These photos are a part of a much bigger series on the smaller trains on the Indian Railways that ply through the remotest parts of the country. At a time when film prices started to soar and I had lost all my gear to a thief on a train, ORWO N74 plus came to my rescue. I have a special relationship with this film because of my childhood days in Bombay (now Mumbai).
My dad owned a Zenit EM (he saved up almost two months of his pay back in 1981) and ORWO film was big in India at the time. I had shot a few rolls when I picked up photography in 2004 but the film vanished for a while before being resurrected by a company called Filmotec in Germany. ORWO or ORiginal WOlfen is now only available in cine film bulk rolls, the minimum size is a 100 feet roll of 35mm film that comes in nice metal tin.
The film is perfect for the budget shooter and I have blasted around 100 rolls of film for my project so far – you can read my extensive review here on EMULSIVE. Below are five frames from my project documenting the vanishing smaller trains of the Indian Railways. It was tough choosing so few because I have now shot way too many to pick just five. Still, I chose those frames that give a good idea of where the train goes and what kind of people travel on it.
I love the grain and contrast this film gives when dunked in Kodak HC-110 (dilution B). It gives very easily printable negatives for the darkroom. One has to be a bit careful about underexposing this film though. It’s easy to lose shadow details at least when processed in Kodak HC-110.
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