5 Frames… Of a Montreal Winter on Fuji Velvia 100 (120 format / EI 100 / Rolleicord Vb)

“Good digicam,” stated a passing Montrealer as I appeared up from the waist-level viewfinder of my Rolleicord Vb

I’d simply photographed their native depanneur (comfort retailer) within the Vieux-Rosemont neighbourhood of Montreal. I had sought out this depanneur particularly as a consequence of its massive blue signal which jutted out of a residential constructing. 

Thankfully for me, the solar and blue sky had been out on this chilly day in early March. It was most likely simply concerning the fifth sunny day in Montreal this previous Winter, so I felt particularly fortunate to be hunched over my digicam on that avenue nook.

Naturally, I responded to the fast-walking Montrealer who had simply complimented my efforts with an earnest, “Thanks.”

Loading Fuji Velvia 100 into my Rolleicord is all the time an event for me. It marks the mixture of my favorite slide movie inventory with my favorite medium format digicam.

This particular Rolleicord was gifted to me by my aunt, because it was supposedly sitting dormant in a closet for many years. In the meantime, I used to be launched to Velvia for the primary time when Downtown Digital camera, my native lab in Toronto, was actually gifting away free rolls of expired inventory. Both approach, I really feel fairly lucky to have entry to the thrilling Velvia-Rolleicord combo (particularly given Velvia 100’s discontinuation within the US). I additionally really feel like I owe a shoutout to Boréalis Picture Lab, which developed and scanned these footage.

As I set off to spend the Winter semester in Montreal, I packed two rolls of Velvia. It was the one color movie I had with me, as the remaining was 35mm CineStill BwXX on my Konica C35MFD, akin to my New York trip in 2021. I hoped to seize the older structure and storefronts of Montreal’s neighbourhoods in color. I usually battle to seek out antiquated scenes at residence in Toronto, however Montreal had no scarcity of locations that match my aesthetic. 

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When capturing color, the presence of a blue sky is all the time crucial to me. Blue is all the time the primary color I search, which is why Velvia is such a particular movie for me. Not one of the movies that I’ve tried have rendered a extra putting blue than Velvia. The closest rivals can be Kodak Ektar and CineStill’s new 400D. Nevertheless, Ektar’s blues are inclined to lean in the direction of teal in my expertise, whereas I’ve solely shot two rolls of 400D up to now. Velvia’s blues virtually develop into purple, and appear to create a pure vignette for pictures in daylight. 

A notable outlier on this collection is a shot of a produce market’s facade on Rue Masson (body 1). It was the final publicity I took on that roll. As I retreated to the bus cease, I couldn’t resist the heat created by the sunshine on the glass. I needed to wait a couple of moments as pedestrians made their approach by me on the sidewalk. As normal, the Rolleicord obtained its fair proportion of glances as I arrange and targeted my body earlier than tripping the shutter when the best way was clear. 

I sincerely advocate individuals to shoot Velvia and shoot slide movie the place they will. After all, the publicity latitude just isn’t for the faint of coronary heart. In a approach, Velvia’s limits drive me to stay to blue skies and sunny days, since I’d basically be unable to shoot it in cloudier situations. 

Transferring ahead, I’d look to shoot Velvia in a studio setting below managed lighting. This might be uncharted territory for me in each sense of the phrase. Nevertheless, the Summer time of 2023 ought to provide me a wealth of photograph alternatives round Canada, and maybe past. 

Thanks for studying,

– Joe

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