On an early spring day I walked over to my local camera store; I’m lucky enough to live in city that still has one. I was looking for a lens cap cover for my camera. It was recently cleaned and repaired after years of abuse and the light meter was once again functional. While I was there, I asked to see if there was any odd or different film for sale. The owner pulled out a tray filled with rolls of 35 mm film, each one left in a bag or thrown in from the various cameras he’s bought.
In the tray was something I’d never seen before. JCH STREETPAN 400. I bought the lone roll of JCH and a few other random rolls. I loaded the film and continued my walk to the library and began to shoot. With 36 exposures at my disposal. I’m a slow shooter and take my time. Over the course of the next week I managed to finish the roll.
JCH STREETPAN 400 is touted as “Contrasty and full of character, this is a fantastically versatile panchromatic film perfect for the lovers of monochrome.” While this is all true, and you can read much more about its past and development (ha!) as a new film, I want to point out the surprising latitude that the film possesses.
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The film is said to be very sensitive to red light and when processed it did take on that crisp white that I associate with IR films. However, the overall tonal range was impressive. The blacks were deep and inky, and the white pops. Grey tones and gradations abound.
I usually go on long walks and use my camera as a meditative way to engage with the world around me and to slow down and wander. My 35mm camera is the perfect tool to allow me to notice and contemplate the built environment that I move through on a daily basis. All of these images were made on the peripheries of Boston.
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