Last year when my brother travelled to Vancouver, I gave him $200 to visit my favourite camera seller and told him, “Get me a camera, whatever the seller suggests, he knows me, he knows what I like.” My brother came home with an absurdly clean Edixa-Mat Reflex and spare change; I couldn’t have been more excited! I like shooting with odd cameras (this one has its shutter button on the front), because you’ll always end up with some unexpected results.
Since this is the first time I’ll be shooting the Edixa, I wanted to couple it with a film that I have never shot with. The bottom of my fridge houses my precious Efke stash, and I thought, “Yup time to break out the Efke 50”.
From walking in on my sister doing her make-up, to stalking the miniature horses “parked” in front of our house (long story short, a politician *rolls eyes* owns them), empty fabric rolls in our factory, golf balls loitering in our garden, and the empty bottles by the side of the road…I shot it all.
I cannot find the right words to describe how unique Efke looks. I hope I express myself sensibly when I say, I am very taken by how the shadows and their gradients develop on Efke film. The tones and grain are…just incredibly elegant, and clean…and complemented with a subtle silvery glow that almost lends a dreamlike quality in certain shots.
A few photographers have pointed out that it’s a little shallow on the details, but I think that’s because we’re so used to the bold, punchy, contrasty results of many modern BW films. And that to me simply means (in my opinion) that results from this film really hinge on where you apply it. There were some shots that I felt a little “blown out”, that’s where I realized this film probably won’t be maximized on scenes with overpowering white highlights.
I think I’ll try this film with filters next to see how that balances out its shortcomings. Any advice from past users of the film will be much appreciated!
For anyone interested, shots were developed with HC-110 (Dil. B).
~ Aislinn Chuahiock
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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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