Tag Archives: Prospect Park
As the summer fades and my use of color film dwindles, I’ve been fickle regarding 100 speed film. The new Kodak Portra 400 has proven to be a solid lock for higher speed color film, but I’ve bounced around a bit when it comes to color negative film at 100 speed. I’ve shot dozens of rolls of Fuji Reala 100, which I love, but it sometimes lacks that punch I like from color film. Kodak Portra 160 hasn’t wowed me as much as its big brother, so I’ve been shooting Reala 100, but always thinking I could use something I like better. Enter Kodak Ektar 100. Ektar is a fairly recent addition (2008) to the Kodak family, boasting “ISO 100 speed, high saturation and ultra-vivid color, EKTAR 100 offers the finest, smoothest grain of any color negative film available today.”
It’s certainly punchier than Reala. It’s decently priced, readily available no matter where I shop for film, and scans like a dream. I’m definitely warming to it. Here’s a quick look at how it handles different colors in my experience.
Blus Sky and Plane, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Kodak Ektar 100
All images shot with Hasselblad 501cm and Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 lens and scanned with Epson V500 flatbed scanner.
A break in the rain on Thursday night allowed me to head out to Prospect Park with a tripod for some long exposures. Most of these exposures were between 30 and 60 seconds at an aperture of f11 or f16 as metered by my Digisix light meter.
This roll was shot with Hasselblad 501cm on Fuji Neopan Acros 100 and developed in Kodak Xtol Developer at 21C for 7.5 minutes.
Tree and Prospect Park Lake at Night, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Fallen Tree in Prospect Lake at Night, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Tree and Moving Clouds at Night, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Grand Army Plaza Arch at Night, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Grand Army Plaza Fountain at Night, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Bark Hot Dogs at Night, Park Slope, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Firo Grocery Bodega on St. Marks and 3rd Avenue at Night, Gowanus, Brooklyn, Fuji Neoapn Acros 100
Man at ATM of Paul’s Grocery and Fruits on 5th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
When you consider razor sharp depth of field or crazy blurred background, you might think of the super fast lenses for 35mm cameras – the f1.8 lenses, the f1.4, and even the occasional f.95 lens. They will definitely deliver shallow depth of field. But when you step up to medium format (not to mention large format where f5.6 is speedy!) an f2.8 lens feels super fast. The f2.8 Zeiss Planar lens on my Hasselblad spends most of its time between f5.6 and f16. The subjects that I tend to shoot with this camera don’t really need exaggerated depth of field and f5.6 gives me a nice pleasing background if I want to isolate something that’s a normal distance from my lens.
The other day at the park I set the lens to f2.8 just to play around. This is pretty shallow, really just an inch of two of grass is in focus. The lens was set at the closest focusing distance.
This one was also at f2.8, but I wanted to get a pleasing, useable photograph, not a freakshow. I selected the leaves closest to me, knowing that the sun streaming through the leaves behind them would create a nice blurred background.
And just for fun, I focused on a few strands of Kate’s hair that I could see in the evening sunlight. Those few strands are crisp and clear, while everything else is soft and a little dreamy.
There’s no point to this exercise besides just playing around. I do think shallow depth of field has its uses, but I avoid using much of it in medium format film. The margin for error is so steep and you only have 12 shots on a roll. Still, it’s kind of cool to play with.
On a side note, I’m *really* starting to like Fuji Reala in 120 format. I’ve heard that Fuji may be phasing it out, so I might need to grab a stash for the fridge!
I’ve been kind of hooked on these Polaroid shots lately. Maybe it’s a function of the move or the season, but I haven’t been as driven to be out everyday with the Hasselblad or FM2n. I’ve shot a few rolls of 120 and 35mm color film that are sitting here waiting to be developed, but I haven’t been as impatient to get them developed as usual.
I think some of this has to do with the fun I’m having with the Polaroid Land Camera. I’ve shot several packs of instant film since the move and have a growing stack of photos by my desk. Last week, I posted a dozen Polaroid shots for Film Friday at Kate’s blog, Embarrassment of Riches. There I mentioned that “This week features probably one of the most fun cameras you could ever shoot with: the 40-year-old Polaroid 420 Land Camera.”
The Land Camera certianly has its limitations for someone used to shooting manual cameras, but there are things that the Polaroid does so well that you forget those limitations. I learned this last night when I wanted to take a picture of a beautiful tree that was kind of lost in shadows against a perfect sky. The tree came out a big, black, blob while the sky was perfectly exposed. With a manual camera, you could have chosen to meter the tree or split the difference between the tree and sky. Not with the Land Camera – it chooses the exposure for you.
But when you shoot something simple with a less latitude in color, it’s pretty much perfect.
Plane in Blue Sky, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Polaroid 420 Land Camera and Fuji FP100C Instant Color Film
I was underwhelmed with this image at first, but the more I look at the it, the more I love the idea of that plane lost in blue. I think it’s one of my favorite picutres that I’ve taken this year.
US Open Sky Writing, Redhook, Brooklyn, Polaroid 420 Land Camera and Fuji FP100C Instant Color Film
I took two pictures of this, but prefer the one with the power lines. It kind of grounds the scene. One thing here to note is how the photo is more saturated in the lower right hand corner. Instead of peeling this after 90 seconds, I let it sit for over an hour until I got home. I had read that the FP100C is “self-terminating,” meaning that you can peel it hours later and still get a good exposure, but that the photo will be a little darker or more saturated. That is certainly the case here.
Prospect Park Lawn and Sky, Brooklyn, Polaroid 420 Land Camera and Fuji FP100C Instant Color Film
This is getting a little difficult for the Polaroid to render properly as the dark green of the huge lawn and the light blue of the sky are almost too different for the camera/film to capture correctly.