I haven’t really shot much film since the first time we visited Japan, back in 2016. On that trip I took a bunch of pictures on 35mm, but only really did so half-heartedly – sticking mostly to digital. Because of that, the results were a bit patchy, and didn’t really quite capture what I wanted. That was pretty disheartening, and I fell out of love with film a bit as a result. On the most recent adventure to Japan, I almost didn’t take any film cameras at all. However, I reasoned that since I had the time to really explore the city, I would have one last bash at shooting ‘analogue’. If I couldn’t get shots I liked from a full month in Tokyo of all places, then it would surely be time to accept defeat, and move on.
As things turned out, I’m really glad I gave 35mm one last chance. As the days went on I found myself using my digital cameras less and less, rediscovering how different it feels to just shoot film, and film alone. Rather than trying to ‘document’ the trip, it felt more natural to just take pictures of things that I found interesting – free from the pressure of having to sit and edit them that same day or week.
Below are a selection of the black and white pictures from the month – shot on either a Vivitar 35ES, or black Canon 7 with 35mm f2 lens. I bit the bullet and dug some of my precious last few rolls of (very expired) Neopan 1600 out for the occasion, as well as some fresher Kodak Tri-X 400. They were developed at home in Ilfotec DD-X, and scanned by me as I sat and re-watched Game of Thrones from the start.
3 thoughts on “Japan 2019: 35mm Black and White”
Not bad. I love how raw they feel (no pun intended).
I really like the look and atmosphere of these Steve, very different from the colour photos you posted previously. You’d think with all the colour in Japan the only way to shoot would be colour, but the b/w work just as well, if not better.
Thanks Dan! I thought the same, and wasn’t planning on shooting much black and white while there, but after the first few weeks I got a few rolls of TriX and it gave a pretty different perspective. I have a whole pile of colour 35mm film I still have to develop and scan, so keep an eye out for that 🙂