About an octopus in the rain ...
13 Jul 2009
Earlier on this year, I was lucky enough to be able return to a city that had taken my heart from the very first step I took there, from the very first coffee I drank and the very first photograph I took. Seattle. Not because of the city's history, technology, music, art or shopping possibilities, even though I do appreciate a great coffee at anytime, at every corner and whenever I feel like one, no. Simply because of the rain. Yes, the weather. The weather and its many different forms, which my Holga (one of my reality-distorting-eyes-opening-beasts) seems to capture so incredibly well and beautiful on my precious film. My weapon of choice: Kodak Professional Ektachrome Film E100g.
Fifteen rolls of medium format, a year and a half out-of-date and cross-processed E100G I should say, in case you were wondering about the colour shifts and variations of the images.
Well, before I write on, I should let you know that this is not just going to be a story about expired and/or cross-processed film, or even plastic cameras. Nor will it be about a fantastic and great location. Nope. This is a photo story about a-monster-of-a-film that produces beautiful results whenever you're in the studio or on location, results that are virtually grainless. "The grain your art deserves.", to quote Kodak's website.
I could inform you now about the specifications and technical data of this fantastic medium, but I won't. I rather tell you about the journey my Holga and I took in order to capture the images you see. I do however strongly recommend you visit Kodak's website and check out what stands behind their product I love and write about, as it can be very useful -and you never know- you might need the information one day, even if it is just be a well informed photographer.
Once you load your camera with expired slide film and cross-process it, you get hold of unique and very different results, every time you press the shutter. I love this "development" right from the beginning, when I load the camera, through the developing process and time in the film dryer, up to the end, when the film lies on my scanner and I'm about to see final results.
Back to Seattle and the rain clouds, which -I have to be honest with you- helped to give my images such varying and interesting colours and defiantly helped my mood when shooting. There is nothing more fascinating than going out on location, not sure whether it is going to start raining and never stop, if you going be surrounded and exist in "wet air" the whole day or if it is just a quick shower. I do however like the moments just after a shower when the sun breaks through the clouds and produces gorgeous effects on film – if you pressed the shutter at the right time. And loaded your camera with the right stuff – and believe me E100G is perfect for such moments.
So there I was, usually with a coffee in one hand, the camera around my neck and my finger on the shutter, walking through the city in search for the right moment(s). With E100G having an ISO of 100 (and effectively "smoother" image results) you might want to make sure you have enough light available to you when you press the button, but you probably know that already being in love with photography. Mentioning that, if you are –as I was- after images that show those magic moments before, during and after rainy hours and days, Kodak's E100G is the film to go for! What you see through the viewfinder is what you'll get on your slides (or negatives, if cross-processed). So if you have the chance to get your hands on a few rolls of E100G, go out and give it a try – no matter what weather condition!
Well, and there you go a story about my love for E100G, film photography, great coffee and Seattle. And one day –hopefully in the not too distant future- I will be going back to shoot again, and believe me, I cannot wait for that day to come!