In the world of “film is dead” and “who still shoots that stuff ?” and “digital is so much better and easier” and “where do you even get that developed, still?” is the fact that Harman, producers of Ilford and Kentmere black and white films and papers, just developed and released their own color film from scratch. In 2023.
Yes, it’s experimental. The only remaining color film company is Kodak and they have the market pretty much cornered. This won’t likely affect the big K except to maybe increase production and bring prices down on film stocks again. Seriously, $9 for Kodak Gold ? That’s drugstore film at pro prices!!!
Anyway, I bought 4 rolls with the intent to shoot two and keep two. The proceeds from this film sale are reportedly going to be used for R&D into the color space for Harman. I think this is a really good start for anybody.
The film itself is rather interesting. It’s a yellow emulsion instead of an amber one, and the end result is a color negative on a black and white substrate. It’s damn cool engineering. The photos pop with reds and oranges taking the crown, and subdued greens and blues just chillin in the back of the room.
It’s not a hard film to shoot if you have a meter and some flat contrast. If you’re shooting in bright sun you’ll likely get blown highlights even at box speed, but the cool thing is the amount of info recorded in the highlights means a quick run through Photoshop or Lightroom adjusting levels will bring the info back into the picture.
It has a lot of contrast. Loads of it. I shot most of this at ISO 160 using the Reflx Lab shoe-mounted light meter. It has given me good results so far. However, if you lose the shadows on this film, you lose ’em. I tried to bring the shadow info back but it just over-saturated the image with grain.
Which brings me to the next part of this film, the grain. It’s big, lovely, almost artistic and kitschy, and there’s no way around it. Shoot for the film you’ve loaded and don’t expect a lot of fine detail. However, if you’re into that Lomo style of photography, this film is right up the alley.
I really don’t have much more to say about the film other than “would buy again.” It’s a hearty film that lends itself well to overcast days. Seeing the film develop on what is clearly black and white film base is just fascinating, and the results make me smile. Smiling is important (except for subjects, they need to stop smiling in every picture, it’s just weird.)
All that said, here are a few more from the photo walk. I am saving the last two for some portrait work and maybe a car show. I might have to order some more. 😉