5 frames with...

5 frames from Ecuador with a Nikon FM2n & Ilford SFX – By Jorge Carmigniani

April 19, 2021

My name is Jorge Carmigniani, I am a documentary photographer from Guayaquil, Ecuador. I travel the country searching for images that describe our way of living in relationship with nature.

Street photography has never been my strength, but in the past few months I started to go out on my bicycle and revisited places where I usually scout for pictures.

My idea of street photography develops in portraying landscapes at short scale which can be satisfying for my eye and at the same time help me rediscover where I live. 

Riding a bike ain’t always convenient, it does not allow me to shoot fast, I have to be prepared to be ready. But Guayaquil is a small town so I can get around the city easily and rethink a frame. Also there is a lot of tropical vegetation so it suits my aesthetic. People rarely catch my eye. I prefer buildings partnering with trees, clouds and sky. 

I bought my Nikon Fm2n three years ago, it was the closest I could get from my stolen FM3a. I still miss the meter, although otherwise it is a very similar camera. The lenses I choose are a 50mm f/1.8 pancake lens (japan version) and a 28mm f/2.8 Ai-s. I am very happy with both, they share the same filter size and their close focus distance is very convenient.

The film was Ilford SFX. I thought I should give this film a try to find out what it can possibly offer and how should I shoot it. The final touch to the kit was the R60 red filter for dramatic sky effect, but also with the Ilford SFX you should get infrared results.

Jorge Carmigniani © All rights reserved

Jorge Carmigniani © All rights reserved

Jorge Carmigniani © All rights reserved

Jorge Carmigniani © All rights reserved

Jorge Carmigniani © All rights reserved

I haven’t had any notable experience with the red filter before, maybe with the Ilford XP2, it does allow me to see in monochrome from the viewfinder, so that’s useful. The Iford SFX adds a metallic tone to medium grays, lots of details in the shadows (that’s always a win) and crisp highlights. Between 1 to 2 stops underexpose, there are notable differences. This film is not that forgiving in my opinion.

My expectations were a little bit higher for the infrared performance. The light situations weren’t always the best, no clear sky or direct sunlight to the subjects. The greens weren’t lightened and the sky darkened enough. Even though I like the results, I notice the limitations since it isn’t a fully dedicated infrared film in my knowledge.

This is my first attempt to do this though. Still, I am fascinated with the process. Selecting carefully and thought-out situations benefited me a lot to the series with this film. It never happened to me before in black and white. It has opened possibilities that I should keep exploring. For now, surely, it will not be the last time I use this film.

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  • Reply
    steve curzon
    April 19, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Great photographs and an interesting post. Thank you Jorge!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    The last shot is a nice one…

  • Reply
    Castelli Daniel
    April 20, 2021 at 3:20 am

    My favorite pic is the first one. There’s a bit of a foliage ‘glow’ and It’s easy to imagine the warmth of the day.

  • Reply
    Sacha Cloutier
    April 20, 2021 at 5:36 am

    I always love stories where a camera or film has someone rediscover their own surroundings. That is the great thing about analog photography, a different style of film can completely change the images. I’m glad that you got to try a new approach to your city and share the results with us! Very cool shots.

  • Reply
    Peter S
    April 21, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks for the story, Jorge, and the nice pictures! Love the last one!

  • Reply
    May 4, 2021 at 5:37 am

    Shots #2 and #5 … brilliant. Just brilliant.

    • Reply
      jorge carmigniani
      May 12, 2021 at 1:14 am

      Thank you so much Ruff! 🙏 I invite you to follow me on Instagram if you like! cheers!

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