The efke chill

Last week, the winter snow coated the ground, a blanket of white fluffy chillness.

And I wanted to capture it.

Of late, my Kodak Medalist II camera has become my “go-to” film shooter for 120 and 620 film.  And with that in mind, I wanted to test out the camera with one of my remaining rolls of black and white efke film.  Efke film – which was manufactured in Croatia until a couple of years ago – produces a beautiful high-contrast black and white product.  One of my most successful pictures, Midnight at the Palace Theater, was produced with efke product.

When the Fotokemika plant in Croatia stopped manufacturing efke, I purchased as much as I could before the prices rose to obscene speculation levels.  I still have some 35mm and 120 efke in my holdings – mostly ISO 100 and ISO 25 – and I want to use that film only in the most special of moments.

Last Saturday… the snow still blanketed the Adirondacks.  I had rerolled a pack of ISO 100 efke film onto a 620 spool… and if I was ever going to use the Kodak Medalist II for shooting B&W film that wasn’t 40-year-old Verichrome Pan, this was the best time to test out my product.

Chilly, chilly cold.  But I went to my Adirondack photographic honey hole.

And straight out of the camera… I got this.

Winter pond, Adirondacks
Adirondack winter pond. Kodak Medalist iI camera, efke 100 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

And it works.  I should tweak the highlights to get more details in the snow – maybe I should have used a yellow filter.  Next time I will do that.  But for now, I’ve achieved success.

Somewhere in my dreams, I have a concept.  A concept of snow and leaves, of brilliant sunshine and warm stars.  The concept appears in my slumber, and even when I try to remember it as I wake, I can only remember a tiny fragment.  It’s as if my mind is creating something in my dreamtime, and then hiding all the notes and results before I wake up.

But one day that concept will reveal itself.  Certainly in the moment when I least expect it to reveal.

And for now… I have this picture.  A step forward in the chill.

To wait for the thaw.