When I was in Japan, I used to get up early. Coffee, shower, and I was soon in the streets, with my Leica M2. Without the meter or a mobile phone, I only had a cold brass camera hanging on a side, and a couple of thousands yen for the lunch.
It was a really a cool world.
I’m from a little town in the south of Italy, and, you can understand why I’m not going to forget the gentle, kind, behaviors people usually carry there: they make you feel comfortable, despite of the cultural and geographic distance.
Having the luck to be hosted by some friends living in minor cities, all around Fuji indeed, also gave me the chance to visit somewhat “genuine” world beside the more well known.
You’re looking at a small selection of the material in which I ended, and constantly trying to organize. (too much stuff makes lazy).
Loaded inside there was a Kodak Gold 200 from an expired lot, from the late 90s, directly from a parents’ forgotten box.
Anyway I was not expecting quality pics from this kind of film, just a sort of memory of little things.
Once back in Italy, three months later my first shot, I developed the films and my eyes came across a bunch of pointless images.
Some months passed, later got used to everyday life again… and a day browsing scanned negatives folders I realized they turned well in that memories I was looking for before.
Here they are (just click to enlarge):
I was using a 50mm Elmar prime, collapsible lens (some people hate it, I know, but it’s very little and good for portability while traveling). That certainly contributed to get that painterly look and softness I like, especially when used wide open, but requiring an annoying and constantly focusing (shallow DoF).
About expired color films: everyone knows they can be difficult to handle sometimes: not a lot of chances to recover underexposed frames, deep shadows can be noisy, really a short latitude I’d say. Moreover the “Gold” series was a consumer type of film, so forget that modern Portra look you and me have in mind.
You will have to apply some noise reduction in post, remember to give a stop more while shooting, but this film can surely bring you the simplest of photography pleasures: take your best memories and enjoy.
Thanks EMULSIVE and thank you for reading,
~ Graziano Nunziante
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