Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Shot In The Dark

stay in the light
Ektachrome 400

To be honest, it was many shots fired in the dark. Last Wednesday night, Marc Akemann and I went on a little night-photography adventure in Ann Arbor. We shot mostly in the State Street area, concentrating on the exterior of the Univ. of Michigan Museum of Art, and around State and Liberty near the State Theater. Marc was shooting with his Bronica, and I of course, as usual, had several cameras that I was shooting with -- my Nikon N80, Ricoh R-1, aand my 35mm Holga. Tripods in hand, we walked around until it got dark enough for some artificial-light shots.
Photographers move slowly Mark with his Bronica. Ektachrome 64T.

One of our aims was to shoot with slide film and get it cross-processed in C-41 (color print film) chemistry. It's bad enough to shoot the variety of light sources at night with any slide film and get realistic colors due to the various color temperatures of neon, tungsten, halogen, and sodium vapor lights. Daylight-balanced slide film such as the Ekatchrome 400 I was using will give odd renditions in such conditions, but it was funny how the cross-processing actually looked pretty darn good. Same for the Ektachrome 64T (for tungsten lighting), though some of the images had a more pronounced greenish cast to them.

UMMA at Night UMMA and people playing with the "swing" Ektaachrome 64T

Finally, I shot some Superia 100 color print film in the Ricoh R1 - a wide-angle P&S camera that is normally about 30mm, but goes to 24mm in Panorama mode. I shot some Kodak Gold 200 in the Holga 35BC, but haven't developed that film as yet.

UMMA At Night Ricoh R1

The Ricoh was a pleasant surprise with accurate exposures and good color. Obviously having it on a sturdy tripod also helped. I'll be interested in seeing how the Holga 135BC shots came out.

You are probably wondering why in the hell I'd be shooting film and not digital for night scenes. Serendipity and fun. You see, digital is way to easy for this. I like the delay in gratification, and because each film has a different characteristic, the results were uncertain. Add in the cross-processing, and one gets a totally different color rendition, depending on the exposure and the film. In addition, I bought the film at 50 cents a roll, and developing was only a few bucks. Thank you, Huron Camera (in Dexter, MI), for doing C-41 cross-processing!

1 comment:

Marc Akemann said...

Nice article there, Mark. It was indeed a fun evening. I don't know how you do it with all those cameras but you really got some excellent images that night. Glad you were able to go on such short notice. -Marc