My Precious

Architecture, Agfa scala and me.

Agfa Scala by Agfa
Shadow & Light 6
Shadow & Light 5
Shadow & Light 4
Shadow & Light 3
Shadow & Light 2
Shadow and Light
Edinburgh
Edinburgh 3
Edinburgh 2
Edinburgh

Architectural photography! That was the brief from college. What to do? What to photograph? How? The questions were zooming around my head like Harry Potter on speed. I have always tried to push the boat out a little bit, to buck the system and trends and to try out something new. This was the first year where us students were ALLOWED to shoot on digital instead of the original transparencies. BUT, me being I decided to stick with the original and shoot the entire assignment on slide then to have my final images printed ciba chrome.

This decision over, I then chose my building. The new Scottish Parliament buildings in Edinburgh. The only problem here was that I lived in Northern Ireland, not too far as the crow flies, but still an hour's plane trip. But Ho hum, needs must. So armed with my camera bag filled with Bronica and loads of goodies (which didn't feel too heavy when I set off- but seemed to get heavier as the day wore on) I boarded a plane with two college friends for a photographic girlie day out.

Brilliant, I immediately fell in love with this controversial building and in the space of a couple of hours, had shot 6 rolls of Fuji Velvia 120 and 5 rolls of Fuji velvia 35mm. In anticipation, I waited every day for Jim the postman to arrive with my processed film (we don't have a lab close by who processes transparencies anymore!) and 4 days later they were there. I was over the moon with the results BUT ... during my waiting I had continued with my research, and had found Helene Binet an architectural photographer who shoots mainly in black & white and seems to concentrate on shadows and light and form. So when looking at my slides, I kept saying to myself, how cool would that have looked in black & white!

SO, I returned to easyjet and booked another trip, this time inviting my husband along (little did he know that he was actually coming along as my pack mule). We decided to also stay a few days to give me enough time to anticipate the Scottish November weather.

BUT again my research had led me down a different path, I really still wanted to use transparency film, but AGFA had folded a few years back, and their perfect AGFA SCALA was discontinued. So onto Ebay I went, took a chance that the film I was buying had in fact been kept in a fridge, and bought 5 rolls. Only then to discover that it needs a special processing! Never daunted I did MORE research and found a Lab in Paris that still processes it. So off I went again.

The trip was great, my only problem with the building itself was my own fault. With all my other research I had forgotten to check the Scottish Parliament itinerary and arrived slap-bang in the middle of the Parliament Budget sitting. So a lot of the building was closed to the public and the rest was filled with loads of people and exhibitions. But I did my best and completed what I had set out to achieve (with some persuading a nice young man form the media department).

The films I posted from Edinburgh before boarding the plane home, and I was amazed that they were processed and returned to me within 3 days, what service! This time I was blown away by the results. So much so, that I have had trouble choosing the images for my final panel of 10.

The film? Well, I am so in love with this film that I have decided to shoot my final assignment (a male nude) with it. It has to be exposed correctly (so bracketing is a must) and its main strength is its wonderful tonality in midtones. How long will I be able to get stock? Who knows, but for now I am getting as much as possible. And making the most of what I can get. (The scans did not do justice to the originals)

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Hi there!

thought you might like this story!

http://jpgmag.com/stories/2094

Thanks,
—The JPG team

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