In this Developing Adventure, I wanted to share my first experience shooting and developing a roll of Kodak Ektachrome. This was also my first time using E6 developer, and I was a bit nervous because I know color slide film is not as forgiving as color negative or black and white film.
Kodak Ektachrome is a low speed color reversal film that gives your photos a saturated, and cool tone. When I shoot a film for the first time, I often do a test run to get an idea of what it looks like with my style of shooting. I don’t expect great results the first time around, but I was really happy with these none the less.
Being that color reversal film doesn’t have much latitude, you have to be really careful with your exposures. I used my Fuji GF670 medium format camera for this test roll because I really trust the built in meter.
E6 Developing Ektachrome
To develop this roll, I used a Unicolor Rapid E6 Kit. The instructions for the kit were pretty easy to enact and I just carefully followed the directions that were included. The only snag I ran into was that I use a tank that agitates with an agitator rod, and the instructions only specified for inversion. I don’t like to use this type of agitation because my tanks leak and I lose chemicals that way. Therefore, I wasn’t really sure how long to twist the rod. I went with 5 seconds every 30 seconds.
Once I finished processing this roll, I was so excited to get to see positive film in person for the first time. I’ve always heard about how beautiful color positive film negatives are, but seeing it in person with my own work was amazing.
For this roll, I decided on a whim, to shoot a quick portrait session with Kelsey. Nothing formal. I literally saw that the weather was beautiful and thought the colors of her dress might suit this film well. I followed her with my camera around our yard and just took these photos.
This was in the late afternoon so the contrast is a little high, but I really love the warmth and shadows. These look a touch under exposed, but I didn’t want to take a chance with wavering from my meter. I am not experienced enough just yet to make those decisions when shooting color positive.
In the two pics below, I was trying to capture Kelsey’s blue eye in the split light.
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Kelsey doesn’t like to have her picture taken, and is very self conscious, but I think she is beautiful and wish as a photographer I could show her that with my photos. I don’t think I have the skills yet for portraiture, knowing how to pose someone, things like that. That being said, I think these photos are beautiful, and not just because she is my fiancé.
Kodak Ektachrome is a beautiful film that I know I will shoot with in the future. I don’t shoot with many low ISO films, but when I shoot outdoors, this will definitely be a film I bring along.
I’m not crazy about needing to have a separate set of chemicals to develop this one film, especially since I can barely keep up with developing my backlog of C41 and black and white films. However, for certain subjects, and special settings I will make an exception.
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