Hello everyone. I didn't upload a video for the past two weeks because of, well, reasons. I won't bore you with the details.
Last weekend, however, I had the opportunity to go to a pride celebration here in San Antonio. I must say it was pretty awesome.
First off, being at a pride festival as a straight guy can be a bit overwhelming if we're being honest. Really, though, it is just the fear of not knowing what to expect. But as soon as you just put on your big boy pants and realize that this celebration is about something bigger than yourself, the whole thing becomes a lot more fun. As I said in the video, which you can view at the end of this post, some of the most accepting and non judgmental people I have met have been part of the LGBTQ community. That is reason enough alone to support such a celebration. But that aside, just going to one of these events will show you that there isn't really a difference between people who are gay or straight.
In any case, I went to this celebration and it was fun, but I really wanted to shoot some film. Specifically, I wanted to shoot some Ektar pushed to 400. I originally was going to go with multiple rolls of one film stock. I also knew it had to be a color film. Using black and white at a pride celebration just didn't seem right. I had a roll of Ilford Hp5 loaded in another body just because but I didn't use it.
I thought I had read somewhere that Ektar really didn't like to be pushed. I'm not sure if I am just making that up or I read that about another film and just thought it was Ektar. However, I think it did pretty good being pushed two stops. On the other hand, though, I can't say I really liked the color rendition of the film, especially compared to the Fujifilm. Blues looked really saturated on the Ektar and reds not so much. Keep in mind though that I do use a flatbed scanner. Flatbeds are notoriously bad at scanning color film so that may be a lot of the reason I didn't like the results.
That being said, I can't say that I hate the Ektar look. In fact, I would love to try it out under different conditions with various subjects again. I can only imagine that the way the colors turn out could really add to certain projects.
As far as grain goes, I was expecting the Ektar to show some heavy grain in certain areas because it was pushed. From what I can tell though, the grain was quite normal. In fact, I felt like the grain was smoother than even some 400 speed films shot at 400 which is pretty remarkable. Any time you push a film, you start to get some degradation in the negatives. That is any film but the Ektar held up so bravo. Then again, this was a bright sunny day, so there is that.
Now onto the Fujifilm Pro400h. I must admit, this is the film that stole the show for me personally. I shot the film at its box speed of 400 and it just performed phenomenally. I loved the colors that came from the negatives. They felt very true to life and not over saturated. In fact, my complaint with this film is also a compliment. The images looked a little bit on the flat side. Take a look at this photo here to the left.
The colors in this photo look very realistic. However, for a photograph, I generally want to see a bit more contrast and colors to be just a tad more vibrant. The colors from this film just are not. But again, this is both a good and a bad for this film.
My biggest surprise was the accuracy of the skin tones. I have always thought that film has a difficulty accurately portraying skin tone, but the Fujifilm did an amazing job in this department.
Anyways, I could keep going on all day about film but I will spare you the headache. Just suffice to say that both of these films are great, if for different things. I would say that for portraiture, I would grab the fujifilm over the Ektar for sure though.
Now, about the video. I just have to say, please bear with me. If you go back and watch my vlogs while I was in Japan, I think you will see that I had a lot of fun making those. That is, well, because I did. I want to really get back into that type of video making again and I want to make videos that have something to do with photography. This video is an attempt at that, but I can't say it is all that great. I am just trying to find my stride again.
One thing is that I need to find a workflow and a format that works for me. I do not have someone following me around as I shoot photos, so I am doing everything myself and it gets quite overwhelming. I will figure it out soon, it is just going to take practice.
The other thing is that I am actually a bit worried about vlogging in the U.S. When I am abroad, no one bothers me because people tend to keep their nose in their own business. But here in the U.S. I have tried many times to vlog and once I was followed by a car full of gangsters who stopped and threatened me, and many other times I have had people get angry that I was filming them. Spoiler alert, I wasn't. But that is my experience with vlogging in the U.S. I am constantly worried about who is going to be offended about me doing my own thing, and that negatively impacts my ability to make a fun video. Again, I will figure it out, just bear with me please.
Oh yeah, and about the video just cutting off at the end... I don't know.