Dan Smith and Barnaby Nutt like the nighttime, the way street lights pool and dissolve into the darkness, and their split zine ‘Nighttime Adventures in Neopan’ showcases this shared fascination. As Nutt writes, “Man’s attempts to remove the shadows and so keep at bay the imagined dangers lurking within, create a beauty that we feel excited enough by to roam the street after dark with camera and tripod, while most people are settling down in front of the telly.”
Television off… let me grab a camera…
With it’s excellent reciprocity characteristics, Fuji Acros is an ideal film for nighttime exposures. Fuji’s data sheet on the film says that no exposure compensation is needed at all for exposures as long as 2 minutes, and for anything from 2 minutes to nearly 10 minutes requires only a half stop increase. That’s not hand holdable, by any stretch, but it beats something like Ilford Delta (which requires some compensation, a quarter stop or so, even at ½ a second according to its data sheet) or Kodak T-Max 100 (which requires a half stop already at 10 seconds, and a full stop at 1:40). And Smith and Nutt took great advantage of this property of the film: their medium format square images are sharp and detailed, and exposed by careful, practiced hands. One sequence—of a Citroen DS, I think, sitting alone in a parking lot, lit by a single streetlight, and a man sitting inside, his face illuminated by the glow from a smartphone—is particularly stunning, but the whole zine is full of gems
I’m reminded of Todd Hido’s claim about reciprocity failure… “if you just expose it for a long time, it works” or something like that (~minute 2:24 and following), and between Hido, Smith, and Nutt, I want to make some time to get out and do more nighttime shooting myself.
‘Nighttime Adventures in Neopan’ is dark, glossy black, well printed, beautifully executed, and my copy got a bit beat up by the USPS. Grrr…
Overall, I’d give it 4.2 stars.
Nutt wrote up his experience in making it (and gave me a nice shoutout regarding my review of his first split zine), but I don’t see a place to order a copy. He was down to just a handful when his third zine ‘Fabryka’ appeared, so you may be out of luck on it, but you could reach out to him on Twitter and ask. If he’s sold out, don’t fear: you can see loads of his Neopan Acros work on his Flickr and on his blog. And check out Smith on Twitter and Flickr too.