Arkansas 5: food and film

I picked up a copy of Stephen Shore’s American Surfaces some weeks ago, and so I shot some Shore-inspired plates of food from time to time during the trip. Most often, I just had one camera with me, but a couple of times, I had the presence of mind to get shoot both cameras and see how the films handled.

First up: Kodak UltraMAX 400 (L) and Fuji Superia X-TRA 400 (R).

Mom’s tile is green, sortof an evergreen color. The Kodak got it close, but only with great torturing of the RGB levels. It also didn’t handle the mixed lighting too well (early morning sun from the left, and “daylight balanced” cfl above).

The Fuji Superia handled the mixed lighting admirably, but missed the floor, and with very little levels fun.

I started running low on film by the second day, and so picked up some Fuji 200, so next up, Fuji Superia 200 (L) and Fuji Superia X-TRA 400 (R).

Even thought it’s frame 0, without the mixed lighting, both did fine, no color balance issues at all. The 200 was a bit closer straight out of the scanner (with an curves inversion and white balance set to the base in Capture One Pro 9). The 400 took a bit more work.

In these limited circumstances, it looks like the Fuji stocks win, but, really, all of the consumer films are fine right now. Sure, I love Kodak Pro Image 100, but the current Gold 200 and UltraMAX 400 stocks are marvels of modern chemistry, and while we’re not living in a golden age of choice, at least we can walk into any drug or general merchandise store and pick up some good film that’ll do just fine in a variety of situations. The consumer stocks may be a bit more saturated and contrasty than the pro films, but they don’t curl like the pro films and they’re much cheaper and more readily available.

Shots on Kodak stock took a bit more work than ones on Fuji, and were generally oversaturated for my taste, but both were easy to process in Capture One Pro. I developed all the rolls in a day and a half, and processed most of the 9 rolls in only 3 evenings. That’s fast! It’s often one or two evenings for one roll.

Let’s try to be thankful for what we have. Let’s try to support local film sellers as often as we can, especially the small shops, but even the big retailers, and let’s get out and shoot!

Arkansas 4: Bookstores!

I love a good used book store. It probably goes back to my childhood: Mom and I clocked a few hundred hours in The Book Swap (across from Richland Plaza shopping center, but now long gone, so long gone in fact that the place where it used to be just looks like a vacant lot) when I was young, and we’ve continued regular visits to bookstores ever since, pretty much every time we get together.

About six months after she moved up to Arkansas, she started talking up the Dickson Street Bookshop. I’d been hoping to go, but this was the first chance we had to visit. And not only Dickson Street, but we also popped into the Friends of the Fayetteville Public Library’s bookstore and Once Upon a Time‘s physical store… apparently, it used to be inside their warehouse, but they recently moved to a standalone building down the road: I’m sorry I missed that! Anyway, on to the pictures… Continue reading “Arkansas 4: Bookstores!”

Driving to Arkansas

I had some vacation time eating a hole in my timesheet and to maximize it, I took off November 17-23. Thursday-Wednesday may seem like an odd choice, perhaps, but add in the Thanksgiving holiday (November 24 and 25 this year) and I got 11 days for the price of 5… I spent the first 4 days on a road trip to Arkansas to visit Mom and take some pictures, came home, developed most of them, and then she drove down to Wednesday spend Thanksgiving with us, so I got to spend nearly a week with my mom! It was great!

In the first 4 days, shot 9 rolls and 10 sheets of film and over 700 with the X70 and iPhone: entirely too much, really. (More on that later, perhaps.) From the film shots—I haven’t even looked at the digital stuff yet—I selected maybe 80 to share (also entirely too much), and I’ll be dribbling them out over the next hour or so, God willing. Part of my plan, maybe my only plan, was to shoot readily available consumer films to test and see how they handled and what sorts of characteristics they have during and after development and processing.

tl;dr: both performed admirably. I may have further comments as I go.

For now, let’s get this road trip started! Continue reading “Driving to Arkansas”