Thursday, 30 November 2017

Newcastle Street Feast on Ilford Delta 3200

This is a film I have always wanted to shoot.  Ilford Delta 3200 in 35mm.

I picked it up online at Walkens House of Film a few months ago.  (What a great little online film shop that is!)  It took a little while before I was able to get out and use it but the wait was worth it!

Like all new films I try, I read up on peoples' reviews and look at images online to get inspiration for when I get out with it.  Doing this also gives me an idea on how the film may turn out in certain situations and allows me to plan ahead for a subject or general theme.  

This film, because of it's high ISO, is described as a 'fast film' - i.e. it's good to use in low light situations.  Many of the reviews I read suggested shooting this film at ISO 1600 and then developing at 3200 times.  This apparently gives better contrast and less grain.  But, because I had never used it before, I decided that for the first time I should probably stick to the box speed.

Grain!  The mere mention of the word sends chills down some photographers spines.  Grain is merely the texture of the light sensitive silver halide crystal emulsion that has been applied to the film.  The crystals used on a 'fast film' are larger because they have to capture all available light in low light situations, hence the texture of the emulsion is grainier.  It's not a bad thing though!  Grain can add mood to portraits and landscapes.  Grain can add a 'grittiness'  to a subject to enhance a harsh environment (especially in black and white) - Street Photography, for example.  Have a look at older photos of jazz bands playing in small bars and note how the grain adds to the mood of that underground, bootleg bar!

The venue I went to was a street feast (relatively new to Newcastle).  Heaps of food vendors in pop up caravans and tents, wine tasting and sales.  Live entertainment also!  Some tables and chairs were provided but many also brought along picnic rugs or simply just threw themselves down on the soft grass.

The feast started at 4pm and ran through til 9pm.  We arrived at about 6.30pm, just as the Sun was setting.  Apart from the dusk sky, the lighting consisted of street lights, some purpose built spotlights and the light from vendors open caravans and tents.  The FOOD!  The food was fantastic!  I wanted to try everything!

I didn't want to muck around with a light meter calculating every shot; I wanted to catch everything quick and clean so I shot in aperture priority.  Most of these shot at f5.6 and a few at f4.

Once I got the film and scans back from the lab I realised that, although this is a film made for low light situations there still has to be a 'reasonable' light source nearby.  The shots taken of people lining up at a vendor's van (which is lit inside) or in the vicinity of a decent light source have more sharp details than a general crowd shot that is lit only by residual light from the high streetlights.

I do have a second roll of this film although I want to plan a more specific shoot with it, a live band in a bar, people roaming the streets on a night out and, if I can get someone to sit still long enough, some formal portraits.  We'll see how that goes!

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