Being at home for the last two months has only afforded me opportunities to be outside shooting pictures here and there. One night while I was going through some images I had shot on a Lubitel 166b I had bought to start playing with medium format photography, I found myself yearning for something a bit more. The novelty of a Soviet camera being a comparatively cheap way to enter the 120 world was reminding me that while it definitely takes pictures, I wanted something with a bit more precision and process that this functional but simple camera wasn’t giving me.
I found myself looking at a Pentax 645 shortly after. While some deride the 6×4.5cm frame as really only being useful for having a few more frames on a roll and being slightly less cumbersome for travel, I decided to give it a try. I found one at my local shop for a decent bargain and set to doing a series to commemorate my plunge deeper into the medium format rabbit hole.
I had never given Fujicolor Pro 400H a try and having this new camera to play with necessitated a series (credit to my wife for the idea) where I could finally get back outdoors for a bit. With restaurants and other establishments having been closed for a while lately, I wanted to be able to reflect the emptiness that has been felt without the occupancy of people for the last couple months.
The Fujicolor Pro 400H’s colder cast definitely helped to convey some of that with the help of a day where the sun was ducking in and out of the clouds. People are walking around a lot more, restaurants are even opened back up to 50% capacity here in Raleigh, NC, but I felt like the mood in the air still leant itself to what I was aiming to achieve that day.
My uncle gave me a Pentax SP 1000 when I was 10 and I’ve not stopped shooting film since. I’ve only grown my collection of tools of the trade and I think I’ll be using both the Fujicolor as well as this Pentax 645 much more in the not too distant future when I can really get back outside.
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Nice shots. They really convey the point you were hoping to make, about things being shut down and empty right now during COVID. FWIW, I really think Pro400H shines when it’s overexposed by a stop and developed as normal. I only really like this film when shooting medium format.
I love this series, from content to film stock. Well done.