Daniel Sorine

Scarsdale, United States

Daniel Sorine’s images have appeared worldwide in leading journals such as LIFE, Time, Newsweek and The New York Times as well as...

Shooting film and living to tell about it!

Good morning,
I’ve been receiving some delightful comments about many of my old images which were shot on film. I’m very appreciative for your interest in my work, and in return I thought I would give some of you young, ambitious and talented photographers an idea of what it was like working professionally with film.
First of all you had to pick the kind of film which was appropriate for each individual assignment. In B&W you would use Plus-X for low grain and Tri-X for medium grain as well as a great film to push from 400 ASA up to 1600 if really needed. Of course, if you forgot to tell the lab, or forgot to mark the rolls that were pushed, you were screwed! Same thing in color. Kodachrome for beauty and sharpness. Ektachrome for speed and 2 hour processing.
Now that you picked your film, you had to buy at least 50 rolls to go on assignment. Then you had to remember to load your cameras. Usually 2 working bodies and one backup, and remember which camera was loaded with which film. I once shot 36 frames of ballerina Natalia Makarova with no film in the camera!
With all the film stuff in order, and your 3 bodies packed with half a dozen lenses, you would proceed to the airport and hope you did not forget the protective lead shield for your film while going through X-rays.
So there you were at your beautiful location with occasionally less than an hour to come up with a great shot which you hoped was properly exposed, well focused, nicely framed, and would meet the demands of your editor who had motion sickness from looping 5000 images a day.
So you flew back home wondering how many of the 50 rolls you really messed up. You mailed the Kodachrome to Kodak (praying it would not get lost in the mail) and the rest was developped by your trustworthy lab which occasionally had dirty spools and would leave a scratch through every roll of film. Average retouching in those days was over $100.
A few drinks and aspirins later you would get back all your film and say to yourself “Holy shit, this sucks!” or “Boy am I good!”
Then you would bring all the contact sheets and slides to your editor. An hour later he or she would look at you straight in the eye and say, “That’s it?”
Boy do I miss film!
LOL, Keep shooting.

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