Film love: shooting Kodak EKTACHROME Infrared EIR color infrared film – by Sina Farhat
Give your friends memorable experiences that they will enjoy and remember you by, that’s what I say. About 2 years ago I was given a roll of cold-stored 1998-expired Kodak EKTACHROME Infrared EIR E6 35mm film and knowing how special this film is I decided that I would go out and enjoy this rare film with its lovely pink/red tones!
There was, however, a catch. The summer period in Sweden is short and this film wants lots of green in order to look extra special and because I am a disorganized person, I somehow found reasons to postpone things and in the end developed a strong fear of failing this very special roll of film.
In the early summer of 2018, I decided enough was enough and that as I couldn’t enjoy the EIR roll, I should donate it to a person who would enjoy it a lot more: my good friend Jonas!
I contacted him and informed him that he would be sent this roll film. I told him what he would enjoy it and to not be like me, too afraid to shoot it.
Jonas gave his thanks, did some research regarding the rules of this special film. The film fogs easily, demands a manual camera and needs color filters to obtain that red/pink foliage look). With that, I felt a lot better about the roll fulfilling its destiny and looked forward to developing and scanning the roll for him.
On the 8th of August 2018, I received the exposed EIR roll and later that evening I went into my darkroom armed with my Tetenal Colortec E6 kit. I developed the roll and the results were even better then I could have imagined; the colours, the pink look of the expired film!
I sent Jonas a quick smartphone photo of the positives and he responded with the message “wow!!”
Now all I had to do was to scan the roll. I’m a freelance photographer who spends his time getting a good white balance with my professional photographs as well as my own color films photos and I quickly I realized that this EIR roll was not like anything I had ever worked with before. In short: no “proper” white balance here.
The pink tint of the expired slides and in general, having to decide what look the film should have made editing tough!
After some editing work, I finally had the results I wanted and I sent them over to Jonas. He was very happy with the look of this odd film, knowing that this could very well be the only time he gets to shoot a roll of EIR – the film having been discontinued in 2010 and unlike my roll, not likely to have been cold stored.
In the end, what I learned is that hoarding rolls of “special” film is not a good thing. If you are debating how to shoot yours, maybe it’s better to a friend and let them have a unique experience, they will remember you and when you don’t expect it, maybe offer you something back.
Most important of all you will have a positive memory for those times when life is kicking you and you just want to get past the hard times!
~ Sina Farhat
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