Good Colour film for street / documentary photography
Hi, I'm hoping to start doing some serious street / documentary photography (in the street) and I was hoping to read any suggestions in good film that I can use for this from people that have had experience with different types of film?
Depends what light you're going to be shooting in, and what effects you want.
A general purpose 200 - 400 speed C41 will give good results for most subjects. Fuji do plenty of variants.
If you want a more muted pastel effect, Portra NC will give a very natural, effect (Quite different if you compare it to a lot of consumer film which looks quite gaudy in comparison- I like it a lot) but is rated at 160 iso
If you want a very saturated, yet reasonably well controlled film Ektar will be one to try, but its also quite slow at 100 iso.
Remember also that quite a lot of street photography is done with B&W. Can add a degree of hard edged realism to the work if needed, especially if you use good old tri-x or some of the traditional ilford emulsions and process them with Rodinal.
If you want to stick with just C41 processing, but want B&W XP2 super can work well, and is ultra flexible as regards exposure (rate it anywhere between 200 - 800 easily, up to 1600 at a push)
E6 slide can also work well, but needs really good attention to exposure. If you get time to set up your shots, its worth considering. If you are doing fast shots in a journalist style, might not be the best bet
"Flatter Me, and I May Not Believe You. Criticize Me, and I May Not like You. Ignore Me, and I May Not Forgive You. Encourage Me, and I Will Not Forget You."
I have done quite a bit of color documentary. I have always found Fuji 400 speed film to have a nice palette--whichever Fuji 400 speed film. It is a personal choice, some folks really like the Kodak equivalent. Usually when working on a project I stick to one emulsion to keep consistency in the body of work--same color palette and same granularity. I shoot mostly medium format and so 400 speed film is fine with me and helps the the slower apertures of medium format.
I would take some different films and shoot them in different condition--bright/dark, different color sources, different times pf day and weather, etc.--and see how they handle the situations and see how the color palette is.
New Portra 400 is killing it. I pushed a roll to 1600.
This is a roll @ 400, and incident metered in the shade... the sunlit area was 5 stops greater.. Normal Processing not push or pull.
OCAU Melb Photowalk Week 2 #11 by athiril, on Flickr
EI 1600 and pushed to 1600 (4min 15sec)
Even under that real dark area the top grill/grate is visible if I lift up the shadows, normal colour neg craps out in super deep shadow @ box speed in normal processing.
EI1600-EI3200.. not sure, either way still nice
OCAU Melb Photowalk #2 4 by athiril, on Flickr
OCAU Melb Photowalk Week 2 #6 by athiril, on Flickr
If you expose and push for 1600... make sure you expose correctly for 1600. Couple stops under comes out fine, but your deep shadows aren't there, if in doubt, push +3 stops, as EI 1600 with a +3 stop push will still be great.
IMHO, this destroys 400X.
As for b&w I love GP3
OCAU Melb Photowalk Week 2 #14 by athiril, on Flickr
OCAU Melb Photowalk Week 2 #16 by athiril, on Flickr
edit: Also for B&W here is some BW400CN of another shooter which I processed for them.. it has serious snap (this is 35mm).
BW400CN015 by alnhoo, on Flickr
Last edited by Athiril; 02-26-2011 at 08:10 PM. Click to view previous post history.
For C41 print film I like Fuji professional 400H that I shoot at I.S.O 400, I don't tend to uprate it without a good reason.
Last edited by benjiboy; 02-27-2011 at 04:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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Hi, Thanks for the replies, I'm starting to think that B&W photographs for this type of photography work much better as mentioned in my other thread titled B&W. There would always be a paticular time that I would like to shoot the occasional colour negative though so very helpful.
Fuji 800z is great for street. Good latitude; grain, saturation & sharpness are excellent for the speed. Try rating at 640 or 500.