Even more Velvia goodness


Yes, that’s right…I can’t think of anything else to say, so I’m going to blather on about Fuji’s Velvia slide film. In my defense, it’s Saturday, and this slide film is absolutely amazing. Well, I think it is, at any rate; YMMV. Oh, and for added fun, today y’all get a double feature! Yes, two – that’s right, TWO – photos for today.



Okay, okay, so there is, indeed, a method to my madness – at least for today, that is. As you can see, these are both rather old, hand-painted advertisements on the side of the same building; their adjacency drove my decision to post two photos today. The building itself is on Granby Street in downtown Norfolk, Virginia (my hometown). Apart from the fact that they’re old, and an example of a now infrequently-practiced skill, the ads themselves are deteriorating (as you can tell); if you walk up to them, you’ll see that they’re flaking off and some of the pigment has become powder that can easily wash off. [1] If this weren’t bad enough, I have seen a proposal to infill the vacant lot adjacent to this building with some new construction; I’m not sure if the recent real estate implosion will affect these plans, but it is a fair bet that sooner or later, someone will become interested in doing so. [2]

As for the film itself, one of the other reasons I decided to post these two photos is that you can see from the shrubbery in the lower portion of the photos that it does not render dark subjects particularly well. Part of this is likely due to the absurdly high light contrast that afternoon (as you can see, it was a rather bright day, particularly in direct sunlight); I’ll need to shoot the film some more to see if this trend continues in other settings. Still, for brightly-lit subjects, the film does render subtle tonal variations quite well (see, for example, the clouds and the variations in tone contained therein). [3] Note also that I under-exposed these shots by a full f-stop, [4] so that might also account for the relative lack of definition in the shrubs. I am currently shooting another roll with a more sophisticated camera, [5] and I’m underexposing the shots by a half f-stop, so we’ll see how these turn out.



[1]: I showed these ads to an out-of-town friend who was visiting, since he has a fondness for such things; he proceeded to walk up to the ads and run his finger along the surface. He then proceeded to comment on the state of deterioration evident in these signs – after contributing to the aforementioned deterioration himself! Needless to say, I had muttered an offhand remark about the irony of his statement…

[2]: For those of you who don’t know, downtown Norfolk has experienced a renaissance in the past decade or so. The municipal government has undertaken a number of initiatives over this amount of time, all of which have been aimed at revitalizing the downtown area that, prior to this time period, had been in decline. Now that the area has become more active, any vacant property, particularly during the real estate boom, was fair game for redevelopment.

[3]: This is exactly as advertised on the box. Okay, it doesn’t actually say that on the box itself; the claim is made in the product literature. The box has statements like “Price does not include processing” and “Protect from heat and x-ray.” I suppose these sorts of statements are important, too.

[4]: This should probably indicate just how ridiculously bright it was that day, since the rest of the image still looks normal, even though the image is underexposed!

[5]: As with the previous scans I posted here, I shot these two photos with a rather unsophisticated viewfinder camera. I am currently shooting another roll through a modern autofocus SLR, so we’ll see how the film performs in the newer camera.


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