So going out and making new photos has been off the table for a few weeks, well at least travelling anywhere new, interesting and not within walking distance of my front door on my daily exercise anyway, and is likely to be something I can’t do for the foreseeable future still. Because of this, I’ve been delving into my photographic archive and getting a hankering for doing some writing so I thought I’d show off some of these photos to the world.
In case you have been living on the Moon for the last few decades, let me introduce you to the glorious world of Kodak Ektar 100, the greatest film in existence today (sorry Portra fans but that’s what I think and I’m writing this so I get to say it, so there). This is my favourite film stock to shoot in 120 format, which seems to make sense as I have shot far more rolls of this emulsion than anything else. Why is that you might ask? Well, it’s because it looks bloody lovely, doesn’t it?
Below we’ve got a few examples, all of these are taken on my Zenza Bronica S2A, a medium format SLR that weighs as much as a cinder-block and wouldn’t be out of place being hit over the head of someone on WWE and that I discussed in a bit more detail a while back on here on EMULSIVE. Because it is so endowed with heft I tend to use a tripod and shoot mostly landscape with it and pairing it with Kodak Ektar 100 has become my standard set up for said activity.
Ask anyone what they like about Ektar and the standard response most people will give is that the colours ‘pop’, and being no different to anyone else I will say exactly that as well. They. Just. DO.
In sunlight it performs wonderfully, colours seem to give off an aura and leap off the photograph to slap you in the face. I find reds, browns and the various golden colours of trees and plants during the autumn do this especially well, especially with warm afternoon autumnal sunshine.
But as this is an ISO 100 speed film you’d be forgiven for thinking that this makes it a standard daylight film and not to attempt to use it in anything but bright sunlight, and I’m sorry but you’d be wrong. Yes I love shooting this in the autumn but I have made a lot of images with this in average or fading light as well, it is a lot more versatile than you’d think, cool greens and blues can also look particularly nice. Also I have shot ‘some’ portraits with it, I like the way it makes skin tones look. A little unrealistic yes but I think it gives them a particular pop art look to them that is to my taste.
So that’s my thoughts on Kodak Ektar 100, now all you have to do is shoot a ridiculous amount of the stuff and you’ll come to the same conclusion as me.
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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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