So I was cleaning up around my apartment and I found this one canister of Kodak EIR 35mm infrared film.
Do you know what this is? It’s Kodak’s ultra-rare color infrared film. This stuff is like finding a Black Lotus card in a Magic: The Gathering pack.
But here’s the problem. I don’t know when I bought this. And I don’t know how fresh the film is. And I don’t know how many exposures are available. It’s infrared film, I don’t even DARE open the canister in bright light, lest I ruin the sensitive film inside.
This is the photographic equivalent of Russian Roulette. All I know is that I have a black plastic canister with EIR film in it.
So what do I do with this?
What do you think I’m going to do with it, bake it in a quiche?
I went into my darkroom (darkroom = 3:00 a.m. bathroom), packed the roll of film in my Leica M3 (“Leica Green”), added a yellow filter to the Leica’s Summicron lens, and decided it was time for a photo walk.
Now I figured that the best way to use this film was to bracket it. Take several shots with different exposure times, allowing for the film’s unknown age and storage. My photo subjects needed a totally bright, sunny day – so I chose the bridge at Washington Park, the castle at Thurlow Terrace, and a couple of other locales.
I will estimate for 24 exposures. If I happen to get a 25th exposure … then I’ll try to snag a couple more photographic subjects.
Saturday morning. I’m in Washington Park, and I walk up to one of the stone mansions on Edgewood Place.
There’s so much magenta in this picture, I almost expect Dr. Frank N Furter to tell it and Columbia to go assist Riff Raff.
Now for a visit to another stone mansion, this time on Thurlow Terrace.
And you can see what this film does. Green vegetation turns bright pink. Skies become a deep blue. And the details to stone and to wood … wow.
Okay, let’s take a walk over to Washington Park and photograph the bridge, shall we?
I mean, you can see the wood grain in the bridge walkway, that’s how deep this infrared film goes into the picture.
How about one from the shore, trying to get the bridge in profile?
Hmm. Next time I do this, I need to step farther back. It would look so much better with the entire bridge from shore to shore.
I took a few other pictures – mostly of some ducks and ducklings at one edge of the park, but I’ve captured ducks in infrared before.
I was right to bracket the film; my best shots came with a shutter speed of 1/100 and 1/50, with an f/stop of 16 on a sunny day. The other pictures were either too dark ro too bleached to get a good impression.
That being said, I did get some decent shots out of this EIR. So much so, in fact, that I may come back this weekend and re-take some of these pictures with my medium format Rolleiflex Automat MX camera and a nice batch of Kodak Aerochrome color infrared medium format film.
That, and I still have a roll of CIR 120 Russian infrared print film around here.
Might must make a day of it, if the day is sunny.