Comparing a Film image to a Digital image

Have you ever wondered why shooting film is such a huge part of my identity? I mean, I COULD probably talk your ear off about all the benefits, but why don't I just show you?

Below you will see two nearly identical photos. But the differences are pretty easy to spot! Basically one is gorgeous, and one needs a little work, right? As you can probably guess, the first image was shot on Film, and the second is straight from my digital Canon 5D Mark III. I don't know about you, but if I had my choice of which photo to print and hang in my home, it would absolutely be the first.

Now, here's the thing, I LOVE shooting digital. It's simple, it's easily adjusted, it has a lot of working room, it's quick, and it can handle some dark lighting conditions film just can't. And that's why I use both in tandem. A match made in heaven! They compliment each other truly. There have been a couple moments in my career (usually after I get the bill :P) that I second guess shooting film. But every single time my lab sends me scans, my heart flutters.

And the truth, love, and realness film captures will always be worth every penny.


But maybe you're now left with the thought "how do you make all your images look like film if you're shooting digital?". And truthfully, this is no industry secret: Mastin Labs Presets. I have adapted them to work with my style and they are a game changer! And one of the big reasons I was inspired to bring film back into my life. It's not uncommon to receive a comment "I love that film photo!" on an image that was edited with the Mastin presets. 

BUT, here's the catch. I wouldn't be able to make my digitals look anywhere near what they look like without shooting film first. I sometimes feel silly sending sneak peeks without having seen the film first, because the end result does change! 

Film is my starting point, it's what I base my look off of. If I can help it, sometimes I will choose to ONLY shoot on film. And sometimes that scenario just doesn't happen and I only get to shoot one roll. But you know what? That's the nature of the job, and I love having the options. Sure, film is beautiful and it really does show off, but at the end of the day, if a photo is framed better or there is more emotion in the digital image, then that's the one that wins in my book.