The Berlin Kino 400 film keeps attracting analogue artists with its elegant tone and cinematic charms. Head out what black and white lovers Willem van den Heever, Matthieu Aghababian and Bruce Andersen has to say upon testing the Berlin Kino 400 film.
Willem van den Heever on Painting in Grayscale
Hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, photographer Willem van den Heever a.k.a. willemdafilm on Instagram is a wandering artist. The filmmaker, writer, photographer, and nomadic explorer has been experimenting with analogue photography since 2013. Shooting black and white is second nature for him as Willem concentrates on the rawness and realness of reality as black-and-white strips an image from all other distractions such as color. He says, "It can show what lies behind the facade and reveal both something of the subject in front of the lens as well as the photographer. It has a tendency to
bring forth mood and emotion of what was felt, but not necessarily seen when the photograph was taken."
Using his Nikon FM with a 35 mm lens and bringing along with him his 85 mm, he tested the Berlin Kino 400 film with a few intimate portraits of Lore Botha indoors – highlighting the contrast. He loved how the film fitted his shooting style, how the contrast was balanced, and was impressed with the Berlin Kino 400's grain structure akin to professional black and white film stocks.
"However, what I love most about it, is its character. Generally, I'm very critical about my own work, but I'm really satisfied with how these photos came out and a big part is due to shooting it on the Berlin Kino film. It would simply not have had the same feel, motive, and energy to it, had I shot it on a different film. So well done Lomography and thank you. Berlin Kino is definitely one of my new favourite black and white film stocks!"
Willem got the film developed at a lab and scanned it himself on an Epson V600. In the future, he hopes to develop the black and white films himself as it seems most of the labs he encounters can be a bit negligent with handling the celluloid.
Street Life in Silver by Matthieu Aghababian
Parisian packshot photographer and Lomographer Matthieu Aghababian a.k.a. mathieuaghababian got into photography all on his own – self-taught. His style lies more in the simplicity of daily life – and black and white photography was just the best medium for him to communicate emotions. Using his Nikon F100 and a 50 mm f1/8 lens with the Berlin Kino 400 film loaded, he roamed around the streets to capture the everyday sightings of his daily grind – architecture, daily routines of other city-goers, and some usual everyday moments. He got the photographs developed at Nation Photo. Being the black and white film connoisseur he already is, the Berlin Kino 400 film passed his standards for its rich tone quality and gradation.
"The Berlin Kino is really great for street photography, especially during rainy and cloudy days, the grain is smooth and the contrast is really beautiful, I like the grey tones and the true black tones that you can have with this film. Thanks for sending a film for these tests!"
Meanings in Monochrome by Bruce Andersen
An aerospace engineer, and photographer – American film shooter Bruce Andersen at first solid with color photography. When he started getting into black and white to learn developing the shots himself and save money, he didn't expect the immense joy and satisfaction he'll get from the medium. Photography has now become more of his reality than a simple escape. He ruminates, "I really don`t think I have my own style just my own interpretation of a world. I see my work as little stories or dreams that you wake up from and can`t remember the whole thing so you piece it all together with the few memories you have."
With a roll of the Berlin Kino 400, he began shooting indoors while exposing the sprocket holes. For such shoot, he used his Nikon N2020 with the Nikkor 24 mm 2.8 lens -- finding that the wide-angle lens on the 35 mm ratio perfect for some cinematic shots. He pushed the Berlin Kino 400 film up to 1600 ISO and developed the roll at home with Kodak D76 chemicals for 20 minutes in a stock solution. The shoot was taken prior to the quarantine and wasn't a planned series to tie in with the global pandemic, and yet the results were able to elegantly communicate another meaning for him.
" had just recently moved and had feelings of isolation, the best way I knew to occupy some brain space was to take out my camera and photograph just about anything that came to mind. With all of the social distancing and isolation, we are all experiencing now it was interesting to revisit these photos to see and feel how I can relate to them even more now."
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