FIND 4 LIFE – CALIMAportraits

Well its no secret I am a big fan of Jonathan Canlas and his workshop Film is Not Dead. These photos come from a FIND employee, Catherine Abegg who is pretty darn rad herself.  I am going to let her do the talking today:


These photos were all taken at FIND Miami with either my Hasselblad H1(645), or my Hasselblad 500c/m (6×6 square)… and were shot with either Kodak 160NC or Kodak Portra 400.

I am an “employee” of FIND; my job is to organize the details of most FIND workshops–locations, models & food–and I get the privilege of traveling to these workshops, where I make sure everyone is happy, fed, and have their questions answered & their needs met at all times.  My official title (used loosely of course) is Production Manager, or Workshop Producer… but I’ve been called Den Mother, and Workshop Mom, and Best Ever.  🙂

One of the highlights of my job is that I get to kind of sit back and take it all in; which is why I end up with a lot of behind the scenes footage, and a lot of photos of the workshop attendees.  It’s always so fun watching everyone at work, and it’s actually pretty amazing to get to see everyone soaking it all up… you can practically see their brains hard at work, and feel their hearts & souls just opening wide open.  It’s incredible.  Obviously I’m biased towards this workshop, but never before have I seen such camaraderie, and so much information sharing & inspiration being passed between photographers of all levels.  It’s truly awesome & inspiring!  FIND Miami was a ground-breaker as far as the FIND workshops go, as it was the first time that we all stayed in one house together for 3-5 days… so inevitably, the learning didn’t end at 5:00pm like at previous workshops.  We woke up together, learned together, ate together, shot together… and learned more together, into the wee hours of the morning.  It was probably one of the most intense experiences I’ve ever had, and I’m positive that all of the other attendees–as well as Jon–would fully agree.

I’m no Jonathan Canlas or Ozzy Garcia, but I fancy myself to be pretty decent at metering and I’ve gotten a lot of questions on how I metered for some of these shots; more specifically the high-contrast images.  For the image with the couple in front of the tree shadow, I spot metered the shadow on the white wall, and didn’t overexpose or underexpose.  If I remember correctly, it was shot at 400iso, 1/500th, f/5.6.  It was a very bright day (as it goes in Miami, apparently), but this image goes to show how amazingly versatile & forgiving film can be.  If you were to ask Jon how to meter for shadows this harsh, he would vehemently push the Sunny 16 rule… and I know that this rule works without fail.  I just sometimes can’t wrap my head around it.  🙂  I generally meter at the beginning of a session, and then adjust my settings in my head as aI go, and as I’m moving in & out of different lighting situations.  This would be a “winging” version of the Sunny 16 rule, I suppose!  But I wouldn’t recommend it until you’ve been comfortably shooting film for quite awhile.

Workshops like this would be considered a beginning education for some, but can easily be used as continuing education for all.  It’s so important to let ourselves go, to reach out to our community, and to open ourselves up to all the possibilities out there, while learning all along the way.


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