1990 was a good year.
The world looked on as the Berlin Wall fell and Germany embraced reunification. I bought a Canon AE1. Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and some were quite happy that Margaret Thatcher resigned as British Prime Minister.
I’d spent a lot of time shooting black & white, still do. I’d never seriously used colour film for anything other than snaps, they served a purpose but I was always underwhelmed by the washed-out colours. I’d more than likely been buying cheap films and sending them off mail order for the cheapest C-41 process. Hardly surprising they didn’t look great.
Then one day in 1990 Fuji Velvia arrived. My first impressions were overwhelming. Finally, this is what stuff is supposed to look like. Despite the expense, I soon took to wandering about looking for colourful stuff to photograph. I find this with Velvia, it has a strange effect on me. If I have it in a camera I’m naturally drawn to very colourful scenes.
I have a drawer in my freezer where a slowly dwindling supply of this marvellous stuff waits to fulfil Its purpose. I save it for the summer months when the sun is out and the skies are blue.
The two ladies in these images were in Spain during Semana Santa, the streets were alive with families eating, drinking and having fun. The others are in France, I really can’t remember exactly where, Biarritz perhaps. I was simply drawn to the colour in each one.
Clearly my amateurish scanning skills diminish the sheer pop and vibrancy of the actual transparencies but I still love the unmistakable range Velvia throws at you. It’s always a real treat.
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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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