View Full Version : E-6 film suggestions: South Island in winter

06-24-2012, 07:43 PM
G'day from across the ditch!

I'm heading over to the South Island later next month for a couple of weeks. I'll be bringing along a 6x17cm pano camera and was hoping for some suggestions for slide (E-6) film for shooting around the Alps.

Currently, I'm trying to decide between Velvia 100 and Provia 100. Any thoughts/advice to what works well there will be greatly appreciated!

I'll be carrying both 81A and an 81c Warming filters to help remove some of the blue light. Are these of much use?

Hope that these questions are not too stupid; we just don't get the amazing alpine scenery that you have here in Oz…

Thanks in advance.

Poisson Du Jour
06-24-2012, 09:16 PM
Nothing really wrong with your film choice, though Velvia 100 has a tendency to blow the whites more readily than, say, Velvia 50, which will do so gracefully. I have also not found the reds particularly welcoming when and where I have used polarisation (rainforests, for example), ditto impetuous Velvia 100F, often worse in this regard. Places like The Caitlans have a few exquisite waterfalls within good walking distance, but also terrible rain and biting cold. Lighting down there can be very poor, almost dark in the middle of the day, so having some higher speed, lower contrast film like Provia 100 is wise to hedge against reciprocity. Take a polariser to enhance the depth of greens and the reflections, especially at Lake Mathieson very early in the morning with the Southern Alps looming high above. Lots and lots of blue light in shade and at higher levels, so the warming filters are useful, but I would still angle for the pol to bring up the punch.

At this time of the year I'd be focusing (sorry...) intensively on keeping warm and dry as far as possible. It's a hard task to master carrying gear! And such a striking contrast to e.g. Haast Pass environment which was cold but not as wet. Not the norm, but the exception.

Beware that NZ Customs outbound can be very touchy-feely with cameras and will no doubt pull you aside to examine your gear very inquisitively. They'll also question you if you have a lot of stuff and want to make sure it hasn't been stolen. In the early 2000s (2003-2006) there was a stolen camera equipment racket festering between NZ and Australia. Customs eventually nabbed the culprits in Auckland, but a lot of expensive stuff slipped through and was sold off on the black market, or eBay.

I've finally got back the 6x17cm home made pano built by SMBooth in the last couple of months of 2010, now in its Mark III form after a focus correction. I'd take it to NZ too (along with a truckload of other cameras...)

Find your wings and enjoy. Dont' forget to send a postcard! :)

06-24-2012, 10:20 PM
Use whatever it is you normally like to use. Think of photographing the Pyrenees in winter, it will be similar except there is snow and the hills are steeper ;)

I'm not sure I'd like to handle partial-snow, partial-grass/rock scenes with chromes due to the massive dynamic range (you will get black holes or white holes or both), however I'm sure it'll be great for nearly-all-snow or snow-free scenes with a CPL. Personally, I'd definitely take some C41 too; at least with that you can capture the greater dynamic range and then compress it in post.

Don't miss Te Anau, Wanaka and the lakes between there and the west coast.

Edit: I'm a sunlight-and-CPL kind of guy, so I don't use the warming filters for landscape much. Maybe I should.

Poisson Du Jour
06-24-2012, 10:41 PM
Speaking of Te Anau, drop in for a chow nosh at the joint in Wong Way (I kid you not). Nice and cheap, and warm when the weather turns ugly...

06-24-2012, 11:23 PM
Thanks, guys.

Still trying to work the itinerary out, but Te Anau and Wanaka are both on the list. As is Milford for a night (providing it's accessible).

I've shot winter scenes in Scotland; however, I was not sure about shooting at altitude. I've got a Warming Pol somewhere, so I'll bung that in as well.

I'm tempted to stick with the Velvia, especially as I'm hoping for some Alpenglow and want the saturation. Anyway, I'll probably do more B&W, so it's not too important.


As for good restaurant names, my favourite is still the Sha Tin in Heathmont...