It has been a while since me and a friend started organizing these Sunday morning walks in downtown São Paulo. Sometimes we start at 6:30am, some people complain, then the next time we start at 8:30am and a lot of people show up. This was one of the latter and also a typical fall day with lots of crispy sunlight.
On this particular walk I wanted to try some Agfa Cinerex IC1N 35mm film I had purchased online, I did some tests with Kodak Dektol and decided to rate it at EI 200, so I went after a few ISO 200 film canisters and bulk loaded them to use on DX-code only point and shoot cameras.
For this walk I chose a Canon compact, the Prima Zoom 90u Date, which can do something not many compact 35mm cameras can: it remembers the no-flash choice you made before turning it off. This is very useful when entering a shaded park or even a church from a brightly-lit environment, so I have the camera set to no-flash all the time until I need it. This camera is also light enough so you can carry it on your hand all morning without much pain.
It’s such a busy city from Monday thru Saturday, so it is very strange to walk São Paulo’s empty streets so early on Sundays. It has been very refreshing to experience the city I live in, so calm this way but on the other hand, I think using such a high contrast film and forcing its contrast even more on the development enabled me to show more grit and dirt of São Paulo’s daily life.
Agfa Cinerex is usually described as an ISO 50 film, but using paper developer enabled me to add two stops to that. Even grain showed up a bit, adding another layer of texture, I’m in love with the deep blacks it offers this way and the white skies of this orthochromatic film.
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This series is being 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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