When this film arrived from Analogue Wonderland I was stoked. A friend had brought back a roll from Japan last year and we all know about the ever decreasing lines of film coming out of Fujifilm so getting another chance to shoot it was great.
Unexpectedly I managed to get a few hours to myself on a damp and misty night in Spring. Despite the darkness I chose not to carry a tripod, trusting the film, the meter and my steady hands. I loaded my Canon AE1-P and fitted it with a 50mm f/1.8 and took a walk around the Barbican. I had picked a particularly quiet night so just meandered around enjoying the views of the architecture and the quietness of this wonderful, central London estate.
The sun had long since gone down but I set my ISO to 800 and went for it.
Arriving at the estate can be a bit over whelming if you have not been there before as there are interesting corners, pillars, shadows and reflections everywhere you look.
Don’t you just hate it when people don’t say excuse me? I think this shot is a bit out of focus because I tried to get the whole scene in including the lines of the floor tiles so I used and smaller aperture, maybe f/11. This led to a slower speed than I could handle. I knew at the time it was a bit slow.
I am much happier with this shot. The walkway is notoriously poorly lit but I do like the shadows of the lights behind the walls and those round ceiling light shades are very cool. I would be happier with a bit more detail in the shadows though and I think this could have been done without blowing out the highlights by using a tripod and using a slightly slower speed.
Terrace bar. I did rest the camera on a walkway parapet as I couldn’t trust myself to keep the Canon steady for long enough. Still, I like the way the tiles in some places can be individually identified.
I tried a few frames in daylight too. London light is often a dull grey affair. Some may disagree but I think that Venus is a great film to shoot in London. It’s capable of bringing out some really nice colours even when the light is a bit meh. I took a few shots of an Extinction Rebellion demonstration and was impressed by how well the images came out.
I really should have taken my time with this shot. The light was good enough to have used a smaller aperture and gone for a deeper depth of field. This would have kept more of the bike in focus. Maybe I got intimidated by the police officer.
There seems to be a bit of a blue tint to this image, it’s present in the buildings, on the road and in the white of the banner. I don’t mind this tinge. I reckon it slightly balances out the orange glow of street lights. I haven’t done anything to the colour in editing.
As usual I have not edited these images in any way. The scans are how they came from the lab. I really like this film. These colours are strong, punchy and can add a splash of fun into a grey and flat day. Shooting architecture the grain confidently picks out the finer details like tiles and window frames and at night it’s a great choice for that low light loveliness. As Spring approaches bringing with it the promise of longer brighter days we normally reach for slower smoother films but I would happily take a roll of Fuji Venus 800 out again and shoot it at box speed at any time of the day.
You can find a curated collection of thought provoking analogue art and info about a range of workshops and photo walks on my Instagram –londoncameraproject