Film Is Not Dead Canberra 2012 Workshop - Review

When I think about The Film Is Not Dead (FIND) workshop my mind races, too fast perhaps for any coherent words to keep up.

I know exactly what I want to write but, crazy as it sounds, because I feel so passionately about it, I find it hard to start. If I could sit with you in person I’d be able to talk your ear off, but writing seems so much harder.

FIND has inspired many others, all of whom seem so much better at writing than me, to post reviews and testamonials. I wish I could do as good a job as them at branding my feelings about the workshop onto paper. I think I may have possibly have read the Film Is Not Dead blog for reviews prior to attending the workshop in the hope to convince myself that I made the right decision, but this one spoke true of how I felt exactly when I signed up. Some spoke of their experiences and expectations and some spoke of him as an open-book. I must admit I was actually scared to meet Jonathan in person, if you follow him in Formspring you'd know what I mean, but for the first time I met him he made me feel so very welcome

If you could pile up all the reasons I signed up for FIND then you’d probably cast a shadow over the pyramids of Giza. But right at the very top is the most important reason of all: to meet Jonathan Canlas in person! For a long time I’ve had a top 10 list of photographers who I’d love to meet in person and when it seemed there was an opportunity for me to actually meet one of them... well lets just say I jumped at it so fast I would’ve blurred a 1/2000 speed photo.

And when I landed... hell, I got even more than I’d bargained for!

Good teachers are hard to find, and brilliant teachers even harder. Jonathan is one of those very few who can mesmerise you with their outpourings of knowledge, advice and wisdom. I could sit and listen to this man all day long. And indeed, we did!

Now, I've experimented with film every now and then, but now I'm declaring undying love for film. I love it’s distinct look, it’s tones and it’s colours. There's nothing quite like it. There is no doubt that if you know how to shoot film properly, it will set you apart.

But probably the most important thing I took away was that I need to work on my technical skills. I'm not sure if anyone has already mentioned this, but if so then it’s worth repeating, Jonathan is a living breathing human lightmeter. I'm almost embarrassed at the fact that I've always relied on my camera's metering to help me expose, but the man knows his stuff. He can tell you just by looking at the lighting situation exactly what settings you need to get the right exposure (well you know give or take but mostly he is spot on). This alone gave me the kick in the butt that I need to revisit my basics. This and more prompted me to also work on my creative technical skills. I've always been dictated by my immediate feelings and what looks good in my frame however I know that if pay attention to my elements of design I can make my images much more meaningful. So I will practice this every week, not just during my paid work, but proper practice. If a tennis player only practiced during tournaments then she would never get very far. FIND leaves you charged up and motivated to smash some aces.

And finally I need to mention the FINDer family. Another thing that makes FIND different is that the workshop doesn't stop on the last day. Once a FINDer you will always be a FINDer. You will become part of a community of 300+ very active members in the FINDers Closed Group Facebook Page. A community that is there to help you. I was very lucky enough that my fellow FINDers - who I bonded with is who I now call my family. Seriously I think my family will divorce me if I say this but my FINDers family comes first. Full stop!

If you are ever considering attending some kind of workshop in your photography career then make sure you make it your bucket list to attend Film Is Not Dead workshop. In the honest words of Kjrsten Madsen - "there is NO WAY IN THE WORLD that you will regret it".

Canon EOS 3 with 50mm 1.2 lens. Film: Kodak Portra 400, 800; Fuji PRO400H, 160S. Film scanned by amazing The FINDLab - you see they all do this special dance to make your scans look damn awesome.