Roll 82 of the year and I’m back to my all-time favourite film, Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100. Over the years I’ve had some tremendous results from the various forms of Neopan as it seems to handle whatever I throw at it, from portraits to night-time motorways. And on this roll, it delivered on both…
My friend Iain and I often shoot motorways, fly-overs, concrete and other motoring infrastructure. At any given moment, Iain will have an interesting project (or five) underway and he is currently exploring bridges that transition the county boundary. Together we’ve photographed many of the local ‘carscapes’, exploring the effect of our desire to sacrifice huge areas of precious countryside to the satisfaction of the motorist. Our latest trip on Friday night was to photograph the latest bridge across the M1 motorway that will eventually connect the new Lubbesthorpe development (120,000 new houses by 2030!) and the city.
The bridge is not yet in use but the road it carries is already lit by LED streetlights, casting a beautiful white light on the concrete abutments and freshly graded escarpments. With my Yashica perched on top of a fence post, I shot 30 seconds of Friday night traffic rushing homeward beneath the structure, only its ghostlike reflections captured on film.
I was using my digital camera to meter and for the next shot, of the ramp leading up to the bridge, I under-exposed by 2 stops to get the look I wanted.The following day, Emily and I went for a walk to a nearby town to see a photography exhibition. By the time we’d spent 15 minutes viewing the work of several local camera clubs, I was feeling queasy from the overdose of HDR and PortraitProfessional and needed to cleans myself with some gloomy film pictures of felled trees. Phew!
In the woods, we also found a couple of rusted up tractors, that I’m sure have had the HDR treatment on many occasions. For now though, you’ll have to settle for something a little less retina-scorching. Taking a breather for a biscuit Emily almost sat still enough for me to get a TLR picture of her in focus… almost!So, that’s why I like Neopan. I tend to like pictures at the lower end of the exposure scale (I’m in England in Autumn, I have little choice), but regardless of how much light hits it, the results are almost always smooth with huge tonality. I just hope that Fujifilm never pull the plug on this version…
Yashica 124G (no meter, so I used a DSLR to meter the night-time shots and guesswork for the rest), Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100, Ilford Ilfotec HC for 6 minutes at 18°. Other liquids involved in its processing were 2 pints of York Brewery’s All Seeing Rye and a bottle of French Merlot, proving that the film is pretty forgiving to haphazard development.
Acros 100 was always one of my favorites when I was shooting black & white. Pretty much the king of black & white night photography due to its amazing reciprocity characteristics.
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