I’ve been experimenting a bit with film of late, and thought I’d post some comparisons. Although I’ve shot on film years ago, it was always just on compact cameras which provided no real control over anything, and this is my first experience with manual film cameras (an SLR and a rangefinder). I quite like the experience, but find that at my skill level (beginner), digital is still the only format flexible enough to save my mistakes from looking really bad. Anyway, have a look at this comparison of three shots I took of the swimming pool at Tintagel, the boutique hotel down Rosmead Place in Cinnamon Gardens; the first is digital, the other two on film (the digital RAW image has been processed on Camera RAW and then on PS as a JPEG, while the film shots are scanned negatives that have had some contrast and exposure tweaked in PS):
Canon EOS 600D and EF-S 18-200mm lens at 18mm, 1/500, f/3.5, and ISO 100.
Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 and Kodak Tri-X 400 film, with a MC 35-70mm lens, at 35mm, 1/500, and f/3.5.
It’s hard to believe that in a city as small as Colombo, there are still places I haven’t visited in thirty years, but Mutwal in northern Colombo is one of them. I grew up here but haven’t been back since the ’80s. The equivalent of Cinnamon Gardens before coal-fired steamships from the nearby harbour polluted it, Mutwal — and its northern neighbour Mattakkuliya — were cut off from the rest of Colombo during the war. With the fortification of central Colombo, it became just too much of a pain to run through all those checkpoints and detours to visit the other side of the city unless you had to, and so both sides got on with their lives. Now the war’s over, and the Fort is just a quick drive through. And to me, Mutwal looks exactly as I remember it. Muthuwella Mawatha means Pearl Beach Street, by the way. Shot in November 2014, with a Canon EOS 600D and EF-S 18-200mm lens at 140mm, 1/1250, f/5.6, and ISO 400.
Devotee at the Sri Manika Vinayagar Kovil, Bambalapitiya, Colombo. December 2014. Shot with a Leica M6 and Kodak Tri-X 400 film, with a Leica Summicron 50mm f/2 lens, at 1/500 and f/2.
A young woman in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka places a traditional Hindu pottu — or bindhi, as it is better known in India — on her forehead before leaving home for work in the morning. February 2014. Canon EOS 600D and EF 50mm f/1.8 lens at 1/80, f/1.8, and ISO 800.
Courtyard of Tintagel, Rosmead Place, Colombo. Now a boutique hotel, the house was once the residence of Sri Lanka’s former prime minister, SWRD Bandaranaike, who was assassinated at the front door in 1959. Canon EOS 600D and EF-S 18-200mm lens at 18mm, 1/250, f/3.5, and ISO 100.
Colombo, Sri Lanka, December 2014. Shot with a Canon EOS 600D and EF 50mm f/1.8 lens at 1/1000, f/3.5, and ISO 400.
Swimming pool at Tintagel, Rosmead Place, Colombo. Now a boutique hotel, the house was once the residence of Sri Lanka’s former prime minister, SWRD Bandaranaike, who was assassinated at the front door in 1959. Canon EOS 600D and EF-S 18-200mm lens at 20mm, 1/400, f/3.5, and ISO 100.