Tag Archives: Ricoh Ff-1

Further Adventures in Redscale

Redscaling film is a technique I originally started fiddling around with back in 2012. I wrote a blog about it and explained how redscale film works. In short, you load the film into the camera upside down, with the light-sensitive side facing toward the back of the camera instead of toward the shutter.  The results I’ve gotten with my DIY redscale film have generally produced VERY STRONG red, orange, or yellow results. I decided that it wasn’t a look I wanted in my photos very often.

Redscale roll #1

Fuji Superia 400, shot at 200 ASA

Redscale Roll #2

Fuji Superia 400, shot at 200 ASA

Redscale Roll #3

Fuji Superia 400, shot at 100 ASA

Redscale Roll #4

Fuji Superia 400, in a camera with no exposure/ASA control

I’d seen examples around the web that featured redscale photos with much more subtle colors than the ones I’d been getting. It seems that you need to purposely REALLY overexpose the film if you don’t want strong, warm tones in your photos. Since my favorite redscale roll had been shot in my Ricoh FF-1 (Roll #3, as shown above – in London 😉 ) I thought I’d try shooting more redscale film in that camera. I put some 200 ASA film in my FF-1, setting the film speed as 25 (that’s THREE STOPS difference between the film’s box speed and the speed at which it was shot.) This meant I needed to shoot on sunny days in order to get good exposures. 25 ASA is reeeeeally “slow” (not very sensitive to light, requiring more light to make a correct exposure.) Thankfully, we had a sunny autumn, and I couldn’t be happier with the results! I am keen to try this again with different film brands/speeds/lighting conditions.

Ricoh FF-1 • Kodak Gold 200, shot at 25 ASA

Note: Usually, photos on redscale film are presented backwards/as a mirror image, due to the film being shot backwards (i.e. If you shoot something with a word on it, the word will be reversed the same way it would be if you held it up to a mirror.) The lab I used to develop this latest roll either scanned it differently or reversed the images after they were scanned, because none of the photos are reversed. I love it! I just might have to make sure my redscale photos aren’t “backwards” from now on! 

Giving Lomo a Go {Part One}

I mentioned in a recent blog that I had never used Lomography film up to this point in my photographic journey, and I listed a couple of reasons why that is the case. I mean, it’s nothing personal, Lomography. Your films are just usually cost-prohibitive for me!  But I have always liked the idea that retailers who stock  Lomography film (such as Urban Outfitters) are stocking film types that you wouldn’t normally be able to find outside of a proper photo shop or that you’d have to order online.  So, say I was in Memphis and decided I wanted to shoot some medium format film in my Holga. I couldn’t just walk into Walgreens and get that. And sometimes photo stores aren’t open at night or on the weekend. I could waltz into Urban Outfitters and pick up a pack of medium format film, even if I had to pay a premium price for it  and even if it’s not really “pro grade.” Lucky for me though, our local Urban Outfitters recently put a whole slew of Lomography film on clearance. I was able to grab a few packs of their 35mm Color Negative 100 film super cheap!

I have been missing a non-professional grade color 100 ASA film, since that film speed is one that has almost gone the way of the buffalo because  film companies are cutting back on the types of film they still produce. For those of you who might not be familiar with film speeds/ISO/ASA: The lower the number, the more light needed to get a properly-exposed photo. And vice versa. Higher film speed, less light needed. Say you are shooting in bright daylight: it is generally to your advantage to use a lower film speed. Shooting in dimmer light? Higher film speed (this also holds true for film “sensitivities” on digital cameras.) There are other issues involved with the ISO rating of film you use, such as film grain and color saturation.  You tend to get brighter colors and finer film grain with the lower film speeds. The higher the film speed, the larger the grain.

The colors you get with 100 ASA film are a big reason that I miss having a lot of choices in that particular film speed. I used to enjoy Fuji’s Super HQ 100 film or Kroger 100 (rebranded Italian film) in my toy cameras. I miss those films! That’s why I had high hopes for the Lomography CN 100 I’d gotten from Urban. Did it live up to those hopes? Let’s take a look!

One of the custom motorcycles on display at an auto auction where my family caters meals

Fallen petals

The day Mallory came to visit me down in the great state of Mississippi 

Adventures in Como, MS with Mallory and some horses. There may or may not have been
a minor electrocution – don’t worry though. It WASN’T one of the horses…

Wildflowers and weeds while we were sitting under a tree in front of the horse pasture

Showing Como’s Main Street to Mallory – she thinks it’s the closest
thing to  Mayberry that she’s ever seen. That means she loved it.

Ricoh FF-1 • Lomography Color Negative 100

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Conclusion?

Based on this roll, the jury’s still out as to whether or not I’ll come to love Lomography CN 100. Most of it was shot on a very bright afternoon in Como, Mississippi. I (and most photographers) tend to avoid shooting outdoors in the brightest mid-afternoon light. So these photos may not really represent how I’d normally work with a film like this. Since I have eight rolls of Lomography CN 100 left,  I’ll have lots of opportunity to put it through its paces! And, I’ll keep you posted about my findings!

{X-pro} Expo

A few months ago,  Urban Outfitters had a bunch of Lomography film on sale for half price. I’d never tried any of their films before, since it’s not really any cheaper than the more “serious” brands of film that I normally use. Or even any cheaper than the less serious ones I use. But when I saw all that film that UO had on clearance, I decided now was as good a time as any to give Lomography film* a try. I grabbed a few packs of their 100 ASA color negative film because it was too cheap to pass up. Also too cheap to pass up was some of their Xpro Chrome 100, which is slide film that they mean for you to “cross process” (or x-pro.) That means you take film that would normally be processed in chemicals specific to its type and process it in chemicals meant for a different type of film. Most of the time, cross-processing is referring to taking slide (positive) film that would normally be processed in E-6 chemicals,  and processing it in regular color (negative) film C-41 chemicals**.  Depending on the slide film, it can give you crazy color shifts or color casts, or high contrast and super saturation (click here to see a bunch of my cross-processed stuff from over the years to see what I mean.)

(Is that whole paragraph much technical information to follow?? I know a lot of you have seen an Xpro fiilter on Instagram!! Maybe it gives you a frame of reference??)

What could this Lomography Xpro Chrome 100 do for me though? I loaded a roll of it into my Ricoh FF-1, and I found out what it could do! I didn’t have anything specific in mind that I wanted to shoot with the Xpro 100; I just carried my FF-1 around and pulled it out when I saw something I liked.

A beauty shop in my town, that I love to photograph

Mustang

Discarded shop sign

“Please, no pictures”

Ghostly niece and dogs

Lunch on the Memphis Pizza Cafe patio

Inexplicable double exposure of my friend during a Midtown photo shoot

One of my favorite post offices 

Boat shop drive-by

Cracker Barrel rockers

Niece’s new neon kicks

Waffle House dinner after a photo shoot with my niece

Ricoh FF-1 • Lomography Xpro Chrome 100 • cross-processed 

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Conclusion?

I really loved the results – the photos were contrasty, but not over the top with color shifts. Just enough to look a little different than the norm. Now I’m kicking myself for not picking up more than one pack of it when I had the chance to get it for 50% off! Maybe I’ll find a good deal on some again soon!

*As far as I know, most Lomography film is film produced by other companies which Lomography has purchased and rebadged
**Sometimes it can be tricky to get slide film cross processed because certain labs think it will mess up their C-41 chemistry, but I think that any effect on the processing chemicals are negligible. Lomography helps out users of their xpro chrome films, by labeling the film canister “C-41.” I certainly had no problem getting the local drugstore mini-lab to process the photos in this post.

{Speed Shop}

I love me some classic cars.

I wrote a little about my love for old cars in a post a few years back. My most recent adventure in photographing cars was a  bit  earlier this year, at a speed shop – that is to say, a  car shop specializing in high-performance automobiles. Well, this one had more than just hot rods they’re working on. It had odds, ends, and even oddities! Like the SV-48 (an electric car from the 70s,) a Divco milk truck, and a life-sized Spiderman figure.

It was an unusually warm January afternoon, the lighting was just right as we were driving past this car shop, so I took my chance to hop out and burn through a roll of Kodak Ektar.  I was glad that the folks at the shop were kind enough to allow me to snap these photos with my mighty little Ricoh FF-1* !

 Ricoh FF-1 • Kodak Ektar • Southaven, MS

 

 

*This camera ruuuuuules so much!

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