“Flamenco de barrio” with film

Paloma Fantova

Lately, for various reasons, I had left a band boy to shoot only in film at concerts and other shows. The speed, practicality and apparent economy of digital photography make one comfortable and a little lazy.

But ever worrying, I have decided that it is necessary to push again (where possible) to shoot in film. And why? Well these are my reasons:

  • Contained efficiency: When shooting with a film one forces oneself not to shoot in order to shoot. One tends to think a lot more every time one’s finger presses the trigger. This makes one more focused and much more synthetic. It is also greatly appreciated when it comes to editing.
  • Overcoming and learning: While cameras help more and more in all technical aspects when doing work; Higher and higher sensitivities, noise reduction, dizzying speeds, wonderful focusing systems, etc. it’s also true that they make it (at least for me) less interesting. I don’t know if I’ll be a masochist, but knowing that I have technical limitations (low-sensitivity film, manual focus, etc.) excites me, motivates me, and makes technique very important.
  • Expression: In addition to the magic of the grain of silver photography, the contrasts and effects that one can achieve with only the triangle of speed, aperture and sensitivity are, always from my point of view, very difficult to achieve otherwise way So, experience the drama of the high contrasts, the backlighting, the silhouette of the bodies and the way of interpreting reality looking through a hole.

This last weekend I was able to attend, as every year, the cycle “Flamenco de barrio” that the people of Comando Lunares put on in different locations in Nou Barris. I don’t understand too much of this musical style, and I don’t always connect with it musically. However, for taking pictures, I find it magical and totally fantastic. A lot of expression, contained movements, also abrupt ones, many faces of real feeling, of effort, of sadness… A lot of work and a lot of “duende”.

I think it’s a perfect time to enjoy taking pictures. I, with the argument I described in the first part, chose my favorite team; The Leica M6 with a Voigtlander 35mm f/1.7. This allows me to shoot at very low speeds, 1-35s. 1-15s and even 1-8s. Also, the 1.7 aperture helps to be able to capture the smallest crack of light.

As for the film, I always vary. I was very loyal to Ilford Delta 400 and loved pushing it to 800, 1600 and also 3200 ISO sensitivities. But for too long Ilford and most manufacturers have been raising prices dramatically. I also really enjoy using the Rollei RPX, in its 100 and 400 ISO version, usually forced as well. But a film that is always there, with a reasonable price and exceptional quality, is the classic AGFA apx 400 (also the 100). Lately, I’ve also been playing around with Fomapan 100 with extreme forcings, with some pretty interesting results.

But hey, better than words we always have images. Let’s see what you think of the result with these conditions.

In the instant photographs of the flamenco tableau on Saturday November 11 at the Casal de barri de Prosperitat with: