Winter has come…to BC, which means a lot of cloud, some snow and the sun setting around 3:30pm, which is kind of ridiculous. To increase shooting options as the days get shorter, I grabbed seven rolls of ILFORD Delta 3200 Professional. In the spirit of living dangerously, I also planned a torture test for the Delta 3200: shooting really fast mountain bikers on a cloudy afternoon, in a dark forest, as the sun was setting. Because why not suffer a bit, right?
Since there are no really fast colour film options anymore, for low light sports it has to be black and white if I want to use film. ILFORD Delta 3200 Professional was the obvious choice for speed. It’s a new film to me but I knew it would be grainy and contrasty, so I planned the shots around that. I shot one roll of 36 exposure on this particular day, which was more than I needed for the planned shots.
I shot the film with my Canon EOS 650 and Canon 24-70 f/2.8 LII lens this camera inspires the heck out of me. It’s a sexy, unapologetically simple little brick of metal. Far from high-tech by today’s standards, it manages to get everything done with single-point autofocus and minimalist controls, and still mates perfectly with modern lenses. It was quite dim, and the exposure math left me with the following options: f/2.8, 1/60th or slower. Therefore I could choose between either pan shots or blurry riders.
The film was developed at home with Blazinal (Rodinal) and scanned on an Epson Perfection V600. To get the look I wanted, I added significant sharpening and used quite a bit of Clarity in Lightroom.
Despite the conditions, this was definitely a fun shoot, and I’ll use Delta 3200 again.
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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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