As you may remember, I had a unique chance few weeks ago to arrange a photo shoot on an old steam locomotive train with the vintage model Shanona Dreem. As mentioned on the previous post, I had both digital and film camera with me. The previous post contains the digital shots and now it’s time for some filmy goodness from the same shoot. You’d think the results would have at least some family resemblance, bearing in mind that the location, lighting and the model were exactly the same. I actually liked my digital shots very much, but after I developed my film shots, I was very impressed with the results. Once again, I have to say that there is just something magical about film!

I shot couple of rolls during that shoot. Initially I was thinking about choosing Tri-x, but I ended up going with Kodak T-max 400 (at box speed). Tri-x is my favourite film, but for portrait oriented work on 35mm, I’ve found it to be a bit too rough, especially on compromised lighting conditions, such as inside an old train car, where the exposures may not be exactly optimal per se. I was worried that T-max would render too modern look, but that wasn’t the case. The images turned out beautiful and timeless.

I used my trusty Leica M6 with the beautiful Leica Summaron 35mm f2.8. 35mm focal length was perfect for this kind of environment. Not too tight and not too wide. The summaron lens dates back to the late 50’s and the rendering looks really classic. So freaking beautiful!

I was really picky with my keepers. Out of the two rolls, I ended up choosing only few shots, even though they were some other really nice ones as well. I developed the negatives myself at home, as usual, in D-76 on 1:1 dilution. Scanned with my Epson V330.


My favourite shot of the entire shoot. I was after a cinematic look and this image, in my opinion, really delivers that. The lighting happened to be spot-on too, rendering a beautiful tonal range and atmosphere. Just a beautiful exposure. And once again, Shanona was pretty much perfect model for this kind of imagery. The level of detail in her style makes the shot.
Very stylish pose from behind. We took several variations, but this one just worked perfectly. The light wasn’t the best and the same can be said about the exposure. In compromised exposure, the film grain really gets emphasised, which really makes T-max to look more like Tri-x. This is exactly why I didn’t take Tri-x with me. I knew that there was going to be very dim conditions that would yield pretty rough grain pattern. Who knows, the same shot with Tri-x could’ve been a bit too gritty for this kind of shoot. With a beautiful female model, the balance between graininess and smoothness is delicate. Grit and grain are great for dramatic street photography, where the roughness of the subject matter needs to be underlined, but the same trick doesn’t necessarily apply, when emphasising beauty and style.
This was actually a bit of a candid shot of Shanona while she was doing her make-up. I couldn’t resist of snapping the shot.