Film Format and the “Full Frame”

Over the years I’ve had to opportunity to do my photography using both film and digital cameras. Occasionally the word “full frame” comes up which concept and size comes from the 35mm film camera and the frame it produced on film (36mmx24mm), which is in todays language the “full frame” sensor we speak about in 35mm digital photography.

With this in mind, I thought it would be great to show just how large this 35mm “full frame” is in comparison to the film I have used during my career as a photographer. You may have heard or even used a 4×5, which is the largest film I used while using Sinar F or Horseman 4×5 cameras. Also known as Large Format.

Another format using 120mm film is also known as Medium Format. This is a very versatile format using either a fixed camera which would be a larger version of the 35mm camera, or camera’s like the Hasselblad V or Mamiya RB 67, that have interchangeable film backs.

The most common formats using the 120mm film that has been used in commercial photography have been 6×7, 6×6 and 645 as seen below. Depending on which one you used will depend on how many frames you would get on one roll of film. A 6×7 would give you 10 frames, 6×6 would give you 12 frames and 645 would give you 15 frames per roll.

Some of these film backs were however made to fit onto a 4×5 camera and would give you a format of 6×12 as seen below.

The more famous 35mm film would come in three lengths, 12, 24 and 36 exposures and if you had a 12, that’s all you had, 12 photographs on one roll of film. That would be the same as shooting with a 6×6 medium format camera giving you 12 frames on one roll of film. Needless to say, 36 exposures on one roll was better that 12 when you have a lot to do. Some cameras like the Hasselblad XPan, would give the option of shooting a panorama by doubling the frame. This can be seen below along with the standard 35mm frame.

Film would be available as “negative” to use for prints and “positive” like the ones above, that need to be scanned, then digitized before retouching and going to print for magazines and advertising etc. Another use for “positive” film were slide shows where images are projected onto a screen or wall. Today however, we make use of programs like Keynote and PowerPoint and insert our digital photographs into these programs.

Photography has come a long way from film and continues to expand the digital horizon both in 35mm and medium format. The legacy of film has not lost its charm and many are using film for the first time, or out of nostalgia, or just because it is still one of the best ways to slow down the digital pace, think about the shot and create something beautiful in a non technological way.

Full frame 35mm digital photography has become the standard by which many photographers, be they professionals, students and amateurs live by. This is a format that will not be going away soon, but will continue to adapt itself whether as a DSLR or Mirrorless. Below are the different formats in perspective from 4×5 to 35mm. So next time you look at a 35mm camera, whether film or digital, remember the journey that has led to this powerful format.


Glamorous Living

Nestled on the slopes of Camps Bay, is one of Judith Hendry’s latest works of interior design. With a brief of glamorous living and a undertone of purple found in anemone, this renovation project has become a house that is stately yet comfortable. The use of a softer grey, creates an elegant style with colours blending in to form a tranquil setting. Wooden ceilings are a great design feature accentuating the space of each room that they are in. Metallic wallpaper forms the central focal point between the dinning room and kitchen where the staircase behind it, leads to the family room with a similar pattern on the scatter cushions. The lounge is made up of three areas for versatile living. The TV area, fireplace and the drinks area which is hidden behind sliding panels. The entertainment room is filled with images from great musicians on a mirrored wall, while on the other side of the room is the big screen for the cinema. For the guest room, Judith asked for one of my images of Cape Town at night, which was printed as a Dibond, and hangs seamlessly on the wall.


Here comes the sun

I was on set at Photo Hire shooting for Spree for “Here comes the sun,” the summer make up guide. Having the privilege of shooting in one of Cape Town’s great photo studios as well as having the use of  Broncolor lighting equipment, we had some great shots. I was really impressed with the clarity of light coming from the Broncolor Umbrella Para which we used as our main light source. We built two sets on either side of the studio to create the different lighting moods and swopped back and forth depending on the shots.

Thanks to a great team effort from beauty editor Gretha Swinnen and the rest of the crew, Shahnaz (make up), Nandi (hair) and our two models.



The Urn Plant

We have had an urn plant for a few years and about two years ago after it bloomed, it sprouted and we transplanted these into other pots. Sine then we have watched them grow and nurtured them as best we can and have waited with expectation to see when they will come into bloom. Three of these new urn plants have started their journey to blossom and they are now making their exit to open up and display their wonderful colours, blooming only once in their lifetime.

Aechmea fasciata (silver vase, urn plant) is a species of flowering plant in the bromeliad family, native to Brazil.


Dining in the City

Being in Cape Town and looking for a restaurant for dinner can be a huge task as there are so many great restaurants to choose from. Cuisine from all around the world can be found here at this favored destination. Having had the opportunity to photograph some of the restaurants, two of them came to mind when having to make this choice for me and my family who were here for the holidays.

One of these was The Grand cafe & beach in Granger Bay. They are open for lunch and dinner, have a great menu to choose from and they have their own beach. I must honestly say, that it is due to the shoot at The Grand and their food, that fish was put back on the menu for me. One of the best fish served. So whether it be Kingklip, Calamari or Prawns, The Grand would be a great choice.

The other place that came to mind was Bukhara Indian Cuisine situated in the heart of the city. With a love for Nan bread, you can’t go wrong with Butter Chicken, Curry Prawns or one of the Lamb dishes. And don’t forget the finish it of with Shahi Tukara, Indian bread and butter pudding.

So where did we go and spend our evening?  D’ Angelo’s in Vredehoek. This traditional Italian Sport Bar was a great find. All six adults and two kids enjoyed the meal. Most certainly, one of the best Pizza’s, Sirloin steak and Alfredo tagliatelle. Magnifico.

Here are some images of The Grand and Bukhara.


On the Rocks

We were invited by some friends of ours to join them for a weekend getaway to a resort in Hermanus. With some time to relax after the journey and stretching our legs by playing games with the boys on the field outside our unit, we headed to see what the beach was like. I was taken by surprise to see not a beach as in sand, but rock formations from one side to the other that have been battered by the wind and water of years gone by, leaving ripples in the rocks on one side and jagged edges in the other.

As I anticipated shooting these rocks the next mooring, I had to wait another day due to the weather, so on our last morning there, I was up before the crack of dawn to get sunrise over the rocks. Walking from one side of the beach to the other I would find these rocky outcrops fascinating. Nature has a beauty that The Creator put in place to shape and form the land on which we live and walk and have our being.


Kalk Bay

Kalk Bay is one of those places that can be revisited over and over and every time you go, you find something new. As mentioned before in a previous post, Kalk Bay is a place a beauty and when a friend of mine suggested he wanted to take some early morning images, it was our first place of choice.

Being summer with the sun rising a 5.20am and setting at 8.30pm, we needed to start early to get that “first light” over the bay. We experianced a peaceful quietness being the first people in the harbour. Looking for where the light would fall once it rose over the cloud bank on the horizon, we set up our cameras to take the photo at the right moment. I chose to go for a graphic look of the harbour wall and tied some filter options to control the light in camera so as to do as little as possible in post production. Once satisfied with my shot, I was happy to relax as move around the harbour looking for some other options.

Kalk Bay harbour offers many photographic opportunities, provided you look for them. Some early morning fishermen made their way into the harbour and I saw an opportunity to shoot something else. After a brief conversation, one of the fishermen allowed me to shoot a silhouette of him against the bright morning light. Looking for other details around the harbour allows you to be creative and achieve other results. The key is to observe and wait for some of the moments in life before capturing them.

It always amazes me how two people can be at the same place at the same time and photograph it completely differently. My friend took some amazing images going for a super wide approach as to mine being graphic. It comes to show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we are all unique in the way we behold.

Kalk Bay will be seeing me soon again, not only for the harbour, but for the antique, clothing and collectors shops, stalls, deli’s and restaurants that it offers. It is a great destination with many variables.


Season of Singing

For many of us, we page through a Bible and don’t take too much notice of the small things. I wanted to find a verse on flowers, so I did a quick search in the app that I use. I remembered a verse that says “See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these” ( Matthew 6 and Luke 12). But here is something that the search revealed which I did not know. In the Old Testament, flowers are referred to as ornaments made for the ancient Jewish Temple in the books of Exodus and Kings. Every other reference to flowers in this app, speaks of how they wither and fade way. Except one. Where the New Testament speaks of “Solomon in all his splendour”, Solomon wrote this amazing verse tucked away near the middle of the Bible.

Song of Solomon 2 verse 11: “See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come.”

For those of us who live in Cape Town with a winter rainfall, this is so true.
The season of singing has come.


Blushing Bride

My wife went to one of her favourite places to look for some flowers for our home. She was fascinated by the beauty of the Blushing Bride’s which were in the cooling room. With their opaque petals opening to a display of soft pink, these flowers were a rare find.


What Lisa Ate

While on the shoot we did for Virgin Active we had book in the studio of What Katie Ate and so the idea was put into action for food stylist Lisa Clark to do a take on the book, “What Lisa Ate”.

So hamburgers, ribs, samoosas and chips were the order of the day. Follow the links to the recipes.

Images were shot using daylight. Curtains were drawn to just let enough light through to the set which was placed 1meter away from the window.