Of Fuji Reala and Bluebells

Last week I posted the following picture to Twitter, saying that it was the last frame of my last roll of Fuji Reala film, and that the thought of that made me sad. I liked Reala for the way it handled blues and greens. While it was good for portraits I found it worked very well for landscapes and woodland pictures. Reala tended to give things a slightly cold blue-ish tint which made it perfect for scenes like this, where Kodak Portra is a little too warm. I have to look for a Reala replacement now.

I don't profess to have used enough film to develop a real understanding of how one or another of them works, or what might be possible with them, but what I have found is that the limitation of having to use the film that is in the camera, or in your pocket, rather than choosing a setting on the spur of the moment, is actually helpful. It makes you slow down and make decisions consciously, often hours or, if travelling, days before you take a shot. I like the discipline imposed by these limitations.

So I'm sad about Reala. My return to film is quite recent, so I never got to know it well, but I was enjoying having a range of film around, picking out a roll according to my mood, or the weather, or where I might be going. It felt a bit like choosing wine or beer according to the occasion. There are still plenty of different films around, and companies like Lomography are actually making quirky new ones, but I had work for Reala to do, and now it's gone.

Honister Pass

In the week before Easter we made an attempt to climb Great Gable, a mountain that looms over Borrowdale in the Lake District, from the slightly easier starting point of the slate workings at the top of the Honister Pass. In the end low cloud, and much lower temperatures than expected, meant that we turned back early. But on the way down the sun came out, lifting the blue of the slate on the slopes above Honister. This is another image made with the Sigma DP2 Merrill, which, as I get to know it better, is turning into a favourite camera (I wish it had a viewfinder though).

This image is part of the Northern Exposure 2015 exhibition at the Portico Library, Manchester, throughout July, 2015. All of my featured images can be viewed here.