On a grey drizzly day, when my mood fitted the weather perfectly, I loaded my first ever roll of Fomapan 100 Classic into my Spotmatic and headed to the beach to cheer myself up.
Beer is a small fishing village in South Devon, part of the famous Jurassic Coast, and a popular tourist destination. On days like this there is a nice run-down feel to the place, and there are no tourists because of the lockdown, so the beach is near deserted, just a few fishermen doing repairs to their gear and the cafe owner cleaning his chairs in readiness for an influx of post-lockdown customers.
I used my Takumar 55mm f/1.8, the radioactive one. I adore this lens, the clicky aperture ring, the super smooth focus action, and the way it renders images. I like high contrast, so I experimented with a yellow filter for this roll.
First up I shoot the fishing boats some. I enjoy the contrast of the dark hull shapes against the washed out, high key sea and sky. One of the boats’ owners is sorting out the deck, ready for launching the next day before the storm forecast this weekend. We chat a bit, and I ask to take a portrait, he shrugs and says “I don’t know why”, but I suspect he is often asked cos he seems to have that glance at the horizon pretty nailed. Orca’s stern is a delicious jet black so I shoot looking back up the beach to the slipway, keeping it f8 to show the higgledy muddle of vehicles and cottages moderately out of focus. Wandering back up the beach, I go for the close up texture shot of rope thrown into a plastic crate, and then the cafe chairs, cleaned and disinfected for post lockdown customers.
Do I like Fomapan 100 Classic? To be honest, I missed the extra grain of my current favourite film, Foma’s 400 action, I think for the subject that may have been a better choice, but yes, I love the full rich blacks and the even mid tones that don’t seem to dissolve into muddy mush. Would I shoot it again? I ordered ten rolls of the stuff, so there’s nine more whether I like it or not, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what it delivers in different conditions and for different subjects. Do I think it’s good value for money? This feels a really classy film that punches way over its weight, it’s fantastic value for money!
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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