The one emulsion for the British landscape photograph.

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by batwister, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. batwister

    batwister Member

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    This is something that was briefly covered in David Ward's blog and I'm quite intrigued by it.

    I don't know how many responses I'll get, as most of the work I've seen in the APUG galleries during my short time here has been black and white.

    I'd like to know why a considerable number of British based landscape photographers use solely Velvia over so many other great color negative films? The first roll of film I bought was Velvia 50 and I'm not afraid to admit now that my reasoning was simply to conform. Let's face it, this film is pretty much accepted as 'the' landscape emulsion and has been for a while.

    I live in Derbyshire and as you'd expect, I'm surrounded by a vast quantity of green. Apart from the fact that I've, dare I say it... grown out of the high saturation phase of my short photographic life, I wasn't satisfied by Velvia 50's tendency towards a quite ugly green cast when photographing scenes dominated by the colour. Buying warming filters didn't seem as logical a resolution as trying different films.

    Besides this failure, I didn't feel comfortable using the same film as many, many other photographers making images in the British countryside. My visual idea of the nature of this country (having lived in the Peak District all my life) is muted colours and subdued weather. I can't see why so many like to depict it as vibrant through the use of (to my mind) an unsubtle, saturated emulsion? I much prefer to show the truth of the landscape and would use a highly unsaturated film over a very saturated one in illustrating the mood and atmosphere of this country.

    Of course there's nothing wrong with Velvia and I'm not trying to say there isn't a place for it, but I'd rather see Portra, Ektar, Velvia, Astia than Velvia, Velvia, Velvia, Ektar when looking at an array of photographs of our landscape.

    I'd like to hear some thoughts please, if this actually applies to anyone here. :tongue:
     
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  2. batwister

    batwister Member

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    I've just realised the images I've uploaded were all shot on Velvia. Please ignore :laugh:
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's easy and goes back before E6 films.

    The last Fuji E4 slide films handled all the lighting situations found in the UK remarkably wel particularly greens and reds. I started E4 processing of Barfen re-badged Fuji E4 film back in the 70's switching to their E6 film when that was released. I also shot Fuji 50D in 35mm and 100D in 120 and 5x4 - the Polaroid ready load version.

    Fuji transparency films seemed to cope better than Kodak's equivalent in UK lighting and as a consequence their market share shot up.

    Ian
     
  4. batwister

    batwister Member

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    Was this really a universal feeling, that Fuji coped better with British light?
    Would I find these statistics in other areas of the world with similar light to here?
     
  5. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    Yup, Fuji transparency film for nature under an overcast sky, Kodak for man-made objects in broad sunlight.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Kodachrome 64 on an overcast day :smile:
     

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  7. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

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    Kodachrome...

    But for now, E100G is a good option
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That's an image where Kodachrome 64 works in poor light, it's the greens aand reds tha suffered in the UK :D

    K25 wasn't quite as bad but at 25 EI is rather useless for handheld work on a dull daY.

    Ian
     
  9. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I think also another factor may be that there's a market for images shot on Velvia in the UK. Perhaps people like to look at vibrant landscapes on their walls as the scene out of the window is practically monochrome.

    Saying that, have you seen Simon Robert's latest book 'We English'? He shot it all on Fuji 160S. Reminds me of Vermeer landscapes.