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Monday, August 31

Thinking about colour

You'll know well enough by now that this isn't the most colourful photography blog around. There was a time when I went out with two camera bodies, one loaded with black and white and the other with colour slide film, but that was more than a few years ago.

During my digital phase, the one camera served well enough for both and since returning to film I've been exclusively a black and white man. Speaking with Phil "Turncoat" Rogers recently, I've started wondering if I should load up some colour print film and have another bash.

A while back, I scanned a colour negative and produced a black and white photo that I always thought was quite atmospheric. That's it below. With colour on my mind, I dug out the negative and re-scanned it - only to find that it has even more atmosphere than the black and white version.

It's a Fuji Reala shot from the Konica Hexar AF - a brilliant combination but not one I'll be able to use again since Fuji discontinued what many photographers considered a unique film. I've been away from the colour scene for so long that I haven't a clue if there's anything out there that would be a reasonable substitute for Reala so if you have any suggestions then please leave them in the comments below.

The two photographs were scanned and processed a few years apart and really haven't had a lot done to them in Lightroom. The colour one doesn't seem too sharp for some reason - perhaps it was just a bad scan.

That got me wondering what my tenement close photographs and the misty country shots I do from time to time would look like in colour. Not in your face, Ken Rockwell colour but nice, tasteful, muted tones and hues.

Just out of interest, I took a quick shot with the D700 and Tokina 19-35mm zoom at its widest setting in a tenement to see how it looked. I like this image, too! The colours have a pleasing pastel look to them and there seems to be some sort of spiral composition going on in it. My eye tends to follow an anti-clockwise circle around the image. 

Here's another example of the kind of thing I fancy having a stab at. These are iPhone pics but many old buildings have a colour palette like this and I'd like to explore it.

The two pics immediately above have been shown on this blog before. I went to track them down to repost here and found, by a strange coincidence, that they featured in a post I wrote almost exactly a year ago that is not unlike this one. The urge to do some colour must be something that strikes me at this time of year for some reason. It's obviously an itch that keeps recurring and is always lurking in the background.

So perhaps there might be some point to me getting a few rolls of colour print and being selective about the subjects I choose. With autumn coming up and the mists sure to follow I might have something a little more colourful to show you in the months ahead.


Herman Sheephouse said...

Join the club . . .

Louis Ross said...

You get the urge to shoot color because you are really good at it. Beautiful work.

Photo Utopia said...

I'm sort of moving in the opposite direction, using B&W again after using nothing but colour for at least two years.
The pastel look, natural colour with long tones film par excellence was Agfa Portrait XPS 160. When slightly over exposed had about the most wonderful colour I've ever seen from any film. The ability of that film to hold highlights is legendary--you can still find it on e-bay although it hasn't been made for ten years so.
I used a ton of that emulsion and miss it-greatly.

A good emulsion was Portra NC so I guess the two current emulsions to try are Portra and the Fuji 160 NPS/NSP VS or whatever those guys are calling it now.

Dr. Elliot Puritz said...

I agree with Mr. Ross...nicely done.


amos said...

Yeah, your color photos are great. You have a great eye for it.