Barcelona Dark I
Now that the camera, film-stock and developer issues are resolved it is finally time to get around to starting the project that was originally meant to start in January – night photography in Barcelona.
These were shot with the mostly new combination of M7 and 35mm Summilux on Tri-x (400TX) rated at EI 1600 and processed in ID-11 1+1. This will be the standard film and developer for the next three months.
Shooting at night in Barcelona on film is, to say the least, challenging. The street lighting is very dim, and 1/30th at f1.4 is barely enough to get a usable exposure.
Focus is challenging in the extreme, with the shallow depth of field and relative slowness of manual focussing creating problems. The solution is to try to anticipate the photograph and pre-focus the lens.
Any subject or camera movement is a problem that gets only worse as you attempt to capture the subjects ever more closer in the frame.
The resulting images are rough and often blurred – pretty much the opposite of expectations set by modern digital photography. I hope that trying to improve on the images shot in this way will also help when shooting digital.
In particular, there is a need to anticipate the images as they evolve to an extent not usually required with modern digital cameras that have fast, accurate auto-focus, image stabilisation and astonishing high-ISO performance.
At present, the majority of these images are shot close to home, in the centre of Barcelona. I hope to gradually expand this to other areas of the city – something that will be helped by the nights closing in.
And much as I love shooting film, I also need to try shooting similar images on digital with both Leica and Olympus systems…