Italy in Black and White (35mm film)

Grace and I headed to Italy for three weeks on honeymoon in August – postponed from starting immediately after our wedding in January so that we could catch some proper sun.

We went all over, from Rome to Florence, to Pisa, to the Cinque Terre, to Valdagno (in the mountains), to Venice. It was great. The style and texture of the walls of the buildings were particularly amazing.

Girl in Italy - 35mm film

I shot a bunch of film whilst we were away, mostly in colour. The best thing about film is how it reproduces the deep blues in the sky after all, and it would be a crime not to make the most of that on a trip like this. Those rolls are off getting processed in the lab (because I’m now far too lazy to develop it myself), and I can’t wait to see what they’re like. They better be good.

Venice - No Toilette Grazie

Anyway, more commentary on the latter part of the trip will come when they get returned. In the meantime, I shot a few rolls of black and white Rollei RPX400 whilst we were there too. It seemed particularly fitting for overcast days in Venice – which turned out to be our favourite place.

Venice, Italy - black and white

Gondola, Italy, Venice

Venice Italy 35mm

It was only after processing these films that I discovered the whole batch have some deep and annoying scratches from when I bulk rolled the stuff a few months back, which mean I’m going to have to chuck or donate the rest of them. It’s just one of the pitfalls of shooting film – making you question why you even bother in the first place. Then again, at least I don’t have to put up with sensor dust. Now that’s annoying.

Venice Italy

Rome, Italy

Problems aside, Italy is beautifully photogenic, and I really enjoyed battering through a pile of film again – both 120 and 35mm. The digital cameras did make a bit of an appearance, but not too much.

Stephen Blythe, Italy

Blonde girl Italy 35mm

I’m debating the purchase of an old Leica M2 or M3 camera now, which don’t seem to go for outrageous prices on the used market. It’s still a bit of a stretch to justify at the moment though, so we’ll see how it goes. I just have an urge to make use of one of the earlier M bodies, specifically the chrome ones – and make a bigger effort to shoot more black and white film. After scrapping the duffers of course.

Venice, Italy, Gondola

Venice, Italy

There’s just something wonderful about the whole process.

Girl with Yashica

Boat in Venice Italy

Venice Bridge, Italy

As much of a pain in the ass that it can be.

Venice Italy

Rome, Italy

Venice, Italy

More to come from Italy soon.

Venice boat canal

blonde girl italy

Bird italy

Gondola Italy

Black and white fountain

Jewish Ghetto Venice

All shot on a Leica M6, mostly with a Jupiter 12 35mm f2.8. Occasionally with a Canon 50mm f0.95, and a Color Skopar 21mm f4.

4 thoughts on “Italy in Black and White (35mm film)

  1. Honestly mate, these are real great. Looking forward to seeing the next batches.

  2. Lovely shots! I was going to say I didn’t see any scratches but then I noticed a bunch of horizontal lines. Are those the scratches? Adds character!

    1. Stephen McLeod August 28, 2015 — 16:52

      Aye, those horrible black lines. They’re not too bad in these pics, but took ages to photoshop them out. There’s quite a lot of them. Ah well, you live and learn!

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