Monday, January 29, 2024

Delta 100 in the ice and snow and brutal cold

I'm still working through a big batch of film I bought last year. There's a bit of everything because at that point I hadn't landed on a favourite, other than Kodak Gold 200 for colour.

But during a Calgary winter there isn't much outdoor colour so I reached into the box for some black and white. The Delta 100 was what came out. This is what Ilford says about it, "ILFORD DELTA 100 PROFESSIONAL is a medium speed, black & white film that uses our latest Core-shell™ emulsion technology to deliver superb image quality and maximum sharpness. Excelling in scenes that are detail rich, its exceptionally fine grain makes DELTA 100 the perfect choice for many applications or genres. Showing outstanding quality at its recommended rating of ISO 100/21°, DELTA 100 will also produce stunning results rated between ISO 50 and 200."

I started a roll Nov 27 and finished it Dec 15, then started another roll Dec 24. Along the way it got brutally cold out, well into minus WTF territory. I wasn't so worried about the camera, but suspected that if I was out for very long the film would get brittle and snap during winding. I'm using an EOS-3, so there is no 'gentle wind'. It's motor driven, whir snick, ready.

All but a few of the photos are outdoors, often in Fish Creek Park. If I don't have a particular place to go for photos, but want to be taking one of the cameras for a walk, I just think about where in Fish Creek I haven't been lately. It's such a huge place there's always something new to see, what with wildly diverse landscapes that are always changing because of weather or the seasons, or the light at that time of day. 

There was a bit of an adventure one day in the Glennfield Day Use area. I was walking on the snow covered ice, following some ski tracks, when my right leg went through the ice, up to just above my knee. That was a bit of a surprise, since most places are typically about ankle deep, and this was right beside the river bank. There was a bit of thrashing to get out, making sure that neither my camera or phone got wet. I wasn't so worried about my wallet, since we have plastic money now. It was about -18 C so I didn't waste any time getting back to the car. My pants were almost dry when I got there.

Generally I'm out during the middle of the day to late afternoon. I like the harsh shadows on the snow, and figured that would be a good challenge for the film. My usual process is to point the camera at the darkest part of the scene and adjust shutter speed and aperture for a middle exposure, then at a bright part of the scene, and see what the difference is. Then I'll think about the image I want from that scene, and work with viewpoint and aperture. Then check exposure again. I'll usually center the exposure based on the shadows, but sometimes I'll over expose by half a stop or a full stop, depending. 

The photos. What is common to all the photos is that they are lightly edited in NegativeLab Pro, and then in Lightroom. Only one of the images is cropped to remove the border from the digital scan (T6i using a Canon EF 100mm f2.8 macro) and you'll know it when you see it. I'm not sure why I didn't crop, but suspect that seeing so much white snow, on a white blog background, wouldn't be the best look for the images. I made a pass through to remove the worst of the dust spots, but if you want to look for them, you're going to find them. 

1. I liked the ice forming in the running water in the first three images.

2. I especially liked that ridge of ice. Pity I couldn't get closer.

3. Look for the sharp edges of the frost and snow. I was wishing I'd brought the macro lens to get up close and personal. I think that would show up pretty well on film.

4. Shadows!



7. I know perfectly well this lens (Canon EF 50mm f1.8) doesn't like being pointed into the sun, but I like how it flares, especially when there's ice crystals in the air. And yes, it took a while to figure out the exposure for this image.

8. Reflections in dark water are always fun.


10. Bridge 8, one of the least attractive bridges in the entire park. I liked the play of light on the railing, and this turns out to be one of the better photos I taken of it. 

11. I stopped and stared at this scene just to enjoy it, then hustled to capture it before the wind blew it away. Another tricky exposure.

12. Playing with composition in the river bed can be fun.

13. An abstract of ice and snow.

14. It's not just rocks in the river bed.

15. Trees are gorgeous after fresh snow.


17. The only indoor photo, though you have to look carefully to see Celina, who thinks the Christmas tree is there to give her a little kitty cave of security.



20. This was a brutally cold day. The car thought it was -41C. I was only out to drop Linda at the eye center and pick her up after. I cruised around looking for images till they were done. It did not take me long to get out of the car, compose, tweak settings and click.

21. I was getting back into the car when I saw this. Another quick exposure.

22. More trees in nice light. I love what my eyes see, and film captures only part of the magic.

23. There's lots of creatures in Fish Creek, and most of them are not afraid of humans.

24. Part of the big log jam near bridge 3.

I'd tried some Delta 100 in medium format, but that was mainly to put some rolls through the GW690 and try to get the hang of using it. The images were nice, (you can see them here) but I didn't really think about film characteristics. 

I like how really bright can shade into really dark so smoothly. Go back and look at 11 again. I've deliberately chosen to edit these without pushing the shadows brighter. My thinking is that on a really bright day the shadows are dark, and showing the detail starts smelling like HDR images.

I think I have a now have a favourite black and white film though I've still got a few other rolls to try out. There's 3 rolls each of Kentmere 100 and Lomography Earl Grey to try. If I was ambitious I'd get one of them into the camera and go for a walk, even though the light is dull and ugly right now. 

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