|some slow speed films|
We don't have the plethora of positive color films that existed 20 years ago, and that can easily be explained by the fact that pro shooters accounted for the majority of E-6 and Kodachrome sales that were quickly taken over by the digital onslaught. For the publishing industry, digital was a real boon, as the workflow no longer involved the darkroom as being the intermediate step. For the art photographer, it was a more personal choice. However, the mere fact that Kodak released Ektachrome once again last year is a good sign that a major gap was being filled.
As far as C-41 films, there are enough choices out there to make most people happy. While I shoot color film, it still represents a minority of my film usage. I do use digital for a majority of my color work -- and my Nikon Df is one hell of a camera. My first choice is b&w film, for a lot of reasons. I like the moods that I can get with different films, I like being able to experiment with using low-ISO films and odd emulsions, and I like the way b&w film shows the world that I photograph. In addition, film grain - the lack of, as well as the presence of, can really add another dimension to an image. I think back to some early shots that I did with Kodak's high speed recording film - it had grain like nothing else, and I wish that I had used it in the right situations to make that grainy stuff work as an asset to the image. On the other end of the grain scale, Ilford Pan-F and Kodak Tmax 100 are really excellent films. To me, the allure of so many different films is that a film stock becomes part of my creative process.
One other thing to note, is that I am working on a zine devoted to monochrome shooting. I'll say more about it as I get closer to a final product, but I hope to have it ready by January 2020. The first issue will focus on low-ISO films.
As these November days move into December days, I am very happy that I moved to western North Carolina. We have far more sunny days than cloudy ones this time of year, and those low sun angles represent more opportunities for shooting b&w film!