The guys at my local camera store always seem to have new movies to recommend! The last new thing in stock was the Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400. I didn’t know it at all, but after seeing some sample images I decided to take a roll and test it out.
I contacted my friend Olivia and made an appointment on a Saturday to do portraits. I’ve kept it simple with my trusty Canon AE-1 and the base 50mm f / 1.8. And, with a name like “Streetpan”, we decided that the street was the best location. We found an open shaded spot in an alley with an interesting industrial vibe. Some people wondered about gas lines and the like, but it was an intentional choice beyond aesthetics. Although Liv always looks like a “real” model, she actually works on a pipeline crew on her day job: helmet, coveralls, jobs. No seriouslyâ¦
I developed the images the next day in ILFORD DD-X using standard shaking. I was glad I rotated the roll at 200 instead of 400. I had read complaints about the thin negatives, and even with the extra exposure stop, they certainly weren’t too thick! However, they scanned well and the contrast was really impressive! Even without a lot of tweaking. I was also really blown away by the rendering of the fine details, especially the knitting of her sweater dress, which is evident in the closer shots. Overall, it probably made her complexion a bit lighter than it actually was and her dress a bit darker (it was actually dark plum purple, not black).
From a technical point of view, I would say this one was a success! And I made sure to buy another roll the next time I was in the store.
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But, from a deeper and perhaps more philosophical point of view, I would say it was also a success. I don’t know if I’m really trying to ‘prove’ anything with my photography. But what I hope to do is make meaningful connections with people. I met Liv when her mom wanted me to take pictures of her high school kids. Since then, we have completed a number of projects which have not only been fun, but have also built confidence and confidence.
At the very least, take pictures of your friends, even if they are not ârealâ models. Having a real connection with someone will bring something unique to your images that will always shine.
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