Author: Madison Hyer

Review: Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold is hands down the best color negative film that is only made in 35mm. It’s got a bit more grain than the Portra films. If overexposed, it’s light and airy while if shot at box speed outside of direct sunlight, it can get the punchy colors similar to that of Ektar. At the time of writing, it costs $13 for a 3-pack from B&H which is an absolute steal considering how much other 35mm films costs and just how good this film is. Color Truth be told, I do struggle to really pin down a consistent color palette with Gold because of just how much the saturation changes depending on whether it’s shot at box speed or whether you’re shooting in direct sun. If it is at all shady or if you’re shooting at dusk, the colors are quite rich and very saturated, however, if you’re shooting at high noon the colors are quite muted and very lovely. It may well be my favorite color palette of all the 35mm color negative film …

Interview: Jason Hunter

“I like the tactile feeling of shooting with film cameras. Whether that’s the clamshell on the XA, or advancing the film and cocking the shutter on the RB67. This is something that can not be found with digital cameras.” Jason is a film and digital photographer who co-operates Restore From Backup, a film photography specific hub account on Instagram. Jason first reached out to me out of the blue and started off by saying we had a common circle of photographer friends and he couldn’t have been nicer. Since then, his work has inspired me to see buildings and cars in different ways than before. JM – Tell me a bit about yourself. JH – I’m from Chesapeake, VA, a pretty dull little suburb between Norfolk and Virginia Beach. I’ve lived here for the majority of my life and have no plans on leaving. I’ve been married for ten years, and we have three cats and no kids. My life is pretty quiet, and that’s exactly how I like it. Also, I really love Math …

Franklin Park Conservatory: Shooting Fuji Pro 400H at 200

To see Fujifilm Pro 400H exposure tested and compared with several other film stocks, follow this link. To see a review of Pro 400H, go here. While I had previously shot through multiple rolls of Pro 400H as can be noted in my review, I had yet to give it a fair shake metering exclusively at ASA 200. On a recent outing, I decided I would do just that. As you may recall from my review on this film, I’m not particularly a fan. I don’t think it does a good job with skin tones on lighter-skinned people, I think it’s quick to get muddy shadows, and it’s a bit too contrasty without subtle transitions between the darkest part of the frames and lightest parts. Shot at ASA 200, however, I must admit that these results of this roll have been very appealing to me. I very much look forward to heading back out again and shooting it again at 200. Perhaps I’ll even shoot it at 100! I still look at this shot and …

Interview: Florian Guillon

“[Film] is a medium that allows me to express who I am while doing the things I love: getting out, watching the people around me, and spending time in nature.” Florian is a film photographer in France that I know through Instagram. He and I ordered our Intrepid MKIV-Black cameras nearly at the same time and have gone through the paces of learning large format photography together. His work has always been an inspiration and it has been an honor to get to know him better through this interview. His instagram can be found here along with the Instagram for Les Trois Bains (The Three Baths). JM – Tell me a bit about yourself. This can be anything from what you do for a career or what got you into photography or anything else.  FG – I am a 28 year old attorney living in Paris, France. I started shooting film 3 years ago, and have shot it daily ever since. I have always been interested in art, however I am completely unable to paint or …

Interview: Brian D Smith

“Film is romantic. It’s timeless. It can be wildly perfect and simultaneously imperfect. I think this last sentiment is what I find most captivating about film.” Brian is a wedding photographer who lives in Charleston, SC. His portrait work is absolutely stunning and clearly demonstrates a lot skill in shaping light. His work has pushed me to try new things with my photography. You can find his website here and his Instagram here. JM – Tell me a bit about yourself. BDS – I was born and raised in Ohio. I worked as an engineer for 2 years in Ohio before I moved to Charleston to work for Boeing. I spent 4 years there before I became disillusioned with working a desk job and I began to feel disconnected from my work. It was fulfilling and challenging, but I longed for something that was more deeply personal. Around this same time, I reconnected with photography and began pursuing weddings. I became consumed by photography. This feeling led to a swift realization that it was time …

Review: Fujifilm Pro 400H

To see Fujifilm Pro 400H exposure tested alongside 10 other films, follow this link. I have wanted so badly to like Pro 400H. My father picked up a Pentax Spotmatic back when he was in the service, living in Guam. Much like myself, he experimented with a lot of different film stocks to see what he liked best and eventually he settled on Fuji’s film over Kodak. To this day, he insists that Kodak still cannot mimic the beautiful blues and greens that you get with Fuji’s film. Though he exclusively shoots digital now, I still feel a bond with him over photography and film in particular. It’s because of that that I want to like Fuji’s fim. Being that Pro 400H is their flagship film, I really want to like it. I do not like it. Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H was released in 2004. Today, Pro 400H is often compared with Kodak Portra 400, though it has not reached anywhere close to the same hype. Color I think that what I dislike most about …

Interview: Timothy Rhyne

“I approach all my work with a minimal frame set. Limited to focus on color pallet and simple composition. This framework allows for a exploration of color and specific focal points within storytelling.” Timothy is a film photographer whose landscape work has been a big inspiration to me. The way he conveys movement, scale, and changing light is far and above where I am at with my landscapes. You can find his personal website here and his Instagram here. JM – Tell me a bit about yourself. TR – Growing up, my dad wouldn’t let me shoot on his digital camera until I learned how to use a film camera. As a high schooler, I wasn’t into that but ended up taking photography classes through the school. There I learned how to use a camera, develop and print black & white film. When I graduated, I was given a digital camera and didn’t pick up a film camera for a while. About two years ago I asked for my dads film camera (the same one …

Review: TMax 400

The 400 ASA films that I’ve tried enough to have an opinion about include: Kodak’s Tri-X and TMax 400 and Ilford’s HP5 and XP2 Super. At this point, TMax has become a pretty clear favorite. It is without a doubt my most used B&W film in 35mm and in 120, though I explore more films more often in 120, it is the film I go to for consistent performance. While I do try to explore more and more films all the time, it is difficult to replace the flexibility and acutance of TMax 400 when it comes to shooting 35mm B&W. Tone If I’m being completely honest, this is where I feel TMax 400 disappoints me the most. It’s hard to explain why, though. Over every other film I’ve tried like it, I love the sharpness of this film and lack of pronounced grain. What’s different about this stock that I don’t love is the amount of middle grey and overall lack of contrast that photos have when taken in strong, daylight scenarios. In dimly …

Interview: Victoria Oliver

“I long for tangible connection and the creation of physical art from my heart and hands.  This is why I love film. It is magical, chemical alchemy.” Victoria is a film photographer living in the Blue Ridge mountain area. Her work is beautiful and often inspires me to get out, explore, and shoot more often. Her instagram dedicated to her film work can be found here and, in addition, her instagram showcasing all of her work both in front of and behind the camera can be found here. JM – Tell me a bit about yourself. VO – I live in the Appalachian mountains, just below the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in a small town surrounded by forest service and national forest areas.  I have always laughingly called myself a Jill-of-all-trades, because my mind never wants to settle with only one project. I am always restless and ready to go. Seeking to reconcile my day job with my desire to be a gypsy born in another century. VO – Want to hit the open road, …

Innsbruck, AT: New City, New Film – Acros II & Ortho Plus

If you’re wondering why I decide to take my annual trip to the mountains between March and April, the answer is simple. It’s generally still very cold so the summer tourists haven’t shown up yet but the height of skiing and snowboarding is past. As a result, the area is bit less packed out and the trails have started reopening (if they were ever closed). Not to mention that at the times the airfare is a good deal less expensive as are the hotels. Anyhow – on this particular trip, we left for a couple week trip in Germany and western Austria just as the novel corona virus was troubling northern Italy but before it started being so widespread. On the day we were flying back, we learned there were several documented cases of COVID-19 in Innsbruck and luckily for us we were able to be screened a couple days after being back. With the self quarantine that we are still currently in, I’ve been able to get all the B&W and C-41 developed and …