I love film. I don’t just shoot it, I collect it, scavenge for it, hoard it. I’ve sacrificed half of my refrigerator and freezer for it and still, I can’t get enough. I am a film freak and I’m not afraid to say it. I know it’s obsessive and that I’m an addict.
Like all addicts, I have my preferences. Sure, I’ll shoot just about any kind of film if there’s nothing else around, but if I have a choice, it’s going to be expired colour slide film that I can cross-process to make the image super-saturated, full of story and life.
Early on, I fell in love with the classic, though sadly no longer produced, Agfa RSX-II. I wasn’t taking photos myself yet, but working as a stylist and producer of editorial fashion spreads. I collaborated frequently with a professional photographer friend who shared my fetish for bright, popping colours and images with a distinctly retro Techincolor vibe. He introduced me to RSX-II and once I started taking pictures of my own, I sought it out, buying boxes from the Ukraine, Germany, wherever I could find it. Eventually, supply dried up and because I use the rolls I have left strategically and sparingly, it’s become necessary to make friends with some new film.
I spent a good two years as a Fuji girl, shooting Astia and Velvia almost exclusively. I loved the way cross-processed Astia marked concrete with a greenish tinge when I shot in the city and how when used on rainy, stormy days, xpro Velvia created dramatic red skies that seemed otherworldly.
I dabbled in other films on the side, but remained loyal to my two favourite Fujis until I happened across a man who was selling the remains of his film freezer. He was a tried-and-true Kodak man and with a newly acquired stash of Ektachrome EPP 100 and EPR 64 in my possession, it wasn’t long before I’d switched sides, loving the rich blue skies and eye-popping reds.
What’s next is hard to say, though I’m currently enjoying a wonderful flirtation with some hard-to-find Kodak Ektachrome EPH 1600. But then, there’s that crazy multi-speed Fuji RMS 100/1000. And the vintage-looking graininess of my never-refrigerated Fuji Sensia 100. It’s clear I’ll never be able to kick my film habit or choose just one — I’m an addict, there’s no doubt, a bona fide film freak.
What’s your film fetish? Share your thoughts about your favourite film(s) with me!
Pamela Klaffke is a former newspaper and magazine journalist who now works as a novelist and photographer. Her column appears weekly in the Analogue Lifestyle section of Lomography Magazine.