Mid October is really the time of year that marks the end of summer in Greece, with the first rainy days starting to appear, it was on such a rainy day I visited the new National Gallery of Greece in Athens along with friends. The building that the gallery is housed in was recently renovated, both inside and outside, with a shell of glass and metal, donated by a Greek shipping tycoon’s foundation, as it more than often happens here. The collection on the first floor is dedicated to 18th-century masterpieces, mainly depicting scenes from the Greek Revolution of 1821 and moves to newer paintings as you go up the floors.

It was a perfect opportunity to finish the 17 frames I had left in the film roll in my Nikon F100 from a previous excursion. The ILFORD FP4 PLUS is definitely not the best-suited film for indoor shooting, especially on a rainy day, nor it is recommended for pushing. To my aid, the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D I had on is fairly fast and the Nikon F100 is amazing to hold, even single-handedly.

The grip and the weight give you reassurance to shoot at lower speeds if needed. Also having Matrix metering, autofocus and aperture control on your fingertip helps to quickly take a picture. Sometimes, coming from a Nikon FM, I find this fastness to block my creative process of framing, light metering, and shooting. But it was perfect for the given circumstances.

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We visited the gallery early in the morning so as to be less crowded. Most of the time I don’t like to incorporate people in my photographs but I decided to do the opposite this day. As it usually happens, photographs that you think will come out monumental don’t work and other ones you don’t think much of, come out much better.

I am fairly pleased by the results, especially coming from only (what came to be) 19 frames, since the automation of the F100 allow you to just lay the film when inserting it without having to advance it and so gets you easily 38 frames from a 36 frame film. I processed the film with ILFORD DD-X at normal development times and scanned it in a flatbed Epson V600. Everything worked out great.

~ Stelios

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