Man, when I first heard that it was confirmed, Fujifilm ACROS would officially be discontinued this year, needless to say I was bummed. I’ve really grown fond of the look and feel of that film. I started shooting different types of 100 speed film looking for a new replacement once I ran out of Acros. I’d go through them one by one, shooting a couple rolls of each. Each film looked beautiful in it’s own right and it did ease my pain a bit knowing I’d have options for those times I really wanted that clean film look.
I mentioned on episode 21 of the Photography Matters podcast that on the way back from Portland I didn’t have anymore Acros with me so I shot a roll of Kodak Tri-X. I just figured I’d play around with it at the airport, just something to do to have fun while I waited. But honestly I had become so used to the fine grain look of Acros that I didn’t really expect to like the shots… but on the contrary. I really found myself drawn to the grain. Wow, it really clicked some kind of switch inside me and I had found my new film (at least for now) and I’ve been shooting Tri-X ever since.
Wednesday morning I woke up way to early and couldn’t go back to sleep. This happens every now and then with me, but on this day I decided to take advantage of actually being up before the day became unbearably hot here in Southern Nevada. I decided to grab my M6, loaded with Tri-X jump in the car and head out for a short road trip. I don’t know, calling it a road trip might be a bit of a stretch. I headed out around 7am and was back home by about 2pm, I think. But it was nice to get out of Vegas for a while. I drove to Pahrump, NV, home of the late Coast to Coast talk show host, Art Bell.
The amazing part of the day was what was happening in the sky! The clouds were amazing! And there were so many different kinds of formations… fluffy white, wispy, dark storm clouds with thunder, lightening and rain… from unreal beauty to dark storm drama. A very cool day to be in the desert.
Embracing the Grain
I’ve really fallen in love with Tri-X. That high contrasty, grainy look is actually very well suited for the mood that I like to see in my photography. It really is perfect. I’m so glad that I decided to play around with it at the airport that day in Portland, OR. Things couldn’t have worked out more perfectly.
Another thing that I really love about shooting with Tri-X is I can go ahead and push it to 1600. That will give me a little more flexibility shooting with it at night or indoors. If I shoot outside during the day, I always keep a 3-stop neutral density filter in my pocket. That works perfect. It makes it very easy to shoot all day and all night on the same roll of film.
Goodbye Old Friend
I will miss Acros. I’ve still got about five bricks of 35mm in the fridge and about 5 rolls, I think, of 120. I’ll shoot those remaining rolls when I still want that smooth silky look that only ACROS can deliver. For everything else… Kodak Tri-X.
Here are a few of the shots I got during my morning road trip out in the desert on this beautifully weird stormy day. I hope you enjoy them and thanks for reading.
All shots taken with Tri-X, pushed to 1600, Leica M6, Summicron 35mm, B+W 3-stop ND filter.