Chrome Headlights

I was lucky enough to visit a show in London recently called the London Concours. This was basically a selection of some of the finest sports and classic cars. I anticipated bright sunny weather and knew the cars would be bright and colourful. so packed some slide film for the afternoon.

The challenges on a day like this are basically crowds and reflections. Thus for certain shots I concentrated on the details to avoid both of those challenges.

Here are a selection of shots, taken on a Fuji GA645 with a mixture of Fujifilm Provia 400X and Kodak Ektachrome 200 EDP developed in E6 by SilverPan Film Lab.

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Your Vision

Hello,

I have been very busy lately so not been able to update with any blogs. I am hoping to get back on track and start writing regularly again so here is a short blog to kickstart the process.

When I first started shooting film, I was very much in the ‘I must get it right in the camera’ camp.

There was to be no cropping or editing. Over time I felt this was harsh and although I may have been getting the technical parts right, when I looked at the image it didn’t always match the way I visualised it when I took the shot.

Now this does not bother me nearly as much and I use Snapseed to help me get the image how I visualised it. As I am editing from scans they have already had some manipulation anyway. I demonstrate this with the unedited scan and what I wanted when I took this shot in the two images below.

My basic point is whether you shoot film, digital or any other medium. How much or how little you edit and post-process is your choice. So don’t get hung up over it, be honest with yourself and your audience but above all produce the image that matches your vision.

Image taken on a Fuji GA645 with Fujifilm Velvia 50.

SCAN:

MY VISION:

Discontinued – Fujifilm Neopan 400

I recently purchased a block of Fujifilm Neopan 400 in 120 format from eBay.  I actually only put on a speculative bid and was surprised to win the auction so cheaply.  That said it was not really cheap as I have made a commitment to only buy fresh film and if I was to obtain expired film it would either be swapped for fresh film or I would buy the equivalent value of fresh film in order to support current manufacturers, so actually it cost me double.

Anyway I digress. The reason I made a bid was because Neopan 400 is a lovely film, one that I only briefly got to try as it was discontinued just as I was starting my journey into film photography.   I have shot the 35mm version but never 120.   Thus here I am sitting with 11 rolls of this film, taking up space in the fridge.   The film was sold as freezer stored from purchase.  I guess I will find out soon enough.

I have been thinking about this purchase for a little while now and what type of project I should use this film for.  I am a big believer that film is meant to be shot to fulfil its destiny and there is no such thing as a special occasion to wait for. Yes these stocks are finite and someday there will be no eBay finds but so what, even kept in the freezer it will have an infinite life and over time deteriorate.

Thus I have decided to share the wealth and give 10 of you good people a chance to shoot a roll.

Here is the deal, I will send you one roll of this Neopan 400 in 120 wherever you are in the world and at no charge to you (I can’t control customs charge though!).

Here is my ask of you and I will be trusting you to do this:

• Buy a roll of fresh film from your local store/on-line store.  You can choose whatever film you like at whatever cost level and you get to keep it and use this fresh film in any way you want but it has to be new fresh film. (see first paragraph if you are wondering why I ask this)

• You shoot the Neopan 400 film within two months of receipt, no hoarding it

• The theme of your shoot for this roll of film is ‘Discontinued’  you can interpret the theme in any way you like but this roll has to be shot on this theme

• You submit minimum one, maximum two images from this roll with an accompanying sentence or five on how it felt to shoot this one and only roll knowing you would be unlikely to ever shoot it again.  You are responsible for develop and scan of the film

Here is what I will do with said images and you agree to this too. (I’m a demanding so and so aren’t I)

I will produce a zine called ‘Discontinued’ with the images and words collated from all who have shot a roll, with your name and if you want to provide it your social media contact details, I will have shot one roll also.   You will receive two copies of this zine at no charge or postage cost.   The rest will be sold at cost plus postage and packing, you will get an option to buy extra copies.  There will only be one print run of this zine and then it will be discontinued.  Until I produce the zine I have no idea what the cost price will be, but I will share with you the invoice at the time so you can see this is not money making.

A word about the images.  Although sold as freezer stored, I have no idea on the quality of this film so this could all fall down at the first hurdle, if so, you have had a free film to shoot and I hope you enjoyed the experience.  If however the film is fine, then I don’t want you put off going for this as you think that I am expecting gallery worthy shots.  This is about the process and your thoughts on a last chance to shoot a discontinued stock, the images will thus speak for themselves and kind of why I don’t want a description of the actual image.   This is not a competition and I will also be submitting mine warts and all.  I appreciate this may make some people uncomfortable to take part, it really shouldn’t and is meant to be a fun and interesting project not a professional publication.

Which leads nicely on to the final section, how do you apply?   In order to make this fair please leave your name in the comments field confirming you want to take part.   Then next week (Week beginning   12th March 2018) if there are 5- 10 volunteers, job done you all get to have a go.  If there are more than 10, I will put all the names into draw and pick 10.  If there are 5 or less, this project will discontinue.

Oh yeah, one final comment, if you are sitting on a stash of this film don’t apply it’s about having that one and only chance.

Let’s get lunch

I was kindly sent a bunch of Kodak Vision films from @Dizd (Dizzy Cow on twitter). Some 250D and some 50D. I am a big fan of these Vision films especially when they are processed in their native chemicals ECN-2. Nik and Trick in the UK sell the developing kits for this.

I finally had a chance to try a roll a week or so ago, so I wanted to shoot one as practice. All shots are taken on an Olympus OM1n loaded with Kodak Vision 250D developed in ECN-2.

A little side note before sharing the images. Every single roll of film I shoot I see as a practice roll, even if I am going for a specific project. It’s all about learning for the next roll and the next roll and so on. I am never disappointed if I get things wrong in a roll, I am only disappointed if I don’t learn from it. With film photography I firmly believe I will be practising for years and years to come and thus only the last photo I ever take before putting my camera down will be ‘The Shot’

Anyway all this talk has made me hungry, what shall we have for lunch?

First try with Rollei Ortho 25

I purchased this film on a whim as it was sitting staring at me in a shop. I quite often like to try a current film stock that I have not shot before.

At ISO 25 it had been sitting in my draw at work for a number of months due to London’s grey rainy days coupled with the fact I was feeling too lazy to drag along a tripod.

So last Friday I knew I had sometime free time at lunchtime and the weather was particularly bright so I thought I would finally give it a go. The challenge I had was that I needed to finish all 36 exposures that lunchtime as I was out that evening with the camera and it needed to be loaded with a film for night shooting (Kodak Vision 500T in case you were interested)

Thus out I ventured. The camera was the Olympus OM1n with either the 50mm 1.8 or 28mm 2.8 being used for shots. There was no filter for the reason that at ISO 25 I needed all the light I could get. All shots are handheld with the OM and unless I specifically want blur I don’t tend to shoot under speeds of 1/60 without a tripod.

I really like the results I got with this film, it reminds a bit of the Washi S but with a bit more control. I will definitely shoot some more of this including in 120. One interesting thing to note is that this was Rollei Ortho 25, there is a Rollei Ortho 25 Plus also, which through my completely unscientific research and assumptions I think is a newer version.

Anyway enough of my wittering, here are some of the images (lab developed and scanned, some tweaks in Snapseed).

This building is near my office, here is an interesting fact (for some) it was recently used for filming the latest Mission Impossible film and is the one Tom Cruise damaged his ankle on jumping across the roof. He was back here the other weekend filming those scenes again.

Then I ventured further along Victoria Embankment

From here I went to the gardens at the Inns of the courts to capture the trees

And finally I stopped at the Dragon, this particular marker is where you cross from the City of Westminster into the City of London (I may be wrong in my specific description here). The Dragon markers are dotted across the City of London (this is the business district in London) and face out from the City so you know when you are entering the City of London.

It was also my signal, time to head back to the office.

The sound of St Paul’s

As followers of this blog are aware, Washi S sound recording film is favourite of mine to try and experiment with. This film really intrigues me and is one I will keep persevering with. It is an extremely high contrast film and there can be very little between the deep blacks and the harsh whites.

The images you will see in this blog have all been shot using my favourite camera the Olympus OM1n using either a 50mm f1.4 or 28mm f2.8 lens with an orange filter.

I generally use an orange filter just because that is what my research told me. Reflecting on this now, I’m not sure this film needs the added contrast of a filter, so next roll will be no filter to see how that goes.

So back to the details. For this roll I picked a subject of St Paul’s Cathedral. Partly because it is very close to my work, but mainly because it is one of my favourite buildings in London. My plan was to start at one corner and walk around the cathedral taking photos. This walking around did not mean I had to stay close, just that I could see it. All images were taken over the course of about one hour.

So enough talking, come on the walk with me around St Paul’s and see what you hear from this sound recording film.

The starting point a bit of artistic inspiration

I dragged myself out quickly as otherwise no photos would have been taken

Then time to cross the road starting with the mystery door

Then the steps

Time to climb the steps and look out from the main doors

Back down and a couple of images from the front

Time to head into Paternoster Square

From here I headed toward a small shopping centre called One New Change

One the roof of One New Change there is a restaurant and a bar, but more than that there is a place to just admire the views

By now it was time to wait for the lift to get back down again

Couldn’t resist one more shot of this view

Now time to get around the other side and see what shots I can get from there

Moving towards the front of the building again

And finally time to reflect on the walk I just did

I hope you enjoyed walking with me, look out for the next in the series of ‘The Sound of….’

The Littlest Holga

My Holga has gone on a little journey. I am trying to learn a new camera so knew the Holga was going to get very little use. I was originally going to give it away but Ashley Williams on Twitter suggested I send it on holiday to people interested in giving it a go. There was no end of people who volunteered so this post is for them to help provide some guidelines.

The Holga now has its own twitter account @littlest_holga the plan would be for the Holga to make its way around the world taking photos of what it sees on the way. I will also set up an Instagram so we have a collection of all photos in one place as well

For those of you that are in line to meet The Littlest Holga:

The Holga comes with filters (coloured & special effects), shutter release cable holder, adapters if you want to shoot 35mm with it and if you are really lucky maybe even some insulating tape.

The idea is for this to be fun and for you to be able to shoot a few rolls of film with it and share your experiences. For those of you comfortable with it, I will give you control of the twitter account and you can run it how you see fit. Again there are no rules, keep it fun and let us know your experience with it. If you do not want to run the account that is also fine and I can do any updates. I would ask that you try and aim to send the Holga on to the next person within 2-3weeks of you receiving it so that everyone gets a chance.

The Holga list of recipients is as below and in the order you are likely to receive it.

If you change your mind, no problem just let me know. If I have missed anyone, apologies and send me a note. If you want to join in let me know. If you don’t want to ship internationally let me know. Basic premise this should be fun and not work.

UK:

@mcintosh141

@6millionpphotos

@serial_snapper

@timdobbsphoto

@mparry1234

@stevenjparkes

@warboyssnapper

Europe:

@isabelcurdes

@gregantikian

Asia:

@myfavouritelee

@analog_cafe

@emulsivefilm

US, Mexico, Canada :

@stoffelmatt

@lorehealy

@backeastphoto

@lmstevensphoto

@silentcar

@drmarsrover

@8888seb

@minoltaurus

@01800fernando

Fireworks

The schools in our area put on a yearly joint fireworks show. I thought I would take the opportunity to take a few photos but did not want to lug around lots of gear as it was a fun family night out. Thus I decided to take the Zeiss Ikon Nettar and one roll of Fujifilm Astia. I had no idea how well the Astia had been stored. I figured with a slow lens and ISO 100 film I would only be able to catch the briefest of lights but hopefully with a dark black background. I set the shutter to 1/25 as I wanted some movement and I set the aperture to f4.5 and shot handheld.

The film was E6 processed and the shots edited in Snapseed. A couple have been cropped quite a bit as I have obviously not got used to the parallax view yet. Enjoy

The Holiday rolls 4&5:  Kodak Vision 250D

Firstly apologies for the time taken for this update it has been a bit busy recently.

So quick recap I took 10 rolls of film with me on holiday recently to Malta and I have been sharing my results here.   So far we have had

Roll 1: Oriental Seagull 100

Roll 2: Kodak E100VS

Roll 3 : Velvia 50

Roll 8 : Film Washi S

Roll 10:  New Lomochrome Purple 

In hindsight probably should have done them in order.

For this update I shot two rolls of Kodak Vision 3 250D.  This is a cine film designed for daylight shooting.  The film has a remjet coating so is not processed by most labs.  It is also designed to be processed in ECN2 chemicals but can be processed in C41 chemicals once the remjet has been removed.  

I mention this as I was lucky enough that these were processed in their native ECN2 chemistry.

I get my Cine films from https://ntphotoworks.com/ they are also who I use for getting them processed.  They now sell ECN2 kits for those who home develop.  These were developed (and two rolls of Vision 50D) in ECN2 to test the kits, as for Cine film this is not their current standard offering and I was very happy for them to use the rolls as test rolls.   Please contact them directly for any further info.  (This is not a sponsored blog btw)

Thus back to the setting.  At this stage in the holiday my meter had broken on the camera so I was bracketing more than normal.  In hindsight, especially with this film stock it probably was not as necessary as the differences between one stop were not huge.

The location was M’dina Malta.  This is known as the quiet city.  It is full of narrow streets and paths and is set among the hills.  The city was also used for quite a few scenes in Game of Thrones.  All the photos have been taken using an Olympus OM1n.   IMHO the Kodak Vision films are one of the best colours film out there, better than any standard colour C41 films and easier to handle than slide film.  See what you think



The Holiday:  Roll 3/10. Velvia 50

Those of you that know me or follow me on twitter (@givemeabiscuit) will know I am a big fan of slide film, with Velvia 50 a personal favourite of mine.

Thus there was no way I was going to Malta and not shoot a roll of this lovely film.  This time however I wanted to try something different and practise long exposure.  Thus I also had with my Lee Filters (10stop ND & 0.6 soft grad).

I tried some daytime long exposures with both filters and some at dusk with the soft grad.

When writing these blogs I always like to ensure I share both what works and what does not work.  It helps me clarify in my mind how/what to do better next time and hopefully provides you with some insight also.

So here come the images.  

The black slides are unsuccessful evening shots

Some normal exposure, (but I still over exposed!)


And daytime long exposure.  Lesson one get the framing right next time, lesson 2 if shooting into the sun, either don’t or at least have a the lens hood and lesson three read up on exposure techniques for this film more thoroughly


And in case you are wondering what total over exposure looks like, it is a completely clear slide that scans like below

Yes this really is the scan

There are some slides the lab did not scan (understandably) but I can see something is there, so will get them rescanned and check them out.

In conclusion, I really really ballsed up the roll of film.