Shooting 35mm motion picture film in a stills camera is always fun. It opens up a new world of experimentation with unique emulsions used in Hollywood and beyond.
The folks at CineStill now offer a low speed daylight film repacked from Kodak Vision 50D, whilst promising: "The exposure latitude of this film is beyond anything digital and even most other films can hope to achieve."
Shooting a roll over the Summer, I tried this film out and the results speak for themselves.
In August 2014 Kodak Alaris confirmed that BW400CN, the company's flagship chromogenic black and white film, was to be discontinued.
"Due to a steady decline in sales and customer usage," Kodak Alaris will no longer be producing the film, though they expect stocks will still be available up to February 2015. They were sympathetic with their consumer base, stating: "We empathize with the Pro photographers and consumers who use and love this film, but given the significant minimum order quantity necessary to coat more product combined with the very small customer demand, it is a decision we have to make."
On 19th November 1969, Apollo 12's Lunar Module Intrepid landed on the Moon in an area known as the Ocean of Storms. It was a precise touchdown, within walking distance of a previous unmanned probe called Surveyor 3. The Apollo 12 crew have for many years been my favourite group of astronauts, particularly Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean, who has since spent his years painting Lunar landscapes and reinterpreting the incredible photography shot on an alien world.
As a student, one of my favourite pastimes in the school library was to scrutinise old copies of National Geographic. As most people my age harboured desires to become pilots or astronauts, the issues which continually fascinated me were the lavish pictorials of NASA missions. Several National Geographic volumes pictured trios of astronauts wearing oppressive goldfish-bowl helmets and heavily padded white spacesuits, often posed next to scale models of their oddly-shaped spacecraft. Photographed in saturated Kodachrome, these were the men who had journeyed to the Moon twenty years earlier. The experiences of these pioneers, vividly evidenced in the universal language of the still image, has ensured that space exploration remains a inspiration for multiple generations.
Those well-versed in black and white techniques often avoid side-stepping into the colour world and all of its differing technicalities. In truth, processing colour film, specifically C41, is arguably easier than a traditional black and white process. With minilabs closing down and a prevalence of C41 chemistry kits readily available, home processing of C41 is quickly becoming an option which is both time-saving and cost-saving.
I recently acquired a 35mm roll of PolyPan F, a black and white panchromatic film designed for striking positives for motion film. For some time photographers have been using this cheap stock for stills photography with captivating results.
For some time I've been experimenting with Kodak's Panatomic-X, a film which has long since ended production yet leaves a legendary status as one of the finest black and white films ever produced.
I'm just getting used to my new exposure...
Instructing film photography, developing and printing in the darkroom.