What does it really mean? A break from the studies or a break TO study? }> I caried all my equipment to shoot today after my midterm but the overcast day didn't produce any sastisfying enough light to make me endure the -10 Celcius temperature. So I bought (for the first time) the Outdoor Photographer magazine.
The pictures by John Netherton made me realised (it was about time) what Fujichrome Velvia and color saturation meant! I just recently made the plunge into professionnal films and don't know a lot about them. (My favorites ones being for the moment Provia 100F, Provia 400F and NHG II, also shooted some Ektachrome) I was really impressed with to colors given by the Velvia and I am craving to try some. (I will take a couple of them the next time I go shooting Lansdcape, = another good reason for getting a second body since I need higher speed film in my F70 for wildlife).
What do you think about this film? I remember reading somewhere, maybe on this site, that some people don't like it because it sometimes produce colors that are not seen in the world anyway. It is not a good reason, in my opinion, to discard the film since I am one of those who believe photography is not an honest representation of the world but rather an interpretetion of it. I would like to know your opinions on Velvia (and maybe other film like it that I don't know) as well as you're experience with it. When do you use it? Is they're any mistake that I would like to avoid first hand? What should I do to get the best results out of it? I would also want to read the reasons of those of you who don't like it and never use it.
I use Velvia for almost all my waterfall photos, and for many other landscape photos were I have a tripod to mount the camera. I find it is highly saturated, but in my opinion, if shot at the rated ISO of 50 or drop it down one-third of a stop to ISO 40, the colors are not surreal. Yes, the greens are very green, possibly not as green as in real life, but a green that is known to occur in this world. One thing to watch out for when using Velvia is to watch out you don't expose it for longer than four seconds. The photo below was exposed for approximately 6-7 seconds, and it does change the color balance. As you can see it gives a bluish cast to the rocks. Fuji recommends the film be used between 1/4000 to 1 second. You can expose it up to 4 seconds; however, past that and exposure correction is required. Due to it's slow speed a good solid tripod is almost always required; not always, but the majority of the time. For other landscape shots, I use Kodak E100VS, Fuji Provia RDP III, or Agfa RSX II 100 or 200 for an extra stop for some speed.
Doug-- I like that one alot. The blue looks very natural. Gives the water in the foreground depth. Rather than "turning" blue, maybe it's just skylight that becomes saturated with long exposure? ---scott
"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." Pablo Picasso
Velvia has been one of my staple films for a few years now and I would agree with all of Doug's comments. When it was first introduced a lot of people denigrated it's color saturation as "pop" or "posterized" and deplored the departure from "natural". However, I also agree that photography is as much an interpretive as a recording art form and consequently love the film. It does have some drawbacks however; the most immediately apparent of which is it's high inherent contrast compared to many other slide films. Consequently, it is not IMHO the best choice for scenes that already have a high contrast range - it just exaggerates what's already there. For much the same reason, the film's contrast has a tendency to exaggerate small variations in skin tones and it's high color saturation "pops" the reds, making pleasing results of informal portraiture difficult to obtain. (Your subject will just love having that small, almost unoticeable blemish on her nose looking like a red M&M in your photo) On the other hand, it is my number one choice for fall foliage and the like. Now if only it were a little faster. As Doug suggests, ISO 50 is a little gratuitous, even for someone like me who routinely underexposes slide films by 1/3 stop. I would suggest starting at ISO 40 and evaluating your results from there. One of the main reasons I have been shooting so much Ektachrome E100 VS lately was the hope of finding a "faster Velvia" (Which it's not - it is a good emulsion with increased color saturation however and another film I would suggest you should try)
I will agree the E100VS Kodak is a very good film and I have used it quite a bit lately. However, I have tried the new Provia RDP III, and it is greatly improved over the previous Provia. Another decent film I have tried is Agfa RSX II especially if someone wants a fairly saturated 200 ISO film.
Scott, Thanks, it is one of my favorites and looks great as an 8 x 12 Ilfochrome on the wall.
--Take only photographs, leave nothing but footprints-- And carry plenty of FRESH batteries...