Recently, I have been trying out a black and white film called Adox Silvermax. It’s an ISO 100 film, although I have heard some people say that it is better rated at ISO 400. I have just left it at its box speed. The film has a higher silver content than most black and white films. This means that there is more tonal range within the images.
I haven’t been able to print the film traditionally in the darkroom (the enlarger and what not is in my attic in (very) long-term storage). But, I have obviously scanned it. It scans very well, better than Kodak Tri-X to me as the film is inherently less contrasty and holds more details in the shadows. I am using a Epson V850 scanner at the moment with the standard Epson software. I have a Plustek 8200AI scanner with the dedicated Silverfast HDR suite as well, which produces much better ‘RAW’ scans as it has a great multiple exposure mode). But, I have loaned this out to a friend so that they can scan some of their film work (it’s much more portable than a flatbed!).
Whilst it’s a slow film, it’s quality is very good. I have been really impressed with the amount of information that the 35mm negatives contain. You can zoom in on the images and pick out a lot of detail.
The images here are from a recent trip to London during photo week, where I originally went with the aim of seeing Zhang Kechun‘s excellent large format work done along the Yangtze called ‘The Yellow River’. After visiting the exhibition, I just wandered around making photographs, eating and drinking a lot of coffee. I am hoping to go to London in October to see the exhibition of William Eggleston’s work, which no doubt will involve some street photography afterwards – probably in colour!
It’s a film that I really enjoyed using, so much so that I have ordered more of it. It doesn’t have the speed and flexibility of Tri-X or HP5+ but in good light conditions, it produces lovely toned and detailed images. Definitely, one for where the extra quality is needed over speed.
I took this shot whilst the visiting Maori group were rehearsing with the cathedral singers for the ceremony opening the arts week here earlier this summer. I like the ‘Wicker man’ feel that this shot has to me! Now where is Sergeant Howie? 😉
It’s been a busy weekend, but I have started to scan some of the films back from the processor for the 365 project. Keeping track of what I shot when is a bit of a ‘mare as the film numbers don’t match up with my notes. Still, I can work out what was taken when.
Here is one of the shots. Weird how everyone is pretty wearing the same dull colours in the shot – even the car!
I picked up the films today for the 365 project and dropped a few more off as well.
One of the things that is nice about street photography is that you can just concentrate on capturing life as it happens. You don’t need a ‘higher motive’ like when shooting a project.
Hopefully, tomorrow the films will be ready for collection (and then scanning by me). I would like to get some shots of the 365 project up over the weekend. We’ll see…
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