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  • Writer's pictureMadeleine Muzdakis

Experiment: 85 mm Portraits in Low Light with 100 ISO Film

When I went on a beach vacation in late June, I brought along a roll of Fuji Acros 100. I never ended up using it while travelling, and the roll experienced some pretty hot days. In early August, I had a friend over to casually use up the possibly-damaged roll. I shot it with my trusty Canon EOS Rebel G, which was my mom's in the late 1990s. I grabbed the camera without realizing my 85 mm f1.8 was still attached. However, this lens offered a cool opportunity to experiment. It is quite new to me, and I had yet to use it with film.

My lovely friend Gwen is one of my favorite models, always down for a photo walk! It was already seven pm when we started, and we were quickly losing even the Golden Hour light. We wandered in search of glowing golden spots in the beautiful neighborhood of Park Ave in Rochester, New York. My take-aways from this roll are below.

1) I love ISO 100 film, and definitely want to try Fuji Acros again. I was just trying to use up this unrefrigerated and possible damaged roll before my move to NYC. Obviously, a higher ISO would have offered more range given the fading light. We therefore had to get creative.

2) I need to explore texture more in my black-and-white work. My super sharp Canon lenses are amazing in black and white. I love the textured botanical backgrounds of several of these shots, especially with the bokeh. I hope to play with texture more.

3)My Canon Rebel is the best, but it's autofocus is not super fast. I assume it is the camera not the lens (which is new as of December), but more attempts will be needed.

4)Always a great time getting creative with portraiture. I am so glad to have moved closer to friends who are tolerant of my camera experimenting.

Life Update: I am beginning law school! I am thrilled to start this new chapter, and hope to capture some of it on film. :)

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