Two portraits

So, these two portraits, I took days after our wedding, Sal and I, back in August 2017.

 

Urrrrk • Fujicolor C 200 film

I paintbrush a bit with the Fujicolor C 200 film... but it just doesn't matter, if it was fresh back then, or kept deep frozen for years, the film is always kind of funky. Definitely one of those films lowest on my list ever to buy again. In fact, I will never buy it again, now that it ain't 2 Euro (2013) but almost 8 € (2022)

And for heavens sake it is likely based on the Kodak Kodacolor VR 200 emulsion from the early 80s - which was... well coarse grainy, with dullish colors (which can partially be fixed though). And Fuji branding it being Fuji... what the fuck - that is just bad style.

The Fuji-Kodak C200 an emulsion gives me a taste of "being off".

 

From super cheap to expensive

Back then, I thought, it must be an OK film for just shooting away... And I always loved Fujicolor film... but frankly, today I feel, when you do everything yourself... is it really worth the hassle of such weird quite often results ? Not always, but quite often.

So, from me, not much love into Fujicolor C200. No real joy, really. Something is off with it. I can counteract it to some degree... but professional films, despite being a lot more expensive, are simply better.

 

Oh... that grain

The grain from the Fuji C200 is more like a ISO 400+ film, possibly close to ISO 800. Making it more difficult to soften the grain out (smoothen it to a level where it look nicer, more natural). Sure, in the final images, such as here in my Diary, the portraits look nice. But the road there, wasn't so fun. As soon you underexpose the film, the grain shoots into the sky, becoming like an ISO 1600+ film.

Very, very coarse.

 

Dealing with the film grain digitally...

Sometimes, when the grain is funky, i try to smooth it - as well artificially adding a touch of grain / noise via Photoshop, just to "bring order" into the grain pattern, making it more pleasing to the eye / on the screen.

Anyway... I only have left 2 or 4 rolls of that film - and then all 35mm color film is finished. The rest is based on medium format 120 film.

 

150 films scanned - or 2900 images

Since Christmas Eve 2021, I have in average scanned 150 films | 2900 images. (I calculate a film with 19 images, because my films either have 36, 12 or 10 images per roll - and I use all types). So yeah, it takes quite some times to scan images, getting color balance right, smoothing the grain, taking away dust manually... and so on.

On the other hand, I believe I have never ever been this persistent in bringing my old films into digital scanned images like in the past 6 months - and they have never turned out this good (in a persistant, stable workflow kind of way) Scanning (with the stationary mounted 30 Megapixel Canon EOS R camera) is fastest step of all involved. For me it takes just a few seconds per image. (Working with Hasselblad XPan negatives 24x67 mm in size, who need to get stiched, are trickier and more time consuming, though)

 

It's the post-process work

which takes up the elephant part of time. What amazes me now, is that i can take on any kind of color negative, no matter the light conditions or color of the light source - I almost always get the color balance right these days. (without looking funky) Even when the film has mixed images on the same roll... it just doesn't seem to be a problem anymore.

So, the guys behind Negative Lab Pro - made an amazing job, and i feel it was worth every penny to buy that software. On top, I am learning to use it better each time I an using it - therefore it is much more of a joy (combined with playful curiosity) to work with color negative images. Earlier i used to dread about it... and wait 1-2 years until I "got an urge" to try scanning again.


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