Images shot on Kodak Ultramax 400 in Yashica Electro 35 GSN
In my experience, there are few things that work as well to get the photographic creative motivation going than taking a trip to somewhere you don’t live.
That’s exactly what happened recently when I went to Wuxi, China, for a weekend. Two and a half rolls of film shot and a bunch of images that I’m very happy to share with you here.
I’ll try to get them written up as quickly as I can, in between everything else I have on my to-do list. Not that I’m complaining about that, or ever would. As I’ll get into later, it’s better than not having these posts to produce.
For now though, let’s get into some of the photographs I came back from Wuxi with, shot on Kodak Ultramax 400.
My first roll of another new film
Kodak Ultramax 400 really isn’t a new film, but it was new to me when I shot this roll. Having already seen the results from the similar Kodak Gold 200, I knew a little of what to expect. Namely the bright and warm colours.
What I needed from Wuxi, to help me get the most out of this film, was bright and warm weather. Fortunately, Wuxi delivered.
This first batch of shots is from the Nanchang Street area, which is one of the main tourist spots in town. As it was a festival weekend and national holiday, there were plenty of people to include in the photographs, which I prefer over empty landscapes.
As expected, the Kodak colours really came out in the sun, and the general niceness of Wuxi does too. Just looking at these is making me want to go back, yet again, one day.
Chong’an Temple and Chengzhong Park
Another decent spot in Wuxi for some street photography is around Chong’an Temple and Chengzhong Park. Thankfully, it’s only a steady 30-minute walk away from Nanchang Street.
Despite the name, Chong’an Temple is these days more of a retail area than a religious destination. There is a temple there, but it’s surrounded on all sides by shops and shoppers. Nanchan Temple, back near Nanchang Street, would be a better bet if you wanted to get spiritual.
Chengzhong Park is nearby and is a nice place to take a break with a drink and a bite to eat, when the weather is as good as I had it.
Despite it being pretty small by Chinese park standards, there’s plenty of opportunity to fire off some film and catch some colours there too. You’ve got the obligatory old folk chilling out, a boating lake, and a little pond where the kids can feed some Koi carp.
Why you don’t have to do photography
I mentioned at the top how the trip to Wuxi added a few more blog posts to my to-do list, and also how I would never complain about that.
Nobody is forcing me to keep this website up. I do it because I want to, not because I have to. This reminded me of something I heard recently, and is something to consider when you’re faced with something you feel you have to do.
I’m not sure exactly where I heard it, but a quick Google led me to this post by Michael Hyatt outlining it. The basic premise is this: whenever you find yourself saying you have to do something, change it to you get to do it instead.
I took a break halfway through writing this post and took my dog Jimmy for a walk. I could lament that I have to do that when I’m busy, but the truth is I’m lucky I get to do it. Without going too deep, there’ll come a day when I’ll be wishing he was still here to walk with me.
Making photographs and writing about them here isn’t something I have to do. It’s something I get to do. I’m lucky enough to have the time, freedom, and physical ability to do so.
If you do too, don’t waste it. Go out and catch that colour. If you think you’re interested in doing so on Ultramax 400, you can learn more about it in this review, or pick some up from Amazon, from B&H Photo, or from Analogue Wonderland.
Or maybe it’s all too gaudy and you prefer black and white. That’s cool too. Either way, go #shootfilmmakesomething. 🙂
- 4 Rolls / 36 Exposures / 400 Speed
- 35mm / ISO 400
- Process C-41
… p.s. if you enjoyed this post on colour film photography in Wuxi and think others will too, why not share or pin it?
4 thoughts on “Catching Colour in Wuxi, China [Kodak Ultramax 400]”
I am completely new to film, and I ended up here after looking up some reviews on kodak ultramax 400. So far I am finding your website incredibly insightful (without feeling lost and out of my depth like many other photography, especially film, blogs).
Upon seeing your photos, I immediately recognised Wuxi/Jiangsu, and felt a wave of excitement and nostalgia. I actually spent 7 years growing up in Suzhou and haven’t been back for years due to COVID. So thank you for sharing these wonderful photos, it was a pleasant surprise. And I shall definitely be trying ultramax 400.
Thank you for the kind words, Lisa. It’s always nice to hear when people take something away from what I do on here. 🙂
There’s a hell of a lot that I don’t know about film or have no experience of compared to many other people. I haven’t yet developed any of my own, for example, so I just stick to what I know and what I like to do. Which is shooting and creating rather than getting too bogged down in technical details.
I lived in Shanghai for a few years but visited Wuxi a number of times and always enjoyed my time there. A lovely place, so scenic and relaxed, and a nice change of pace from Shanghai.
Keep shooting and reading and learning what you can about film and photography in general. It’s great that more and more people are getting into it, I think. 🙂
I love the colors! These also feel like a different style than your other photos. And I feel the same way. I am lucky I have the time and resources to do photography simply because I like it.
Thank you Emily. Yep, was blessed with good light for these so great colours from the Kodak. I prefer colour to monochrome anyway, really. I think shooting somewhere else (not Shanghai) helped me get a different feel too, be that the environment or just being mentally refreshed. Either way, I was happy with how they came out. 🙂