Tag Archives: Film

Rome


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A few shots from an extended weekend in Rome. Lovely place, yet apparently even more deserted by the locals and taken over by tourists than Paris, at least at this time of the year.

Perhaps I’ve been loosing the touch a bit lately, or perhaps the light is harsher down south, but surprised by how many of these are overexposed — seeing the limit of the otherwise very forgiving Kodak Portra 160.

First Lomography Redscale XR 50-200


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At less than 9€ for three I wanted to try the Lomography Redscale XR 50-200 even if the official photos most of all simply looked like they’d been with a cheap colour film behind a red filter.

The film is rated ASA 50-200, and the seller elaborated by saying that by exposing for 50 you get several hues (what he recommended) while exposing for 200 it’s mostly just red. Looking at samples I decided to go with his advice, but since I’ll still horrible at manual metering inside and in dark areas there are a few which are probably closer to 200.

Concretely, Backyard ChatRed Chairs and Watch Out are probably exposed for around 50 while Summer FruitsClosed Eyes, and Redscale for around 200. So indeed, like the seller I’m not too much of a fan of the latter but might pick up another pack based on the former.

First Fujifilm Velvia 50


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My first roll of Fuijfilm FujiChrome Velvia 50 invoked mixed feelings. At first I was tempted to say that it was a bit disappointing, yet in reality it’s perhaps more a question of finding the right scene for the film.

Searching around I found high praise of the film online, not least some great shots on Flickr. However, the film is among the most expensive so it wasn’t until I found a good offer on a batch of almost-expired films that I went for it. Add to that a more expensive development and it really has to be worth it, slide film or not.

Perhaps the mistake I made was to shoot it as a general-purpose film, including scenes with city-scape, street, and nature (sky at least). For instance, based on Old English it doesn’t live up to it’s price tag: the print is okay, but not something you couldn’t get with much cheaper film. Hogwarts likewise, though here there might also be an element of poor metering on my part (however still showing somewhat poor latitude). In general, for most photos on this roll my guess is that I would have preferred them on Kodak Portra or Fujifilm Superia.

But, and this is key I think, when it comes to blue (and to lesser extend green), the film is unmatched! Look at Sunny Side for example, or Hôtel de Ville, A Green SpotFit, or Scholastique (In the Rain) — I would not expend to see that from the above mentioned films, not at that level of saturation.

I’m guessing of course, but for the next roll of this film I’ll focus on nature, with plenty of sky, and a mix of greens and reds.

A Newfound Love of Kodak Portra


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A few weeks ago I was heading for a week-long conference in Copenhagen and figured I’d only bring the Nikon FM as my only camera, and the practical 28-70mm lens as my only lens. And since this is a slow lens I went with a fast film: a Kodak Portra 400.

It had been a while since the last Portra, and even though I’d halfway declared it my general-purpose go-to film, I’d also kind of forgotten how good it is, perhaps thinking it a bit boring even after all the adventures into Lomography films and cross-processing. Fortunately the prints brought a very happy surprise! Perhaps it plays a part as well that I’ve switched back to my old (and more remote) printer after the inconsistent prints from the Precisa 100, but in the end I really like the result.

While the above film was shot within a week, I also recently finished a Kodak Portra 160 that’s been in my Olympus OM-1 since last autumn. And although it’s apparently against recommendation to let a film in a camera for that long due to light leaks, radiation, heat, and what not, this indicates that the advice should be balanced against the increased quality of the photos when you are more picky about releasing the shutter!

 

First LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400


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After coming across the astonishing Infra photos taken by Richard Mosse using the now discontinued Kodak Aerochrome, I kept an open eye when Lomography last year announced their new Aerochrome-inspired LomoChrome Purple XR film. I didn’t buy into it for the first batch, but in a weak moment I put down the order for the minimum of five rolls when the second batch came up for pre-sale, at a price of around 10€ each. Here are a few photos from the first roll.

Overall I’m a tad disappointed, but perhaps was so even before putting the film in the camera: the key, I suppose, is that the film is inspired by Aerochrome and does in fact produce results quite different from this old professional film apparently developed for the military. And this became clear when the photos from the first batch started showing up online.

However, paradoxically as it may sound, picking up the prints from the first film was actually a positively surprise; while they are not amazing, it does work better in some situations than I dared expect from following the film on Flickr.

For instance, the total submersion in purple in English Garden and Purple, Dog is not too bad. And although at first a bit skeptical about how the film renders blue sky, Dome and Collage are among my favourites on this roll.

Finally, since the film is rated ASA 100-400, and since there has been some talk online about making sure to overexpose, I also did a few test shots to see if there would be any difference: one correctly exposed according to an external light meter and two respectively over- and under-exposed by one stop.

And here perhaps was the biggest surprise, namely how very different the results are.

First Ilford HP5+ 400 (Film #12)

It makes good sense what I’ve heard on several occasions: that one should stick with one sort of black & white film, say the Kodak T-Max 400, and become good at exposing it, developing it, and printing it. Still, following my little test of different colour films I thought it’d be fun to see what other black & white films were up to; at the very least to know that there are good alternatives when Kodak stops their production. Continue reading

Film #11


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Before Christmas I developed the latest black & white film, yet didn’t have time to scan it before going to my family for the holidays. Now it’s here, and the most interestingly thing is perhaps that for post-processing I’ve tried to go in a direction of what I heard described as having “European rich shadows“.

So what does it mean? Well, I’m still finding out, but believe I can see some of what is meant in the photos by Doisneau, Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï, Ronis, and my most recent discovery, Peter Turnley: during scanning and post-processing I didn’t lift the shadows as much as usual while focused on still keeping a lot of detail in them. Of the photos below it worked out best for Under the Bridge and Japanese Chef, and to a smaller extend for Idou:

It is tricky no doubt, and I’m starting to understand why they said that being a good printer — the person, not the machine — is an art form in itself.

Film #9


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Another film has been processed at the kitchen sink, this time a T-Max 400 shot at ASA 800 and accordingly pushed during development. With the 50mm f/1.4 this has given usable photos from low-light concert and night scenes.

To be honest, no photo in this set gets me really exited; there are a few cute ones but haven’t given more than 2 stars to any of them. Maybe this will have changed by the next time I look at them, but until then it doesn’t really matter because I remember having a great time shooting them: walking around the city at night is a sure way to get a glimpse of the romance seen in the famous photos from the 1920-30s!