I recently travelled to New York – the second time in my life, but my first visit as a photographer. I intended to shoot the entire trip on film only, and decided to take a roll of something I’d never shot before to have some results that would be a bit different to what I’m used to. This took the form of a roll of JCH Street Pan, a film I was aware of but didn’t really have much knowledge about, aside from that it was formerly CCTV stock, and mildly infra-red.
Unfortunately, in hindsight, I wish I’d done a little more reading, as I would have made the decision to meter for a different ISO, probably 200, or even 100. The negatives were very thin, and I don’t think I did the film or my images justice.
Still, I’m glad to have tried it out – as with any experience I consider a “failure” in photography/life I can work with it as a lesson for the future. When I first scanned I was really worried as every frame was much, much darker than I’d been hoping for. However, I’m very aware that this film is a favourite to some, and far more capable of rendering crisp clarity than my own experiences would imply. Although I won’t be buying any more to shoot myself I think I can confidently recommend the stock to any photographer seeking unique grain, and intense contrast in their street photography.
I think that despite the thin negatives I’ll enjoy printing these, especially the ones from Central Park – probably on Foma paper, to really emphasise that grain.
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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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