⟨ Craft ⟩

The Artistry of B&W Film

A Chinese ink painting aesthetic

Words / Phaedrus Lam
Translation / Nathalie Lun

雖然像柯達這種大廠也倒了,但是底片攝影倒沒有像預言般死亡,反倒是數位攝影普及有多久,針對底片攝影的復古潮流就有多久,不少資深攝影迷更自製底片和底片相機,屢屢帶來驚喜;仿佛底片從來沒有退場,只是成為了一種精品的存在。

由香港啤酒品牌「友」的「我友主義」平台,與一群攝影迷合作開發出的「全手工製宣紙黑白菲林」,是第一卷在香港開發的黑白底片。然而出生地只是賣點之一,「全手工製宣紙黑白菲林」作為黑白底片,卻不是主流的「全色片」,而是可感應色彩光線範圍較少的「色盲片」。而在片基材質上,團隊曾研究用書紙、紗紙、玉扣紙、原稿紙等不同紙材,最終決定使用古樸的宣紙作為片基。用極富紋理感且薄質的宣紙,配合上感光度低的「色盲片」,顯現出的山水與城市,竟有一種仿若水墨畫般耽美的意境。

Even though big players like Kodak aren’t in the photographic film business anymore, film photography still has its allure to this date. However long digital photography has been popular, film photography has. Photography fanatics have even made their own film and cameras for that retro enticement. Negative films never died out, but continued to hold a unique nostalgic place in photography.

Hong Kong craft brewery Yau’s Project Yau has partnered with several photography enthusiasts to create “Handmade Rice Paper Black & White Film”. Not only is it Hong Kong’s first B&W negative film, it is not just any conventional panchromatic film, but rather a less colour sensitive achromatic film. During the research phase, the team tested a range of papers – woodfree paper, tissue paper, painting paper et cetera – and finally decided on rice paper as the base. Turns out thin textured rice paper combined with low light sensitive achromatic film creates a Chinese ink painting aesthetic, transforming the reality we see into a dreamy and poetic scene.

「手工宣紙菲林」顧明思義,包括上感光劑、裁切片基、捲底片到包裝等工序,通通都是全手工製作。因為只是實驗產品,「手工宣紙菲林」只限量生產,暫時沒有公開販售的計劃。如果他日得以量產,其獨特的顯影效果,肯定會成為攝影圈內哄搶的夢幻逸品。

From photographic emulsion, slitting, rolling to packing, the “Rice Paper Black & White Film” is entirely handmade. Since it is a one off experimental project, the film is limitedly produced and there are no plans for retail. However, with its unique turnout, we won’t be surprised if it becomes a crowd favorite if it is mass-produced.