on. There are so many great resources out there from free to expensive – online and in person. There are so many great online resources available that there is no excuse why photographers can't learn something without having to leave their homes or spend money on flights. If you still can't find something online or can't afford to enroll in any online courses,  just get out there and shoot.

Tyler – I attend a few tradeshows every year including NAB and there is something to be said for meeting people face-to-face and getting to know people who perhaps you've only ever met or worked with online. If you can't make it out to any those shows, try to get out and network with people in your local area.

Frederick – you can learn a lot online at places like, Kelby Training, CreativeLive, etc. I will also go over to places like iStock and see what other photographers are doing and try to recreate their work and learn from it. Another great resource is where you can connect with other photographers and attend some local events. We do some great TWiP meetup events in my local area. Just head over to for a list of dates and locations.


Question #1
Listener Nick Mazur has been asked to photograph a charity lacrosse event and is looking for some advice for doing event photography.

Tyler: I'm not sure what his budget is or what kind of gear he has so I'm going to give some general advice based upon my experience shooting events. As far as gear, I would recommend getting a fast focusing body with a crop sensor like the 7D and a fast lens like a 70-200mm f2.8. If he doesn't have the gear, then he could always rent it. Pick out a story and try to tell the whole story of what is happening.

Joseph: Make sure to focus not only on the people but try to capture them in the environment so that it really tells the story of where they were and what the event looked like. Also, during events you can wind up taking a lot of photographs of people eating which is a time when nobody will look attractive so try watch for that when shooting. Go for groups of people and look for candid moments rather than posed group shots.

Question #2
Atcavi8or has recently retired from the US Air Force and is looking to photography to supplement his income. He's looking for some advice on what would be a reasonable income to expect from photography?

Joseph: There is no easy answer here. It all depends on what you're doing and how much time you're willing to invest in it. In general, if you're just getting into and are a new photographer, I wouldn't plan on expecting to make a whole lot of money at it at the start. It takes time to get into and build your client base. You have to nurture those clients and make sure they are happy and willing to refer you.

Tyler: Getting into the industry takes hard work and passion to break into. You may have to start out working for free to build your client base.

Question #3
Glenn writes: I have been taking lots of pictures of my kids and their friends, honing my skills as a portrait photographer to hopefully soon open a studio. I have also taken team photos of their soccer teams which were the first photos I have ever sold. My question is this: Can I post pictures of the kids I have taken on my website and use in my portfolio or should I get permission from the parents before doing so? So far the only pictures I have on my website are my own kids and a friend's kid whose mom doesn't mind and in fact assists me during photo shoots sometimes.

Tyler – It's always best to ask.  There are cool apps now that let you do model releases or print out a model release for yourself.  It's a gray area but especially if you are isolating a single child in your photo then it's best to get permission.  However, if the child is in a public location I'm pretty sure you don't need permission as long as you are not selling the prints for profit.

Joseph – People can say they are fine with things one minute and then change their minds in a very expensive way in a hurry so make sure you get those signed model releases.


Joseph – Rogue Flash Benders & Photographer's Rights Grey Card

Tyler – Petapixel Blog

Frederick – a negative tip –'s new redesign

Also be on the lookout for a new eBook from Joseph along with some free online Aperture training.


Follow us on Join the Flickr critique group. You can also join our Facebook group.

Tyler Ginter – or or

Joseph Linaschke – or or

Frederick Van or


TWiP is brought to you by the following sponsor:

SquareSpace – the fast and easy way to publish a high-quality website or blog. For a free trial go to, offer code TWiP. Be sure to check out the brand new Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter widgets that are now available. Check out to see some great sites created with SquareSpace.

Producer: Suzanne Llewellyn
Show notes by Bruce Clarke or
Bandwidth provided by Cachefly
Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro


  1. This november I tried using film with a ca.1913 folding camera and I have been hooked ever since (You can see my first roll here: I’m planning to get some darkroom equipment and looking at large format bellows cameras. This wouldnt be possible at this point, with the prices of digital scanning backs. Shooting film has helped my digital shooting, and my ratio of throwaway to keeper shots has vastly improved.

  2. A friend is giving me a old Zeiss Contessa 35mm film camera that his dad bought in France in 1952 when he was in the Army. I’m looking forward to putting in a roll of film and testing it out. I’m not sure how how the metering works on it, but in any case I will be using one of my incident light meters to determine exposure.

  3. Film shooters may be the minority but we are still here so it is nice to hear film mentioned for the second week in a row.

    Regarding smart phones controlling or being the UI for cameras, Samsung appears to be starting something with their SH100 point and shoot. Using an Android Galaxy S you can view the shoot and control the camera remotely using wifi. It will be interesting to see where this technology goes.

  4. Thanks guys for answering my question! As for film, I’ve been having fun with my Diana F+ and either Ilford XP2 Super, or just some cheap 35mm film with the 35mm back. Scanning is being taken care of with an Epson Perfection V500. Tons of fun!

  5. Something I never hear mentioned is “economics” as a reason for shooting film. I want access to the look of medium format photography. I can’t afford a $20-40k digital medium format setup. I can get a great Hasselblad or other kit for well under $1,000 on eBay.

    I have nothing against digital, but some of it, like the digital medium format gear, is still too expensive unless your business has reached that point. And for fine art! Ha! It’s a pipe dream. 😉

    Just wanted to throw out that there are other reasons some are still using film. Thanks!

  6. Every so often you hear economics as a reason for both digital and film (the cost of replacing bodies versus the ongoing cost of processing and consumables). It’s easy to argue both sides.

    But current MF gear is definitely out of reach for most people whereas $1000 will buy you a great kit with loads of film/processing.

    In my opinion, the reason for choosing one medium over another (or choosing both – I do shoot with a 40D as well) is a personal choice.

  7. i have to say it. film is still better quality than digital. i work in high end retouching and i see the best files coming from the top digital cameras and they are definitely good files, but they just don’t render the image as well as film has. film has had decades to evolve and get better and better. i am sure soon enough digital will reach the point where it surpasses film in quality, but it hasn’t happened yet. i am not saying everyone should go and use film exclusively, but if you have the luxury of time and added money of processing for a job, use it. i think digital makes more sense commercially these days for sure, but it still hasn’t surpassed film in my mind. it just doesn’t render color and tone as well as film has learned to. it is, dare i say, more digital. this is the very reason most photographers will come to us and complain that their retouched images look too “digital” and they want it to look more like film, but they didn’t have the luxury of being able to shoot with film. so there i am in photoshop recreating what digital doesn’t do quite yet.

  8. Listening to episode 186 “Is film is the new F-word” made me wonder … does TWiP actually like its listeners? Several times during the podcast the listeners were told that their opinion really does not matter.

    First when Frederick told that he got an email asking to talk a bit less about Apple – and then again refeering to a bunch of emails, where the listeners asked the show to take a stand for photographers right.

    The first one got a snarky reply, that the show talked about whatever tech they used, and we should not expect anything else. The second got even more rude, when the listeners that had complained basically were told to “do their own show”.

    TWiP might be feeling that the popularity of the show is biting back – more listeners means more feedback and bigger expectations. I love the show, but I dont like it when other listeners are being told off in that fashion.

    TWiP is not a non-profit amateur show. It has sponsors, adds and producers. It is a professional show. And the listeners will have growing expectations.

    It is because of the listeners that the sponsors choose to sponsor the show … so we are basically paying for the show with our time.

    Still love the show … but a little love lost during episode 186


    ps.: I have posted this both to the forums and the comments, since it still doesnt seem like any of the hosts reads in the forum, but I would also like to discuss this with the other listeners.

  9. I think it’s a bit ignorant to call film “simpler” I shoot nearly exclusively film on 2 medium format cameras and just finished an ebook using Kodachrome on a 35MM body.

    My medium formats have no automated features, I manually meter I manually focus and set the aperture manually as well.

    I feel it’s a lot simpler to throw the camera in aperture priority or shutter priority, auto ISO and spray off 100 frames without a second thought. Contrast that to medium format where I have 12 frames per roll so I have to make all those frames count.

  10. Here is a suggestion: If you want to have a serious discussion about film and its place in modern photography, maybe include on the panel someone who actually still uses film? Just a thought.

    For me, I started in the digital era and transitioned to film only (medium and large format). I’ve found that, contrary to common beliefs, film to be MUCH cheaper for the amount of shooting I want to do, and produces much more pleasing and higher resolution images than film could (outside of digital medium format… but who can afford that!). I’d be happy to be a guest to chat about this sometime (I’ve been on Tips from the Top Floor and Photonetcast in the past). 🙂

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