A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Ektachrome Blues
Monday, January 17, 2011


It would seem that I have been in a didactic mood of late. I find it almost imperative to write explanations here on how I perceive colour. These perceptions, I have come to learn have been changing back and forth through the years.

In most situations I use Kodak Ektachrome 100G which is a professional colour transparency (slide) film. The professional denomination means that this film is manufactured to rigid standards for colour accuracy. Since heat or a long time on a the photography store shelf will age and deteriorate (modify) this accuracy, professional colour film is sold by photography stores that have special refrigerated storage for the film. This film is also manufactured to be relatively low in contrast. Most amateurs and the general photographic public like contrasty pictures (they sometimes use that horrible word, punchy) with colours that burst out of computer monitors and sock you in the face.



I like low contrast so that I can see the detail in the shadows. I also like colour with little of it. I would call it monochrome colour.

So I keep my Ektachrome 100G refrigerated and take it out only a few hours before I am going to use it. I then have it promptly process at The Lab. They, The Lab have standards which to me mean that my Ektachromes always look the same. I never bracket (several exposures at different apertures “to make sure”) and I never push (double or triple, etc the ISO speed rating of the film) or pull (half or lessen the ISO speed rating).


But sometimes I like to go out of the mold. Of late this has not been happening so I have plans to remove myself from a predictable pattern of uniformity.

As an example (and a good excuse as any) I show you here more pictures of  Lisa Prentiss (aka Alexandria) that I took some years ago. I purchased a special professional 35mm Ektachrome rated at 800 ISO and purposely exposed it to 1600 ISO. This means that the film was under-exposed by one stop. I then had the film pushed one stop (to compensate for the underexposure). This resulted in slides that had increased contrast, more grain and an odd (but to me) attractive blue cast.

It is not always necessary nor intelligent to produce pictures where colour is accurate. One can modify the colour to set a mood or illicit some sort of emotion. To me the blue cast (which I did correct somewhat when I scanned these with my Epson V-700) is attractive, moody, sensual in an icy blue way.

This blog and the previous one might help some readers understand my interest in using the iPhone as a camera. Because the phone reacts to my using a 3200 Kelvin light by making portraits over warmish, when I correct that to more or less an accurate (but never quite) skin colour the background goes cyan/green. I like this. Here are two examples of that phenomenon.

Parnelli Parnes

Arts & Opinion - iPhone Nudes







     

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12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17