Back in January 2020, before the pandemic started, I traveled with my family to Miami Beach. We stayed at a hotel in Collins Avenue, in South Beach. As I would be doing a lot of street photography, I carried my Leica M2 with a Summaron 35mm 1:2.8. Despite the fact that most of my work is in black and white, I decided to buy 8 rolls of Kodak Ektar 100 and give them a try.

Once I arrived at South Beach, I instantly knew that I had made the right decision. All the scenes I saw wouldn’t have stood out like they did if I was using black and white film, nor if I had used a less saturated colour film. Miami Beach was full of characters who wore very colourful clothes, which made good contrast with the blue sky. I tried to capture the essence of the city and its culture, and I think that Kodak Ektar was the film to go with. It enabled me to get pretty accurate colours while highlighting the essence of the place.

Before doing my trip, I thought that the place where I would make the best pictures was on the streets. In fact, not only did I take pictures in South Beach, but also in Miami, Naples and Fort Lauderdale. Nevertheless, most of the pictures of my project were taken on the beach, which turned out to be the best ones.

As I was using a rangefinder camera with a pretty silent shutter, it was easier for me to make candid photographs, capturing the moment and therefore the essence of the city. The light weight and small size of the M2 made it the perfect camera for a trip like this. I could just carry it on my shoulder or around my neck and have it ready to make the next photograph. The Summaron lens gave great sharpness and shadow detail to my images. Also, the focusing tab and short focus throw made it easier and quicker to focus while doing street photography.

I did not use a light meter or light meter app on my phone for metering. Instead, I just used the Sunny 16 rule. It made it really easy to make candid photographs as I didn’t have to meter the light in every situation. Every time there was a change in the lighting, I adjusted the settings of my camera and was ready to make a photo. The only time I doubted on how to expose due to the difficult lighting condition was when I made the photograph of the man at the bar, which, luckily, I did expose correctly.

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When I got back to Buenos Aires, i got my film developed at a professional lab and started scanning it. The development was great, although the negatives had some water spots. I have been developing all of my black and white film by myself since 2017, and due to this problem, I will be developing all of my colour film from now on as well. All the photos were scanned with an Epson V550 (with the Epson scan software).

Once I had them all scanned, I retouched them in the course of two months. At this point, I was really impressed of how they have turned out. I think that the vibrant colours and high saturation of Ektar make it the perfect colour negative film for street photography.

After editing my project, I was really happy with how it turned out and decided to print it so that I could show it to people in a physical format. There are some pictures that, despite being good, I did not include in the project due to the ammout of pictures that I have already included. I think that I managed to capture my experience in Florida and to portray its people, and I consider it a finished project. However, if I ever decide to travel to Miami again, I might add some photos to it and see how the place evolved through time. You can see the entire project on my website.

~ Ignacio

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About the author

Ignacio Crusoe

My name is Ignacio Crusoe. I’m an 18 year old Argentinian photographer. Most of my pictures are made with black and white film.

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