There’s something fun about getting back to the roots of your photography and combining it with the monthly challenge from my friends over at Embrace the Grain Podcast. The film of the month for February was Lomography Metropolis. Their third and, in my opinion, the most accessible in their false-colour film offerings. Despite my February being thrown for a loop, I managed to get out on one on the last days of the month to get the roll shot. It was also a complete surprise to have one roll sitting in storage that I recently received in a film subscription box. But what roots am I getting back to? Well, Urban Exploration, of course, as I’m heading into the maintenance tunnels under Sheridan College.
After seeing the results of Metropolis during my review of the film and a video review of the film by fellow film photography Dave Mihaly. I was drawn to his use of the film to capture abandoned locations; the first thought was that this film would have been amazing to capture the same abandoned and industrial locations that I used to explore. And while I don’t actively explore outside of legal access, I figured I could catch that same magic in Sheridan’s tunnels.
Now the one thing I didn’t want to do was to carry a tripod, and with a top speed of ASA-400, it certainly wouldn’t work well in the dim light. I decided to give the film a one-stop underexposure at ASA-800. Usually, you would then increase development or push in development. But rather than mess up the wonderful folk at Burlington Camera, I had the film processed typically. I figured if you could shoot the film between ASA-100 and ASA-400, an extra stop under wouldn’t hurt the emulsion too much. And while the first two frames didn’t turn out the best, things turned around as I got into brighter areas. I ended up with gritty images with a lovely green/yellow hue. If I were to shoot the film at 800 again, I would home process to give it that extra push; scanning was difficult.
It’s not often that I end up keeping an entire roll of film and sharing it on the blog, but in this case, I like each frame. Even those first two were less than ideal. I’m also happy I could get to a colour film for the film of the month challenge. The timing all worked out. March’s film is Kentmere 100, which I shot a roll through my Maxxum 9 back in the early part of March. But what’s fantastic is that next month’s challenge is to break out your 135mm lenses and see what you can create. I’m planning on rocking my Minolta XE-7 with the Rokkor 135/2.8.