Shooting people with Velvia 50

I found an old post of mine that I never finished, just forgot.  These pictures were taken on Easter Sunday 2014From what I’ve heard, Velvia 50 isn’t supposed to be good for people.  Supposedly it turns their skin too reddish.  I think they’re right, but it didn’t stop me from trying, and I took a chance on our overcast Easter Sunday.

Unfortunately, like a fool, I used too low a shutter speed and ended up botching some of my better shots.  Let that be a lesson to you:

100mm f/8 1/60  This man gave me a whole bunch of Canon FD lenses (used in the landscape pictures above) and a T-50 body.  As you can see, he’s now joined the enemy, but at least his old stuff won’t be going to waste.

100mm f/8 1/60  So maybe a bit unnaturally reddish, but not overly so?  These two guys actually work outside for a living, so without having them right in front of me they may look like this in real life, if they had just had a really bad sunburn.



I assume that the day being overcast helped rein the colors in a bit.  Now that I know better, I’ll stick to shooting landscapes with Velvia 50, but still, it was worth a try.

Honestly, I don’t know if I’d consider color reversal film to be “affordable” in the sense that color negative film is.  For starters, rolls of film cost $15-20.  On top of that, processing on that one roll cost me $20 (a package deal that also included scanning, slide mounting, and a set of 4×6 proofs).  And I had to wait the better part of a week, too (the camera store had to send it to their main location in Boulder).  Add that to the fact that you really have to know what you’re doing…so not for beginners, then.  However, if the results justify the means (and that is one of the main reasons to use film), then it’ll be a good thing to use.

I kind of liken shooting Velvia 50 to making a bet double-or-nothing: get your exposure off and you miss the shot, but nail it and you’ll have a beautiful-looking image the like of nothing you’ve seen before.  Still, I’d keep this more for landscape work given the choice.  I’ve shot two rolls of Provia 100F which has a much more forgiving latitude (for a slide film) which looks great for people, and not too bad for landscape.  I really want to try Velvia 100 as well, from what I’ve read it’s like Velvia 50 but with less wild reds, much better for people but still more vivid than Provia.  Still, I’ve got 6 rolls of Ferrania Chrome that should be arriving sometime in Spring, so that’s the slide film I’ll be using for a while.

To make this as affordable as possible, I used (refrigerated) expired film that was half off; I think it looks great, nothing wrong with the film.  Except for the 100mm lens that I bought from the camera store, all my Canon equipment has been gifted to me.  Here are other posts that are from this same roll:

Slide Film: Bracket Your Shots
UCCS Going Green
Shooting Daylight Film inside (without a Filter) Pt. II


1 thought on “Shooting people with Velvia 50

  1. Joe when shooting slide film we can dust off our digital camera to proof our shot if you want to make every shot count. Proofing is the only thing I have found use for my digital now. The last roll of kodachrome was shot this way. Great post as always.


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