technical

XPRO

XPRO - most people think that’s some kind of camera, actually it’s a chemical film development process - short for Cross Process. It means taking colour negative film and processing it in E6 chemicals or vice versa.

I’ve done this plenty of times before, but usually it was developing C41 in E6 chemicals. The feature image below was part of two rolls of E6 (slide) film that were processed in colour negative chemistry (Tetenal). Typically going from E6 to C41 its trickier.

I like colour, but only a selective palette. I’m not keen on ‘real’ colour. Much of my work is black and white, which immediately provides an abstracted view of the subject - obviously because there’s no colour. This abstraction can be used to great advantage as part of an artistic process or concept. So, how to abstract the subject in colour? And, how to do it ‘tastefully’? I know, it’s subjective, and a ‘matter of taste’ anyway.

The film I experimented with was Astia 100F (RAP100) and Velvia RVP50 (kindly donated by Brad Page who slipped me two boxes of it - 10 rolls, 100 shots).

Model

The model was Poetic Minx. These were shot just the other day.

The magenta based film is the RVP50, the cyan one is the RAP100F

Camera

Two Pentax 67 bodies were used, one loaded with Astia, the other Velvia.

Lens

The renowned Pentax 67, 105mm F2.4 - one on each body.

Scanner

Epson V800. I always scan straight onto the glass for most purposes - have never had problems with Newton rings. Although, the final scan for the featured image below was scanned as a single frame using an old Epson 4990 film holder.

Exposure

Was calculated with a Sekonic spot meter, spotted off the skin - not the brightest patches but more mid tone values. Using the Astia 100, I set ISO to 200 to overexpose by one stop. Exposure was 1/125 second at F2.4 The Velvia, being a stop darker, required 1/60 second at F2.4.

Lighting

A single fresnel 300W positioned behind an upright in the house so as to cast a shadow. Even studio light is generally boring to me. Light was set at about 45 degrees to the model and positioned about 3 - 4 metres away.

Extra Effects

I opened the back of the camera in indoor ambient light just after the film was wound free of the spool (about three cranks to go). This produced the light leaks you see across the roll of film ( not so visible on the contact sheet due to black point being set).

Backdrop

Home made painter’s canvas.

Development

I use a Jobo TBE2 tempering unit to to accurately get the 38 degrees C required for the C41 process. Chemicals are Tetenal. Development time was 4 minutes and then standard times for Blix, Wash and Stabiliser.

Post

The first thing I always do with film scans is set the black point using the black eyedropper of the levels control in PS on the black film edge. This time I didn’t do that, preferring the higher key look. The contact sheet does have the black point set, and you can see the general effect on the palette from doing that. It tends to bring the colours ‘into line’.

Some dust spotting and voila.