I recently travelled to New York – the second time in my life, but my first visit as a photographer. I intended to shoot the entire trip on film only, and decided to take a roll of something I’d never shot before to have some results that would be a bit different to what I’m used to. This took the form of a roll of JCH Street Pan, a film I was aware of but didn’t really have much knowledge about, aside from that it was formerly CCTV stock, and mildly infra-red.

Unfortunately, in hindsight, I wish I’d done a little more reading, as I would have made the decision to meter for a different ISO, probably 200, or even 100. The negatives were very thin, and I don’t think I did the film or my images justice.

Still, I’m glad to have tried it out – as with any experience I consider a “failure” in photography/life I can work with it as a lesson for the future. When I first scanned I was really worried as every frame was much, much darker than I’d been hoping for. However, I’m very aware that this film is a favourite to some, and far more capable of rendering crisp clarity than my own experiences would imply. Although I won’t be buying any more to shoot myself I think I can confidently recommend the stock to any photographer seeking unique grain, and intense contrast in their street photography.

I think that despite the thin negatives I’ll enjoy printing these, especially the ones from Central Park – probably on Foma paper, to really emphasise that grain.

~ Simon

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  1. I think your shots are fairly representative of JCH (I have only shot two rolls of it, mind you) — grainy and high contrast. The shot of man-on-bench is outstanding.

  2. Thanks for the commentary and the pics. I picked up two rolls of JCH a couple of years ago. I came to the same conclusion after shooting my first roll. I shot @ ISO 400, but after processing the first roll, I should have exposed it @ EI 200. I’ve got the 2nd roll in the ‘fridge, just waiting to use it. BTW, I think I processed the film in ID-11, following the times supplied by Freestyle Photo.

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