Today the world is as globalized as it could be - - yet we struggle to find meaning in our daily existence.

01 March 2011

Give Me Your Colors, I'll Give You Mine

By far one of the most difficult rolls to shoot, but probably one of the most rewarding rolls to see developed and scanned, the Kodak Ektar 100 still remains my top 2 choice of film for low ISO film, with great contrast, and smooth grain. I can get anything from soft pastel-like, to highly vivid and contrast-rich colors. I think that's why I'm so intrigued with it. At the same time, I haven't feared such a roll like this one. I'm even more meticulous when it comes to shooting with the Ektar 100, making sure that I have the seemingly right hues in their right places: the reds, magentas, blues, and greens getting a nice bump, while the earthy tones sit muted.

Furthermore, the more it's overexposed, the more saturated the pictures can become. Although, that totally depends on the photographer, and the particular look he/she is going for. I find that the Ektar 100 produces a great vintage look, similar to the Fujicolor Superia Reala 100 (which I haven't used since I first shot with the FE2 last year), but has this unpredictability that makes the film so enjoyable to shoot! Also, as advertised, the Ektar 100 doesn't disappoint with it's "World's Finest Grain" label on the box. The grain is by far the smoothest I have seen on any 35 mm negative, and aside from the Portra series (160nc & 400nc), and dark-lit areas, I would probably shoot with this baby all the time.

The last photo of this set has a particularly interesting story.

After a night out drinking, I found myself awake at 6:30 am, and so I checked google to see when the sun would be rising in Seoul, and popped in the Ektar 100 figuring I'd get some nice colors for the sunrise. So I packed all my gear up and headed to one of the highest buildings around my neighborhood. There I was standing in front of the security guard with my bloodshot eyes, probably reeking of makkeouli from the night before, and I could see that he was very hesitant about letting me in. Eventually he let me pass, and I made my way up to the helipad of the Obelisk. I set up my tripod in glee and half drunken stupor, waited about 30 minutes while listening to Radiohead, before some light broke through the mountains to the east. Adjust f/stop, focus to infinity, wind, press down on trigger release, rinse, wash, and repeat - for about eight or nine shots... before I notice that I had unintentionally overexposed these photos 2 FULL STOPS! So, I set the ASA/ISO back down to 100, and took 2 shots before the sun had completely risen above the mountains, which at that point would not have the dramatic effect I was looking for. Aside from those first eight or nine pushed shots, I was ecstatic when I saw the sunrise shot at correct film speed, and that I didn't need to push or pull the Ektar 100 at all. She sits pretty just they way she is.

The rest of these photos were taking a few weeks back with Jungle (+her friend), and Jamie. We strolled to a small island near Yeoido. I believe the name is Seonyudo Park. Unfortunately, the park wasn't as colorful as I hoped it would be, though we bumped into some students in complete manga outfits. After walking around for an hour or so, we headed to Hongdae, which had exactly what I needed for the Ektar 100 - people wearing bright colors.

Kodak Ektar 100 (11/36)

R25-4 frontpack R25-3 blackvscolor R25-1 paperbirds R25-2 R25-5 ... & to rise with the sun everyday, until the very last breathe.



christina said...

niiiiice, the sunrise looks beautiful, and the birds one is my fave! its cool watching you take a pic and then seeing the result on your blog!! more photo treks to come in the future!!

Jeff Chou said...

Beautiful colors in that first shot!

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