6.11.2017

Fun with Film: Cross Processed Ektachrome Professional Plus

It seems to be a common problem with me to have an excess of out of date slide film.  Sometimes, I will take the chance and try to process it in E6 and see if I can do some tweaking in post processing to get an image that is fairly neutral.  While this generally works to some degree, I'd much rather shoot fresh (or recently expired) E6 film for conventional photography.

Which leaves me to use the building stockpile of 20-30 year old slide film for experimentation.  And what would be easier than cross processing some of it in C-41 chemistry in the midst of a color negative run.  

Such was what I did with a roll of "Ektachrome Pro Plus" that I had in my possession.  Loading it up in my more recent variant of a Gevabox camera, I fired off 8 shots handily on a return trip home on a fairly sunny afternoon.  This would be my first color photography in a Gevabox, and while I didn't expect a faithful rendition, I did look forward to seeing what it could manage.

In Mount Airy, MD, I took a snapshot of the former train depot with the caboose in the distance.  Teh result was pretty decent for a fairly limited camera on an expired film with a narrow exposure latitude. 


This old Chevrolet logo has interested me since first seeing it, but I never could get over the modern awnings that sort of made a really vintage looking photo impossible.  As I was passing this anyway, I figured it was time to get a photo of it anyway. 

Old National Road milestones have long been a favorite fascination of mine.  This one peers out from the brush west of Mount Airy.  The green rendering of this film in brighter light is surprisingly nice for the cross processing. 


A stop in New Market for a shot under modest overcast provided a surprisingly decent result from the basic Gevabox.  Contrast and shadow detail are well represented. 


A slight blue green cast pervades this image, but the result is still fairly accurate.  Taken under the wider aperture setting, the edge detail falls off in this shot. 


Trying to shoot the Frederick Fairgrounds Building through the fence proved somewhat successful.  The building fits in the frame while none of the fence obscured the image, but the horizon orientation is markedly off.  


This time, a bit more blue eases into the image.  I began to realize by the end of the roll, that this was more or less a way to test the image characteristics of the Gevabox more than to get anything wonderful from this expired film. 


Though the top of the image shows some blur, the rest of the field is remarkably sharp for such a simple camera.  I didn't expect this much from this camera. 

I've realized upon developing this and another roll of E-6 film in C-41 chemistry that I'm more or less over the whole "X-Pro" experience for the sake of cross processing.  It can be time consuming to scan and get the right color balance, and still it often seems to look more like a regular image with a sickly cast to it. 

That said, I'm not always in possession of a lot of C-41 film, particularly in medium format, but have a decent amount of old E-6 film.  Rather than tossing this film away, I'd rather use it in a fashion similar to what I've done here, and if something wonderful happens to result from it, great.  If not, so be it.  At least it provides an accessible avenue with which I can shoot a few more frames of film and not have to incur any more financial outlay.

From what I've discovered, some films and subjects seem to work really well with cross processing, and finding that right combination requires some luck and fortitude that only occurs on occasion with me.  This will hardly be the last X-Pro roll I shoot or feature, but I'm wondering if I might need to take a few more chances out of my comfort one with these types of rolls in the future.