June 2019

What happens when you don't develop Cinestill 800T promptly?

Its a luxury to have enough cameras that a roll of film can languish for a year and a half without being finished. I'd wanted to try out some Cinestill 800T and had grand ideas of low light shots in and around London so I promptly loaded it in my relatively new (to me) Nikon F4 and went out and got a few shots one evening after work. However the longer nights soon came and I never prioritised getting out to really try out some shots with this film. So it sat there for a year and a half before I picked up a Hoya 81B filter so that I could use in natural light, get the roll finished and enable me to use the F4 once again with some Portra or Ektar. The manufacturers website for the film couldn't be clearer: "The new boxed CineStill film has a 2 year shelf life, and should be stored in the fridge and shot within 6 months of purchase to achieve optimal results"

But instead of wasting the roll I figured I'd get it processed anyway and see what came back. As you can see, weird stuff happens. I'm not sure what that red line is as I'm pretty sure my F4 doesn't have a light leak. The roll was professionally processed by my normal lab and the weird bubbling in the emulsion is only present on the first section of the film which was mostly, although not exclusively, exposed around 1.5 years before it was developed. To my surprise though the latter section of the film actually came out ok and with some pretty decent colours (using Negative Lab Pro to convert a positive scan with a Nikon LS-4000).

Colours of Banality

The magic of photographers like Eggleston, Herzog and Haas is to capture scenes that we would casually pass by without any other thought than apparent normality but to their eye they see some form of intrigue or beauty. Most often it is the colour that makes the scene remarkable, perhaps a vibrancy in the various tones that evade you in reality. Its a form of photography I am fond of observing, and whilst I don't believe I've got quite the eye as these masters, they certainly do inspire me to press the shutter at scenes I would have previously not even noticed.

Photographs of products and advertisements age well. As do cars and people's fashion. The changing styles will look more intriguing as time passes through a decade or more. But its the first picture of the painted wall behind the dilapidated basketball hoop that I like the most here. Captured on my Olympus 35RC with cheap Kodak Colorplus film on a bright sunny London afternoon the orange and teal really stand out to me. Decaying paint is also another subject I'm drawn to, and American fire hydrants make for good subjects for this. Finally a sunny day with a rusty BBQ and some condiments finish the set. Aside from the top image the rest were captured with my trust Nikon FM and Portra 400.