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Line Road, Motorcycle & Portraits on Digital & 35mm (LeicaM6 + RiteAid Film)

Desperate to escape my quarantine for a moment, I decided to go explore a local park. A friend of mine, Kyle, joined. He was shooting infared on his Leica R3 as I was finishing off the roll of Ektar100 which I began shooting in a different country, and during a different month. To see some photos taken while in France before the country locked down check out my other blog posts.

As the sun dipped into golden hour the lighting changed for the better –finally unobstructed by clouds. I swapped out the spent roll of Ektar for RiteAid iso200 film. Roughly this time last year I had shot double exposures on it as part of a project. I had shot two of the same emulsions using the same technique in the past and had mixed results. I intended to shoot the film +1stop but accidentally ended up shooting it at boxed speed, thinking it was iso400 film and rating it for iso200. Thankfully, this ended up not being a problem!

Not long after finishing the Ektar up, we changed locations to an abandoned road where I photographed Kyle & his vintage motorcycle. He agreed to be my subject, and assisted me in the shooting process being a photographer himself.

The cameras I used included:

NikonD750 + 35mm f1.4 Sigma Art lens

Leica M6 + 35mm f2 T* Zeiss Biogon

Shanny SN910EX-RF flash (what seems to be a factory copy of the Canon 600EX-RT)

The speedlight I brought along was triggered by a simple off-camera flash setup. The flash was mounted onto a lightstand with a medium/small sized softbox. The first half of photos used 2 layers of diffusion & the later half I tested the grid attachment.

By now the sun was at the perfect angle, but had unfortunately dipped once more behind a massive cloud. Despite this we made good use of the darker lighting conditions. The recommended flash sync speed of my M6 is ~1/60s ...which was much too slow for the use of flash photography earlier in the day, in the manner I planned to shoot; using a shallow depth of field (f2-2.8) and balancing the ambient light. Shooting for a little longer than an hour, I was pushing the limits of my flash sync speed (up to 1/125s at times) as well as pushing the limits of my eyesight (trying to manual focus in the dark while shooting at f2-2.8). Shooting with flash at 1/125th is hit or miss –or more like half a miss that is... Shooting at this speed will occasionally leave the left half side of the frame underexposed as seen in the photo below.

On the topic of hit or miss, shooting double exposures can be a bit less forgiving than the M6's flash-sync ability. While I've managed to capture some all time favorite photos using this double exposure technique I haven't yet perfected the technique (obviously, as seen in the photos below). All the same however, I rarely shoot film for anything other than the experience it offers.

^ 1/30th & f2 @iso200

Overall I really enjoyed the photoshoot and was happy to have had the opportunity to get better acquainted with off camera flash on film. In hindsight I would have liked to have shown up to the second location sooner while the sun was still above the clouds in addition to have chosen a roll of iso400 speed film from my 2xExp project so that it would be better exposed as the evening progressed.

I shot the film at box speed, as I've mentioned above, & referenced my digital camera to see where the shadows / highlights fell when using the off camera flash. I developed the film at home using Cinestill's C41 kit & scanned the images using an Opticfilm 8200i scanner.

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