Our Weekend II

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Just got some freshly developed film back from the lab, and there’s really no reason why I shouldn’t write some more about last weekend, right? I stuffed some Kodak Portra 160NC (expired in 2001, courtesy of Four Corner Store) in my Pentacon Six, because it’s simply a nice camera for a summer weekend like that. Fun fact: the glue lid on the 220 film roll tasted very fruity, almost like cherries.

We hung out in J’s parents’ garden a lot, in the shade of a nice pear tree which unfortunately, doesn’t bear any fruit this year. But the cherry tree sure made up for that. I really couldn’t stop eating cherries that weekend. Mari spend a lot of time in her tiny pool, but I really can’t blame her for that. It was nice to even just dip in my feet.

Germany was playing in the world cup on Saturday, but I really didn’t feel like hanging out inside, watching tv. So I grabbed Mari and camera, and we headed out exploring the tiny town J used to live in. Sure, I do know the place already, but still, you discover something new every time. Plus, the town was practically empty, and even walking around, I didn’t miss a single goal. It was freaking hot, but I much prefer being outside, even in heat like that.

On Sunday J and I took a little bike ride around the lakes and woods in the area, just the two of us, leaving Mari napping at her parents. Of course she slept until we got back, but what’s a baby to do?

Even though it was pretty hot again on Sunday, the bike ride was nice and relaxing. It rained a tiny bit, but that didn’t really bother us. We stopped at the Havel river for a short dip in the water (mostly feet though), and to lie around on the water for a bit. With a baby, you almost forget to cherish and appreciate these moments with just the two of you. It’s almost taken for granted that there’s always a kid around or in the next room. So even though they’re still short moments, I very much enjoy them, just being with J.

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There’s Something About Slide Film

When I started shooting film about two years ago, I started out with cheapo consumer film, which can be nice too, mind you. Agfa’s Vista is a pretty nice film, and cheap. Anyway, a friend soon recommended I check out slide film.

Said and done, I bought some rolls of Kodak Elitechrome and Fuji Sensia, both very nice slide films on their own. Not too great for cross-processing, but that’s not was this is about anyway. It’s about slide film, processed as slide film, stuffed into a sheet of acetate foil for your viewing pleasure. By that time I already had picked my lab of choice so it didn’t matter if bigger retailers didn’t offer slide film processing anymore, or if it took them more than a week. My lab did it in two hours, after which I could see what I shot, without mentally reversing the colors. Man, that stuff is awesome.

Appreciation

Not only is the grain finer, the contrast and the saturation is usually much better than with color negative film. Don’t get me wrong, I still love color negative film, I have my phases where I shoot what I feel like, but it’s just something special with slide film.

My next steps involved buying a couple of different rolls for our wedding trip to Sydney. I stuffed them in the Holga, and had them cross-processed. Big mistake. Most of them came out with awful color shifts, or the fact that slide film’s exposure range is a lot smaller than color negative, together with accidental bulb mode turned them into a vintage looking mess. Some might call it “lomo”, but whatever. I’m not here to judge.

Anyway, I got my hands on some rolls of Agfa RSX-200 and some Velvia 100. My word, what a difference. That is some serious slide film porn with this stuff. And so blue! But what’s really special about slide film in the Holga is the fact that it’s 120, and therefore you get 6×6 centimeters of awesomeness per shot. You don’t even need a loupe to look at it, you can enjoy all of its awesomeness right away.

Stingray

Except for some specific slide films I like cross-processed, processing the film using E6 (aka slide film processing) is clearly the way to go. It just looks so awesome, every time a new. The fact that you could scan it up to something like 100 megapixels is mind-boggling. It’s downright awesome, any way you look at it, and I mean that literally. Of course you need awesome light when you shoot 100 speed slide film with the Holga, but when the sun is out, just try it. You won’t regret it.

Slide film, I think I love you. Black & white and color negative, you’re still awesome too.

Cross-Processing Part II

You could say that cross-processing is getting about out of hands here. You might be right, but just a minor tip, okay?

After shooting my first roll of Agfa Precisa in the Lomo LCA I noticed what I obviously have noticed on earlier cross-processing experiments: When there’s lots of white or bright stuff in the picture it looks very blown-out. As I mentioned earlier that’s not a big surprise, it’s a natural effect, since cross-processing usually over-exposes the film by a little bit more than one stop. You can pretty much see that effect here:

Millions of peaches

It’s not a big deal, but I wanted to try what is generally recommended for compensation: to underexpose. So I shot the next roll with the camera set to 200 speed and had it developed just like the roll before, no pushing, no pulling. The gist of the results pretty much looks like this:

Friday cupcakes

Simple change, and a slightly noticeable effect. Most of the photos in the film came out a bit more normally exposed than on the first roll.

I have yet to try out how well that works when shooting in the sun. Because sometimes, you just have to shoot into the sun.

Also, I can’t say it enough, the Agfa Precisa 100 is really awesome cross-processed.

Lomo LCA Love

A while back, just a couple of days before my birthday to be exact, I treated myself to a Lomo LCA. Not the Lomography remake, an original one, with Russian manual, a production month written with pencil, in its full glory.

I didn’t really know what to expect, all I did know was that I couldn’t let this opportunity pass. I’ve held out on buying one the last time, it won’t happen again. I stuffed a roll of 12 shots in it, really cheap film, and really bad, but it’s my film for testing new cameras. Fair enough, it works.

But then I stuffed a roll of Agfa Precisa in it, which I had cross-processed. I’ve had my doubts about the film, but a year back it could’ve been due to my non-existing knowledge of how to set up my scanner software.

So yeah, I finished that roll, handed it in, and ohmygawd, it’s awesome. I think I’m in love with this camera. It actually is the perfect companion to take everywhere. Its automatic mode makes shooting from the hip (excuse the crude Lomography language) a breeze.

Before I bore you with more details, let’s see some photos:

Cuccuma

Books

Berliner Zeitung

The recession is clearly over

Farmer's market

I don’t know about you, but I’m very fond of the look of the photos themselves, and obviously of the cross-processed Agfa. Good thing I just bought 25 rolls of it.

All that Lomo stuff brings me back to some photographer’s arch nemesis, the Lomographic Society. Count me in amongst the people shaking their head at their ridiculous prices. A roll of Precisa costs about twice as much as I’m paying for it. Nevermind the cameras, you pay a high price for their “lifestyle” products.

I did however, like this documentation on the history of the Lomographic Society. Little did I know, that Putin was involved in preventing the manufacturer from shutting down production of it altogether. I’d highly suggest watching all seven parts of it. It’s quite interesting to see everything come about, and you get to see some inspiring pictures, of that I’m sure.

Now, I won’t ever call myself a photographer, it just so happens that I’m rather fond of lo-fi photography, the Holga is still my favorite camera, next to the Polaroid SX-70, but the LCA has everything it takes to make it to the Top 3. If you’re ready to fork over a nice amount of cash, go get yourself a Lomo LCA+. Otherwise have a look on ebay. It’s a really nice camera, surprisingly nice, if I may say so.

Roid Week Aftermath

Okay, so it’s been a while since Roid Week, but somehow I haven’t been in the mood to blog. Let’s remedy that, shall we?

It was incredibly fun. I shot four films I haven’t used before, and I shot a lot of it, as you can see.

Roid Week Extravaganza

It looks like a lot, but granted, there’s still an enormous amount of Polaroid film in our fridge, and whil I’m a bit careful with not wasting any, there’s no reason letting it go to waste. Plus, there’s no such thing as a ruined Polaroid, right?

So, seeing all those photos, there must be some leftovers. There sure are. That’s why I’m declaring this week Roid Rejects Week. A week filled with all the good stuff that didn’t make it into Roid Week. Someone suggested opening a group on Flickr, but for me it’s really just about the spirit. Come join me, will ya? Let’s see what we have for a start.

Artistic East-German Building

UNO.de

Good Morning

Yep, that’ll work.

To sum up, I found two really nice new films, the 669 and the 779, luckily I just stocked up on both.