FFP 2020 – October – Curves
In October we had to change film stock for the last time in this year, with some wonderful Kodak Tri-X 400. I was happy and sad at the same time: happy that I have not used Tri-X so often due to the price (in this part of the world) and now I could shoot again with it, and sad because we are in full autumn colors and a black and white film is not the best choice (but that depends on how you see the frames when you shoot). The last time I used Tri-X I was very pleased with the grain structure and contrast, but things were not so great with Kodak and the film production was hanging under the balance: if it will still be manufactured or not. Some US-based film photographers were also skeptical about continuing to use it as their main film stock, and quite a few of them switched to Ilford HP5+. I tried the HP5, liked what I saw and decided to continue as well with this film stock as it is very practical and can be pushed and pulled with very good results (for me at least). Later on, after 1 year or so the situation cleared, and production of Tri-X resumed but it was in small batches. Did not regret one second my decision to go with HP5, and as more people started using it, the prices started to skyrocket and the availability of the film stock became unknown or was gone before you could see it in the stores.
Anyway, for this month’s theme I had something very special in mind: in a park in the city there is a very curved tree that grows. But being a “special” year, I was not allowed to enter the park so I had to think of another good subject. Some streets or roads that have a bend, in a autumn scenery came to mind but leaving the city is not so easy these days. Instead, we went to my in-laws, and since this would be the only time of the month when we would leave the city, I took my FED 2 along with both lenses that I have for it: the Industar 21M and 62M. They are very close in focal range but I wanted to have them both just in case I needed a little bit of in-camera crop. Also I wanted to test the Industar-61M since this lens saw no love from me since I started shooting with this camera. Mainly because the 26M was pretty sharp and did everything I wanted from a lens. Actually I am very impressed with the results I got from these lenses, but more on that in the November text. In the yard and backyard of the in-laws I could not find something suitable for a subject ( actually, in the back of my mind I was still looking for a curved tree….stupid brain!). Went through the backyard and went to the nearby forest. And after just under 30 minutes I have found another curved tree that would have to do for this month’s theme. After talking to my father-in-law, he told me that this tree was there ever since he was a young boy and went to play with his friends in the woods. I needed no more reasons to shoot it and I snapped a couple of frames (portrait-mode) of this awesome piece of history. Not shooting much black-and-white film in the autumn, I almost forgot how wonderful all the yellows are “seen” in black-and-white. It is just magical. They can separate the subject, if you do it right, and can create some absolutely stunning images. Personally I want to print this image and see it in my hands to really appreciate all those colors in various tones of gray. Maybe I will shoot more black-and-white in the autumn next year.
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