Nothing New Under the Sun [CineStill 800T]

Images shot on CineStill 800T in Yashica Electro 35 GSN

I’ve never really thought about this before, but it seems one way you could categorise film stocks is by whether they have an inherent influence on what gets shot on them or not.

There are plenty of general purpose ones that don’t. Kodak’s main consumer-grade colour range and Ilford’s monochrome equivalents spring to mind. You see all sorts of things shot on these.

And then you have the films that sometimes appear to guide the photographer to certain subjects. Pastel portraits with Portra 400. Shiny vintage cars with Ektachrome E100. Moody street photography with JCH 400.

And, of course, neon signs with this tungsten balanced CineStill film. Which leads us nicely to the photographs I’m about to present. Mostly featuring that very subject, shot on that very stock. Because there’s nothing new under the sun.

CineStill 800T Galleries: Kings of Neon

In case you’re not aware, the big T in CineStill 800T stands for tungsten, which refers to its white balance. In simpler terms, that means it’s designed to be shot under artificial rather than natural light.

That could be most indoor places, and often is. Concert venues, diners and multi-storey car parks are great locations for it, what with the levels and style of artificial light they all have.

However, a lot of CineStill 800T shooters have been drawn like moths to neon lights and street signs too. Any search online will show you this.

Following the crowd isn’t my favourite thing to do with my photography, but I was interested to see how my work would stack up with what’s already out there. Plus, that kind of stuff obviously gets eyeballs.

So that’s what I spent a portion of this roll capturing. Not all of it, but I wanted to include some. I guess the neon led a man.

Nothing new even under the sun

While the neon and street signs are pretty unoriginal for CineStill 800T shots, the nothing new under the sun saying might not actually apply to them. Because, if anything, they were shot under the moon.

Fear not, though, as I spent some of the other 36 exposures I had in broad daylight.

If you shoot 800T under the sun, it’s recommended you do so at ISO 500 and with an 85B filter on your lens. I did neither, which left the images below looking as they do.

When the light was good, the contrast on them is great, and the colours are pretty saturated too; especially on the cleaning lady. There’s no overbearing blue hue on any of them, which may be surprising with a tungsten film, and I’m pretty happy with how the train station ones turned out.

I’ve seen plenty of other examples of 800T shot under the sun and they’re usually pretty good. They also mean me doing it too is, as we by now know very well, nothing new.


Wrapping up from under the sun

Now I’ve written this post out and worked through the images in it, I’m pretty sure I’d shoot more daylight images the next time I pick up some 800T.

There are more shots from this roll, that I’ll post separately, that were shot under artificial light. They came out okay too, and I’m happy enough overall with what I got from the CineStill.

If you’re wanting to try some of it for yourself, the only thing I’d ever suggest is to not worry if you’re being original or not and just shoot whatever you want with it.

That might be something completely left-field, or it might be more neon signs. Yes, that’s been done before, and some people might take pleasure in pointing that out to you.

But that crucial thing is hasn’t been done by you before. And anyway, everyone except the very first person to do it has been kinda unoriginal too.

There may be nothing new under the sun, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still #shootfilmmakesomething 🙂

If you enjoyed that post, why not take a look at these others to stay inspired or learn more about the CineStill 800T film I used here:

  1. Full review of this CineStill 800T film
  2. Another film photo essay with this film
  3. Advice on varying what you shoot on film

And if you think others will enjoy this account of shooting CineStill too, help them find it by sharing or pinning.  😀

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