Fall Colors on Slide Film & First Attempt at E6 Developing

 

October, 2016

Now I'm off for the Holidays, I have some time to catch up on processing some exposed film. In the past, I've developed black/white and color negative at home, but I've never actually developed slide film before. The process involves different chemistry and is overall a little more difficult than developing other film types. 

This whole process of taking/developing/scanning these photos were full of firsts. I never tried macro shots with medium format before, and I was shooting with a discontinued film that expired in 1995. This film is called Kodak Ektachrome 64 and I thought it would be a good opportunity to test it on some fall leaves since it's been expired for so long I didn't know what to expect. 

 

My setup:

Hasselblad 500c | 150mm F4 T* lens | 55mm extension tube. (Shot in October, 2016)

I don't have a macro lens for medium format, this is where the extension tube comes into play. Rather than buying a macro lens, the extension tube permits a standard lens to focus closer. In fact, with this combination my 150mm lens will focus even closer than a macro lens would have. 

 

Shot in October 2016. Hasselblad 500c | Sonnar 150mm F/4 T* | 55mm Extension Tube | Kodak Ektachrome 64 (expired in 1995). Home developed with Tetenal E-6 kit and scanned with Nikon LS-8000 ED. 

Shot in October 2016.
Hasselblad 500c | Sonnar 150mm F/4 T* | 55mm Extension Tube | Kodak Ektachrome 64 (expired in 1995). Home developed with Tetenal E-6 kit and scanned with Nikon LS-8000 ED. 

Pacific City, OR trip: Fuji Velvia, Fuji Provia, and Kodak Portra

Labor Day Weekend on the Oregon Coast in Pacific City

Hung out with my family in a place called Cape Kiwanda and stayed there for the weekend before returning to Bend. I had a great time and did manage to take a few rolls of medium format too!

I first wanted to capture a beautiful sunset on the coast (who doesn't?) so I loaded up slide film in my Hasselblad 500c and walked out on the beach. Velvia 100 was my film of choice, and I also added a three stop reverse graduated neutral density filter (ND). For those who are unfamiliar these, they are mounted directly in front of the lens with an adapter. The purpose is to bring down the brightness in certain parts of the scene. For most situations, including mine, it was used to darken the sky by three stops. How reverse graduated ND filters differ ordinary graduated ones is it has the darkest shade near the middle rather than the top of the filter. This is tailored specifically for sunrise/sunsets since the brightest part of the scene will be just on the horizon, instead of high in the sky during middle of the day. 

Slide film has a narrow exposure latitude compared color negative film, Velvia being the narrowest of them all. Which has less flexibility for high contrast scenes, without filters you're stuck with metering for the highlights, knowing you'll miss most shadow detail, or vice versa. ND filters adapt the scene to the narrow exposure latitude of slide film and when done right the results can be stunning. 

The clouds near the horizon turned out a little darker than I had intended one this one. Also you'll notice the rocks are very dark. This partially because the darkest part of the filter overlaps on that part of the scene. This was my first time using a reverse graduated ND filter.  Hasselblad 500c | 50mm | F16 | 1/30 (or something around there) | Fuji Velvia 100

The clouds near the horizon turned out a little darker than I had intended one this one. Also you'll notice the rocks are very dark. This partially because the darkest part of the filter overlaps on that part of the scene. This was my first time using a reverse graduated ND filter. 

Hasselblad 500c | 50mm | F16 | 1/30 (or something around there) | Fuji Velvia 100

A few frames later on the same roll I wanted to get some motion blur with the water. The conditions were more ideal since the sun came out from behind the clouds. The longer exposure time was more appropriate too, the sky isn't as dark as the first frame. This is my favorite shot from the whole trip.  Hasselblad 500c | 50mm | F16 | 1 second | Fuji Velvia 100 It's also worth noting that those two pictures have been only slightly edited in post. On this particular one I used an adjustment brush to lighten up the surf since it was a little on the dark side.  I did not touch the colors, they're straight from the scan of the slides. Fuji Velvia offers the most wild colors and thats why I chose it for this scene. I almost never do post editing with film and when I do it's minuscule. Mostly minor exposure corrections, dust/spot removal, etc.  The main reason I use ND filters is so I get it right in-camera to minimize post processing. However, there will always be some, just as there is in darkroom printing. 

A few frames later on the same roll I wanted to get some motion blur with the water. The conditions were more ideal since the sun came out from behind the clouds. The longer exposure time was more appropriate too, the sky isn't as dark as the first frame. This is my favorite shot from the whole trip. 

Hasselblad 500c | 50mm | F16 | 1 second | Fuji Velvia 100

It's also worth noting that those two pictures have been only slightly edited in post. On this particular one I used an adjustment brush to lighten up the surf since it was a little on the dark side.  I did not touch the colors, they're straight from the scan of the slides. Fuji Velvia offers the most wild colors and thats why I chose it for this scene. I almost never do post editing with film and when I do it's minuscule. Mostly minor exposure corrections, dust/spot removal, etc.  The main reason I use ND filters is so I get it right in-camera to minimize post processing. However, there will always be some, just as there is in darkroom printing. 

Next shoot: Munson Falls

The next day I was driving through Tillamook, that name may ring a bell. It's the cheese, ice cream, and dairy company. Some of the best ice cream you can get comes from there.

As I was driving back to the camp sight I saw a sign for Munson falls. I immediately went to check it out only to find the water falls blocked off from woody debris from a big rain. I didn't want to go back empty handed so I focused on the creek downstream. For this shoot I chose Fuji Provia 100F which is also a slide film but has a little more exposure latitude than Velvia and the colors are more lifelike. I had a 10 stop ND filter but that proved to be overkill so I simply stopped down the lens without any filters. The exposure in the shade was slow enough to get motion blur in the stream. 

I did do a post edit with this one. The maple leaf was a little blown out on the scan compared to the slide. I used an adjustment brush in Lightroom which brought it down a 1/2 stop. Aside from that, I got what I wanted in-camera.  Hasselblad 500c | 80mm | F22 | 2 seconds | Fuji Provia 100F

I did do a post edit with this one. The maple leaf was a little blown out on the scan compared to the slide. I used an adjustment brush in Lightroom which brought it down a 1/2 stop. Aside from that, I got what I wanted in-camera. 

Hasselblad 500c | 80mm | F22 | 2 seconds | Fuji Provia 100F

My setup in the creek. I removed the 10-stop ND filter in front of the lens since my cable shutter release just decided to break moments earlier. So I couldn't keep the shutter shutter open for an extended period of time. Fortunately, the light was dim enough to just stop down the lens for a two second exposure. 

Mirrored image through the waist level viewfinder. 

Other photographs with Yashica-D loaded with Kodak Portra 400:

While the Hasselblad is a dream to shoot. My Yashica-D is still my favorite to carry around, its compact and cannot interchange lenses which prevents me from bringing too much gear. It's really just a joy to shoot and I enjoy the challenge of using only one camera and one lens. I can't recommend this camera enough. Especially you're just looking to get into medium format, its dirt cheap compared to the Hasselblad and the quality is nothing to shake a stick at either. The images are a little soft wide open; but when stopped down to F5.6 to F8, it's very sharp. 

Kodak Portra is a great all around film that can be used outside of portraits. It basically has the widest exposure latitude of any film you can buy today. This is ideal for my Yashica-D since I don't want to fiddle with filters. These shots are more casual shots of my family. 

My mom during lunch in Tillamook, Oregon. Yashica-D | F5.6 | 1/125 sec | Kodak Portra 400

My mom during lunch in Tillamook, Oregon.

Yashica-D | F5.6 | 1/125 sec | Kodak Portra 400

Kite flying! I love the soft colors.

Yashica-D | F16 | 1/500 sec | Kodak Portra 400

My folks kite flying in Cape Kirwanda.

Yashica-D | F16 |1/500 sec | Kodak Portra 400

Sunset at Pelican Brewery. They have very good beer, I highly recommend it if you're close by. The sunset on this day wasn't as extravagant as it was a couple days prior but this also shows how mellow the colors are with Kodak Portra compared Fuji Velvia 100. They're completely different animals but I think Portra handled this sunset very well. It's actually one of my favorite pictures from this summer.  Yashica-D | F8 | 1/125sec | Kodak Portra 400

Sunset at Pelican Brewery. They have very good beer, I highly recommend it if you're close by. The sunset on this day wasn't as extravagant as it was a couple days prior but this also shows how mellow the colors are with Kodak Portra compared Fuji Velvia 100. They're completely different animals but I think Portra handled this sunset very well. It's actually one of my favorite pictures from this summer. 

Yashica-D | F8 | 1/125sec | Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra was an ideal choice especially for taking photos on the beach during the day. The light is so bright during the day on the sand which acts like a reflector on your subjects. You may have noticed how stopped down I was during the day at F16 and my 1/500 shutter speed. The Yashica-D's shutter speed only goes up to 1/500sec and the lens stops down to F22. I actually over exposed the negatives a little bit (which is okay for color negatives). So I was maxing it out a little bit on the exposures during the day. Next time I would shoot Portra 160, just to give myself a little more headroom. Overall, I'm very happy with what I got from the trip. I would love to visit the coast again for more long exposures. 

Steve Badger

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