Modern Kodak professional colour negative films are based upon technology from their cinema film stocks There are also films out there that are repackaged Kodak Vision3 movie film stock. Both can be used to render photographs with that vintage "cinematic" look.

As ever creating the cinematic image starts as with any photograph with light and by juxtaposing warm with cool light, moody lighting if you like. Then comes the medium; cinematic film (or at least those based upon cinema film tech) like for example CineStill 400D, SILBERSALTZ35 250D or the Kodak Portra series. Films that have a soft colour palette with natural saturation and high contrast. Films with super high dynamic range and wide exposure latitude.

The last two ingredients are firstly and super importantly the lenses. To get "the look" I use Carl Zeiss prime lenses of late 90's vintage and use them either fully wide open or well stopped down, but never in-between. These lenses are from the pre-digital era, were thus specifically designed for use with film and were renowned for their outstanding quality then and now.

This brings us to the final consideration, composition. What you are trying to create is an atmospheric feel in your photograph which you can do in a number of ways:

1) splitting the light and dark areas, use the ethereal light to create dark, shade and highlights plus a rich gradation of tones in-between - giving a 3D look to a 2-D image - leading your eye into the image, 2) either use small apertures on wider angle lenses using the resulting depth of field so that everything is in focus from front to back, allowing our attention to flow uninterrupted though the resulting picture, further emphasising the three dimensional feel and reflecting how we perceive scenes like this or use wide open apertures on longer lenses and the resulting very shallow depth of field with its resultant subject isolation to provide the sense of depth, sometime restricting the number of colours in the picture can help with this too.

The cinematic look created by an amalgam of the right film with the right light and the right lenses and the right composition and of course the right exposure, hmm... describes all photography really doesn't it - simply choose your genre?

✧ Jokul Frosti ✧

A space containing the thoughts, experiences, photos and collected curiosities of a walkabout photographer with a snapshot style.