I love taking long-time exposures, so I wanted to dedicate an article to this topic. But how to begin? I sat down and racked my brain. Tell you what’s so special about night photography? Mention the difficulties, explain the challenges? Try to give technical advice? Talk about the influence of the weather? Well… In the past, I already discussed these issues in my article about night photography on CineStill film. Better not to repeat all of this. Eventually I decided, I would venture a different approach this time. So I went spelunking my Lightroom catalogue and chose 18+1 frames I wanted to present. The oldest image dates back to 2016, the newest one is from early spring this year. You are now going to read a short story on each photograph.
Low light photography
As you may recall, my initial attempts at star trails on film were with my Olympus OM1 and Fuji Natura 1600 in early 2019. The results with the 35mm film and camera were a little hit and miss, but they were promising enough that I was encouraged to keep trying, and wanted to try again with medium format. I fulfilled my desire in October of 2019 – this is the story of that experience.
Something readers of 35mmc might not know is that Kodaks new Ektachrome E100 has been available in super 8 and now 16mm. I don’t usually shoot slide film, but I do shoot a lot of super 8 and super 16. Reversal film is very interesting to me for one reason, it makes filming, editing and projecting a movie shot on film more feasible. This is something I have wanted to do for some time now and I even began collecting equipment to do so. Before I shoot a short film though, I wanted to test out the film with the easiest way being to shoot a roll of 35mm.
I always found myself drawn to the rather mystical photographs captured at night. Not only that these images are kinda cool, it’s also very practical during the winter season: sitting in the office nine to five, you won’t see much daylight from November till February. Being curious about the hyped motion picture film, I decided to give it a try. So I started a project of night photography with CineStill film in the autumn of 2018. I ended up shooting mainly architectural(-ish) subjects. Buildings have a great advantage for this type of photography: they usually stand still, even for hours. I specifically looked for dark places throughout the city, to obtain images that evoke an otherworldly mood.