I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Kodak Ektar 100. I love the sharpness, and the colors are awesome when they work, but for whatever reason, I have trouble with the conversions. The image goes all blue, and it becomes an exercise in futility to bring it around to an acceptable but not entirely satisfactory result.
Fittingly, my first visit to Europe led to my first roll of Ektar that I was truly happy with. I borrowed my friend Levi’s Ricoh GR1s, and quickly fell in love. Being in a city like Rotterdam for the first time makes finding a subject almost overwhelming.
At every turn your eyes are met with something worth photographing. The sprawling, futuristic expanse was an astonishing glimpse into the intricacy and near space-age lifestyle of those who live there. Couple this wildly new and exciting subject with the discreet and pocketable Ricoh, and a mass of photographic potential lies in your hands.
The Ricoh’s excellent 28mm lens gives a wide field of view without calling too much attention to itself with wacky distortions or razor thin depth of field, so I enjoyed the challenge of simply capturing things plainly, as I saw them. I scan film with my DSLR, and invert each negative manually within photoshop, so the outcome of my shots on film is rather fluid, and varies as I attempt new methods, even on a single roll!
My results weren’t as perfectly grainless or expressively colorful as some that I have shot since, but the images from this roll sparked a desire to improve my methods and explore this incredible stock further. (My personal advice would be to shoot it at 80 and spot meter!)
Thanks for reading!
~ Perry Liston
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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.