After exposing this roll of film during the winter holidays, I was excited to get the negatives back from Boutique Film Lab. But when I scanned the negatives, my excitement turned to disappointment.
After exposing this roll of film during the winter holidays, I was excited to get the negatives back from Boutique Film Lab. But when I scanned the negatives, my excitement turned to disappointment. As you can see, my results were horrid. The scans were absent the fantastic colours, fine detail and photo clarity I had expected from this high-speed 35mm film. Kodak GT 800 Color Print 35mm film was touted as delivering fine grain and sharpness unmatched by other 800-speed 35mm films. I expected crisp, clear pictures beaming with vibrant colours across various lighting conditions.
What I got was "mud". I blamed myself. I had severely exposed this 35mm film or damaged it somehow.
But after I commented about the tedium of film scanning on a post on Fuji X Weekly, Ritchie Roesch responded with this comment.
That does sound tedious, but if it gets you the results you want, then it's worth it. Was the film expired? It's my understanding that Kodak stopped production on GT 800-4 a while ago. Unless they brought it back?
I quickly jumped on Google, and within seconds I learned. It was an expired film. I'm such a doofus. Unfortunately, I don't remember where I purchased it.
Yeah, expired can either be very interesting or very bad and unfortunately, you don't know how it will go until after it's been shot. Also, the development has to be changed. I forget the calculation, but the extra time has to be given for every so many year expired. ~ Ritchie Roesch
Ugh. Some photographers may enjoy unexpected results. I do not. I think I'll stay away from expired 35mm film. The frames were scanned using SilverFast 9 SE with my Epson Perfection V600 scanner and then processed with Negative Lab Pro.
I am disappointed with the result, but I am still happy to try this 35mm film.
NOTE: I'll begin this experience report with a brief disclaimer. It's been less than three years since I returned to shooting 35mm film after switching to digital photography over 20 years ago. I've inundated myself with as much film education as possible between web articles and advice from experienced film shooters. But, with my former experience way in past and limited recent experience, this review is coming from a relative novice point of view.
... recently, three other films have appeared. They're not Lomography films, nor are they coming from Kodak or Fujifilm, the last two giant colour film producers. These three films come instead from Russia's Silberra, a boutique film brand which has until recently concentrated on black-and-white film.
Silberra's colour films span a trio of medium-speed ISOs: 50, 100 and 160. Where exactly they come from is a little bit of a mystery. The company's own website offers little info, and in fact didn't even list the 160 version of the film before a consignment of it arrived at London's Photographers Gallery at the end of 2020, which gave me a roll of it to test.
A lot of 35mm film has been discontinued over the last few years. We list ADOX Silvermax and SCALA 160, Fujicolor Pro 400H, and FujiChrome Velvia 100. This has driven up the price of remaining stock and the costs of other 35mm films as photographers seek alternatives. A single 36-exposure roll of Fujifilm Pro 400H sells for over $40 on Amazon.com, the only store where I have seen the film, listed for sale. But what the universe taketh away, it also giveth.
After reading Stephen's experience report, I decided to give Silberra Color 160 a try. I ordered a single roll from Blue Moon Camera ($11) and exposed the roll during September and October. I captured various subjects under varied lighting conditions. I only sent the film roll to Boutique Film Lab for processing ($5+$10 shipping). The developed and uncut negatives arrived this week, and yesterday I scanned them in using the Epson Perfection V600, Silverfast 9 and Negative Lab Pro. I followed the same guidelines for scanning and processing the scanned images I used for Kodak Pro Image 100. The recent update to Negative Lab Pro promised even better results, so I was excited.
The number of keepers from the roll of 36 was relatively low. Many of the images were out of focus or blurry. I'll admit that I am still re-learning how to use 35m films (after a 30-year hiatus), but I got more keepers when using Kodak Pro Image 100 or Kodak Vision 250D. I like how darker skin tones are rendered in Kodak Pro Image 100. Overall the images seem more neutral. I don't particularly appreciate how Silberra renders skin tones.
I am disappointed with the result, but I am still happy I could try this 35mm film. I learned that Kodak Pro Image 100 might be the ideal and currently available 35mm film that produces results that I like. I'll be sticking to that for a while, at least, until Kodak discontinues that film.
I am not a fan of shoes, even when outside. I love the feeling of cool grass or beach sand under my feet. It's so delightful.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #161 – Feet and Shoes
I am not a fan of shoes, even when outside. I love the feeling of cool grass or beach sand under my feet. It's so delightful.
This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none,
And this little piggy cried "wee wee wee" all the way home.
My mom would recite that nursery rhyme to me while wiggling my toes. And I did the same to my kids.
I remember the first time we put shoes on Shaan's feet. Shaan cried and tried in vain to get them off; "what are these horrible things covering my beautiful little piggies".
When I first moved to the USA, I was astonished by how many people wore shoes inside the home. I mean, the bottom of the shoe has walked all over "yucky" stuff outside, and you are now transferring all the yucky stuff inside your home. Ew! Feet can be washed. Shoes, not so much.
Growing up in the Caribbean, no one, no one wore shoes inside the house. It was pretty common to go barefoot even when walking down the street to a friends house to play. I, fortunately, married an Asian woman (Bhavna's from India), and like the rest of her family, we have a "shoes at the door" policy. In most Asian and Caribbean cultures it is expected that you take your shoes off when entering someone’s home.
Some Americans seem to think feet are ugly and should be hidden inside shoes. I believe this is because they likely have ugly feet with bunions and hammertoes that they got over the years from paradoxically wearing shoes. Just a year into my daily commute to Wall Street, I started to develop pain in my feet, and the large toe on my right foot developed a slight curve. This was most likely due to wearing dress shoes while briskly walking to the office. Sometimes I would remove my shoes under the desk to get some relief.
Due to my diabetes, Bhavna discourages my outside barefoot walks, and I certainly would not go hiking without proper protective footwear. My favourite pair of shoes are my beach flip-flops. I think they are a decent compromise.
My Fujifilm X-T2 is still out for repair, and the 35mm film camera isn't helpful for "quick turn around" photography, so I skimmed through my profile looking for photographs for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #161 – Feet and Shoes. I found a lot more images than I expected.
Monday 16 August 2021
This is an excerpt from “Old America”, a post from the blog of Evan Tucker at The Times of Israel.
If you’re reading history to know what happens next, you won’t know by knowing history. Whether you know the details, you know the basic outline: progress followed by regress, reforms so long delayed they provoke revolutions, true believers proven wrong, revolutionary idealists causing reactionary movements and mass death, the remains conquered by realists who understand human folly, most of whom, being realists, are indifferent to suffering.
My thesis is that if you digitize your negatives, you shoot general purpose film and not specialty film (e.g. Ektar, tinted film, etc), and you shoot it as the manufacturer intended (e.g. without pushing or pulling) the film stock you use isn’t as important as you may think.
My suggestion is that you can simply pick your film stock based on speed, latitude and grain.
Although there are some caveats, many differences between film stocks (including most of what you find online in film stock comparisons such as differences in color and contrast) are largely negligible when applied to real world situations.
Matt has just blown my socks off! I was disappointed with the scans I had received of the same film stock developed at various labs. I bought myself an Epson V600 scanner but struggled to get things just right. I started using Silverfast 9 this week but still struggled to find a workflow that gave consistent results. This morning, I installed Negative Lab Pro for Lightroom, followed Matt's advice, and rescanned some Kodak Pro 100 negatives. I think the results are so much better.
This new workflow will save me money. I will still send my exposed rolls to be developed, but I will no longer pay for scans. I can do the scans at home myself and feel confined that I can get good results.
Based on what I have learned from various online sources and Matt's blog post, I have put together a workflow for colour negatives. The workflow I use for scanning is to scan the 35mm film strips in the holder as 48-bit HDRs with SilverFast 9 set to scan in “positive” mode and save the files as DNG files.
I then import the RAW DNG into Adobe Lightroom. After import, I select all the imported files, and select “File > Plugin-Extras > Update Vuescan/Silverfast DNGs”.
Assuming it all goes well, I use the white balance tool to sample off the film border. I then crop the image to the film border to ensure the film borders are not included in the image evaluation.
Within Adobe Lightroom type CTRL + N or File -> Plug-in Extras -> Negative Lab Pro from the menu, to launch Negative Lab Pro. Set the “Input” to “Vuescan/SF RAW DNG”, set the other pre-conversion settings in Negative Lab Pro and hit “Convert”. Voila!
Thursday 19 August 2021
After reading the article, How To Use Shadows For Impact1, I have realised that most of my recent images, both digital and analogue, have been a little flat. I may not have realised that I was capturing my images on overcast days. I don't think this was intentional but due to the habit of using the camera later in the day. But also, we've had a lot of overcast days recently.
‘I have always had a wariness of shadows,’ [sic Artist Philippa Stanton] confesses. ‘Shadows can be frightening, an unknown quantity, harbouring threat and shadowy characters. But shadows are a part of life, both aesthetically and spiritually. As silence proves the sound and pausing proves the act, it is always darkness that proves the light.’
When used sensitively, however, shadows can serve a whole variety of aesthetic functions: they can direct a viewer’s gaze, help to describe the form of an object, emphasise texture, create a sense of mystery, improve the balance of a composition, become the subject of an image themselves or simply lessen the impact of less-desirable elements in the frame.
I want to return to being more intentional with my photography. This was the norm for me until recent years. Most of my recent photography has been incidental with images captured as a consequence of an activity, e.g. out to dinner or at a family event or even while making coffee in the morning.
I want each photograph to be meaningful, so why not be intentional about the frames I expose? I think I need to head into a nearby downtown to capture pictures of the streets and find and appreciate the unapparent aesthetics, capture things that will remind me of exploring, of experiencing.
When I’m out on a photowalk, I always pick the same soundtrack.
That is, quite simply, bird song, the wind in the trees, the rain pattering down, leaves crunching beneath my feet, trickling water, or whatever else nature is providing around me, as I wander through the countryside.
For me this is all part of the joy of photography.
Being out amongst nature and not only seeing with enhanced photographer’s eyes, but paying as much attention to the details of the sonic landscape all around me also.
This too is my experience with photography in nature. I tell people I am a nemophilist, a seldom used word meaning ?A person who loves or is fond of woods or forests."? Dan's post reminded me that's it's been a very long time since I last went on a nature photowalk. I need to experience komorebi and Shinrin Yoku.
How To Use Shadows For Impact, Amateur Photographer Magazine, August 19, 2021 ↩