Sunday, August 20, 2017

On Film I Saw High ISO

These days, in the age of modern digital cameras, when you consider ISO800 as high ISO, people would laugh at you. The advancements in digital photography has been light years away from film. But despite all the advancements, noise is still an issue to most cameras, and you're gonna see it in your camera unless you're using really expensive fancy ones (Looking at you, flagship cameras!)

Burgos Circle
Crossing Burgos Circle.

But there's this sort of charm in high ISO films. Instead of a ghastly noise like what's on those cheap cameras where you see specks of different colors and a lot of smudging, what you get instead is fine grain. This is by no means a fine ouput, but it's appealing to some, and even I admit, it's preferable to digital noise - at least for me.
I got my hands on a roll of Fujifilm Supera 800. I understand they stopped manufacturing this shortly after I got my hands on a few 27 shot rolls. This is my first roll of it.

First off, it has a similar look and feel to what I observed in Fujifilm C200, albeit a bit muted.

Jamba Juice

Office Cubicle. This image is direly underexposed due to lighting conditions. Grains everywhere!

Shirts For Sale
Shirts For Sale

Picnic Grove Horseback Riding
Picnic Grove Horseback Pictures. For a fee you get a picture of yourself on top of a horse. Bring your own camera though.

Picnic Grove Horseback Riding
Picnic Grove Horseback Riding

Crowded Viewing Deck
Crowded Viewing Deck

Stairs To The Walkway
Stairs To The  Walkway

Descending To Darkness
Descending To Darkness. Not really. The #grain in #fujifilmsuperia800 gets more pronounced in lower exposures and it's quite visible here. Still better than digital noise.

Derelict Cottage
Derelict Cottage.  To those wondering how failed relationships feel, this is a visual metaphor for it. The #grain in #fujifilmsuperia800 gets more pronounced in lower exposures and it's quite visible here. Still better than digital noise.

Let's Cross The Bridge When We Get There
Let's Cross The Bridge When We Get There. This bridge is actually stronger than it feels. The shaking sensation is unsettling for me, however.

What is immediately noticeable is the amount of grain one can find on this kind of film- There's a lot! It appears that this was not meant for dim lighted shots. This is especially true for my underexposed shots, and it's fairly pronounced in the the shadows of properly exposed ones.

Dangling In Space
Dangling In Space. If you've never been in a relationship, this is a visual metaphor of how it feels like.

Looking Back
Looking Back. I managed to convince myself to cross this shaky bridge. It was a bit nerve racking for me.

Where Are You Heading?
Where Are You Heading?

The Strangers We Come Across
The Strangers We Come Across. Whose path crossed with yours today?

Uphill Among Strangers
Uphill Among Strangers. This was a preview of what was to come at the time- me going uphill among unfamiliar faces.

Despite all that, I'd still argue that it's still a notch above digital noise in terms of appeal. It's not as blotchy and smudgy compared to digital images, and it doesn't have that multi-colored speckles that require some moderate to heavy de-noising for being downright unappealing. Some can take advantage of it and avoid the heavy de-noising route by switching to monochrome.

If one wants an option to shoot faster shutter speeds on film, this film is worth considering if one can live with, if not embrace the grain. Those who shun away from it, may opt to look for other options. As with any film, I'd recommend the curious to try this at least once- just don't forget to err towards overexposure to avoid too much grain.

Also, follow me Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram. Yes, I'm kind of all over the place. Don't hesitate to share your thoughts on the comments as well. Until then, don't be afraid to get lost and wander.

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