In February, I went on a family trip to the Cinque Terre region in northern Italy. I brought with me my Nikon FM2n and some Nikkors (20mm ƒ/3.5, 50mm ƒ/1.8, and 200mm ƒ/4). The three rolls of film that I brought were Ektar 100, Gold 200, and Superia 400. On the first day, it was really sunny so I loaded the Ektar and fired off a shot. When we got to our Airbnb, it was cloudy and according to multiple weather apps, it would stay that way for most of the trip. For this reason, I carefully rewound the roll of Ektar with one exposure and replaced it with the roll of Superia 400. I’d never shot Superia before, but I needed the extra speed since my budget airline didn’t allow for tripod sized objects in carry-on baggage.
On March 29th of this year, Fujifilm posted a notice that they would suspend shipments of 35mm and 120 color film, both negative and slide, to its Japanese customers. As someone who had been visiting Japan for almost a week by that point, it was not surprising, as it seemed like Japanese stores had not seen a shipment of color stock in quite some time. For the most part I was greeted to “out of stock” notices in every camera store I had visited. While this was frustrating enough for me, a tourist seeking out those rarified “only in Japan” emulsions, I can imagine it being much more demoralizing for local film photographers–at least I was going to get on a plane and go back to the US, where there would still be scattered stocks of Fujicolor 200 and “Superia” 400, plus Kodak, which was also rare on Japanese shelves.
One of the first rolls of film I exposed from the box of expired 35mm film I received last year is a 36-exposure cartridge of Fujichrome PROVIA 400F Professional [RHP III]. Fujichrome PROVIA 400F was a high-quality colour reversal film manufactured by Fujifilm. It was known for its excellent colour reproduction, fine grain, and sharpness, making it a popular choice among professional photographers. With a sensitivity of ISO 400, this film was ideal for shooting in low light conditions or for capturing fast-moving subjects. The film’s advanced emulsion technology was known to produce vibrant colours and accurate skin tones, making it a popular choice for fashion and advertising photography. I did not know what to expect from a 10-year-old cartridge.
For the last 10 years my photography has primarily been black & white film. For me the colors of Spring and Summer are captured by the wonderful tones of Kodak Tri-X. But sometime in Winter I start reacting against the world around me which is by that point very colorless. And that is when I turn to the small bit of color I shoot in the year, almost all of it in the Fall. And why not?