November 2014

Two Quick Colour Shots

When I received my Nikon FM, the eBay seller was kind enough to send along two rolls of old film she had lying around and (probably) wouldn’t need anymore. It was two 24 frame Fujifilm Superia 200, expired along ago. At the same time I had an old Lomography Color Negative 400 sitting in the fridge that had expired a while ago as well. As a result I didn’t expect much and (unlike normally) finished them over the cause of just a few walks around town.

The first one is the expired Fujifilm Superia 200 which to my eye shows no sings of having deteriorated. I couldn’t tell you why it was all about shooting blue skies, but at least the houses vary a bit. I like Before and After for its colours and the difference in the trees, and Versus for the variation in clothing and again the colours. The blue sky in Rooftop Monster is splendid and not what I expected from this film.

Second film is the Lomography Color Negative 400 of which I bought a three-pack years ago. However, I was never too happy with the result it gave when shot on the cheap Lomography cameras, and as a result it was allowed to just sit in the fridge until it apparently expired a year or two ago. Wanting to get rid of it, it was the perfect follow-up to the expired Superia.

Now, it seems clear that the film is of lesser quality, yet its much better than I remembered and in particular like its rendering of for instance Square, Lighting Cracks, Sunday Crosswords, Spotlight, and Three Kids (which is more like what I’d expect from the Superia actually). For the latter, note that there were actually three kids up in the tree, with me waiting patiently for one of them to move into the light; in the end they won though and I had to settle for this.

Finally, while I would like to have that the composition and expression in each photo I take is at least at the level of Skatboard Admiration or Sunday Sun, I have to admit that once in a while it’s not too bad to just shot a film without being too picky. The average quality is higher than I imagined it would be, and still find a pleasure in most of the shots.

Film #15

Another black and white night film finished, push-processed at ASA 800 up from 400. Underexposed but with a few good results.

I consistently get the exposure wrong for night scenes, shooting around EV3-5; with a fast f/1.4 lens and a Kodak T-Max 400 shot at ASA 800 this should give me a comfortable minimum of 1/30s shutter speed to compensate for shaking. Yet looking at the negatives, most scenes on this roll required at least another stop to be properly exposed. As I’ve mentioned before though, it’s mind-boggling how much information is still in the negatives, and how much of it can be extracted by my mid-range Epson V600.

I like Midnight Hook-up for the empty atmosphere and corner romance; being underexposed is perhaps even adding to the picture here. Likewise, the sharp contract needed to pull anything from Piggyback fits with the blur and mood of the picture (this was not what some might call an artistic choice; I simply did not want to stop walking while taking the shot). Finally, I also really like Midnight Metro, and wonder if I did not get a fair amount of mood for free here by using an analogue camera.