The New Orleans French Quarter at Night with CineStill 800T Film

CineStill 800T is a relative newcomer to the film market. It’s a tungsten light-balanced film that I mentioned in an earlier post. At that time I had some problems with it, which were related to underexposure in night shots. So a few days and nights in the French Quarter in New Orleans provided a good opportunity to reassess this film. As before, I asked the airport security people to hand-check the film rather than putting it through the X-ray machine, which would fog it, especially when I planned to push it in development.

Like the other CineStill film (50D), this one is based on film produced for the motion picture industry, and has had its anti-halation backing pre-removed so that it can be processed in C41 chemicals.

This time I had it pushed two stops during processing and shot at 1/60 s and f/1.4 on my Summilux 50 mm lens. I kept those exposure settings for the whole roll. The lighting was very difficult to meter with a wide range of brightness ranging from stage spotlights to complete blackness, so I just left the camera on the settings mentioned and took photographs. I’m pleased with how they turned out. This is a film that can make for some dramatic shots especially in an environment like the French Quarter at night with a lot of bright, colorful lighting. One thing to be aware of is the strong halation effect, visible around bright lights as an orange glow. It looks a bit like lens flare, but it’s caused by the removal of the anti-halation layer, which allows light to pass through the film and bounce back off the back pressure plate of the camera. In these kinds of photographs, it can add to the dramatic effect of the scene.

Click on the images for larger versions.

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Art Déco and a Wedding in Florida

The wedding of our friends’ son in Coral Gables was a good opportunity to escape for a weekend at the end of January to the warmth of southern Florida. The South Miami Beach area is famous for its Art Déco architecture, and we decided to go on a walking tour of that neighborhood which extends along the beach. Apparently this area has one of the highest concentrations of Art Déco buildings anywhere. A lot of the buildings are in a nautical style with railings and porthole windows intended to resemble design elements on a ship. Naturally, the tour would involve some photography, and for this expedition I brought along some Ilford Delta 100 black-and-white film. It seemed like a good choice because the buildings that we would be looking at were mostly built in the 1920s-40s, when photography meant B&W.

The weather was fairly warm, but only partly sunny. Again, I used my Leica M-A with the Summilux 50 f/1.4 and a K2 (yellow) filter. Click to enlarge.

I wish I had had more time to shoot in the Miami Beach area. There is a lot to see and do there, with some great opportunities for some street photography.

For the wedding in the evening, I used Ilford Delta 3200, set the exposure for ISO 3200, and pushed the film 2 stops in development. This really is a great film in very low light settings (the relative intensity of the light from the candles below gives some idea of how dark it was). Click to enlarge.

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