吉姆 JIM HOFMAN | Photography Faces & places in China

Analog China & Singapore | 1.19

After resisting the urge to reenter the world of film photography for the last two years, I finally decided to jump in with both feet. My Christmas gift to myself was a mint condition Nikon F2 (vintage 1976) film camera from Ebay. Then a few weeks later I was poking around a used camera shop in Shenzhen and found a Mamiya 645 camera for a great price. So after buying the medium format camera, I was traveling with 3 camera bodies (including my Fuji digital camera) and a half dozen lenses. I’ll never do that again.

Before I left for China I bought the gear and chemicals required to develop black and white film. I processed both the B&W and color film myself, which was the first time I had done that in nearly 40 years. My shooting style certainly changed because I had to slow down and both focus the manual lens and meter the exposure. All of these photos were shot on either Tri-X Pan (ASA 400) pushed to 1600 or Fujicolor 200C (ASA200). The grain on the 120 negatives was reasonable, but the B&W 35mm negatives were pretty bad. I need to adjust to shooting with the low ASA 35mm film so I don’t get grain the size of golf balls.

After all of the film was developed the negatives were scanned on an Epson V600 scanner, then processed in Lightroom and Photoshop. The digital darkroom is much easier than using an enlarger and trays of chemicals.

The power plant in the photos is the Ninghai Thermal Power Plant, which is a coal-fired power plant supplying energy to a huge swath of Zhejiang province. It’s an imposing sight on the horizon and can be seen from miles away. To get some of these shots I had to stand in someone’s vegetable garden.

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