But then why shoot film? “The answer
is very specific to the way I work and the
kinds of images I make,” Fokos explains.
“My feeling is that for 99.99% of photogra-
phers, my issues would be irrelevant. Spe-
cifically, the reciprocity failure of Tri-X film
helps me to not blow out my highlights. A
digital camera, though its dynamic range
is greater than that of film, is much more
linear and causes difficulty with my long
Fokos mostly shoots 8x10 Kodak Tri-X
film. A selected negative is wet-mounted
to his scanner—an Epson V750 Pro—and
scanned at a very high resolution (16-bits at
2400ppi) resulting in an 800MB grayscale
image file, which is equivalent in resolution
to a 2.4GB RGB color file. “Once I have a
high-resolution image file in my computer,
the real work begins,” he explains.
He often spends 100 hours or more fine-tuning an image in Photoshop—dodging
and burning, adjusting local contrast, etc.
For prints, he likes to use an Epson
11880 printer, preferring Epson’s Premium
Semi-Gloss 250 paper to make prints
in three different sizes, and panoramic
prints as well. “Today’s digital prints are
capable of greater consistency, a wider
color gamut, higher resolution, greater
dynamic range and deeper blacks,” Fokos
says. His large prints are meticulously
framed in Los Angeles, and he mats and
frames his smaller prints.
Paul Slaughter is a world-traveled photographer and
writer, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His book of
classic jazz greats, Paul Slaughter/Jazz Photographs
1969-2010, has been published. You can view portfolios of Paul’s work at www.slaughterphoto.com.