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Friday, October 21, 2011

Colour or Black and White?

Last week in experimental film I had the students shoot a couple of short rolls of film, one was a very outdated piece of colour reversal (7239 from the early 1980s) and the other was colour negative (7291 from 1986). The day was cloudy so they couldn't shoot the colour print stock that I had also brought (from a batch I bought in 2003). I determined that this 3 iso stock WOULD expose a subject who was six to eight inches from the light source of an overhead projector so I had Rob Hillstead shoot my face in that context. I processed all three clips together as colour negative (bucket processing as I always do) and the results were generally poor. The stocks that the students shot were a bit dark and the the colours were strongly affected. The print stock was more surprising, it ended up being entirely black and white, no colour tint or cast at all. There is not mistake about the stock choice: had it been a faster film it would have overexposed by many many stops (it is a bit underexposed) and had it been a black and white film, it would have been entirely ruined by the colour chemistry (I've tried this before). The lack of colour must be a factor of the age of the stock, that the pigments are much more transient that any others. Very odd.

My computer started crashing, did so five times while writing the text above, and so must post from Margaret's laptop. 

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