Fujifilm Velvia 50 / by Ray Phung

Pony Tail falls in the Columbia River Gorge, through the vivid colors of Velvia.

A few months ago, I won an auction on eBay for some 20 odd rolls of FujiFilm Velvia 50 in 120 format.  All of them were expired sometime between 1995 and 2004, which made the entire purchase somewhat of a crap-shoot.  Expired film, when stored and cared for properly, can live well beyond it's useful life.  And at just under $3 a roll (normally around $9 when fresh), what did I have to lose right?  

Tulip bathing in the golder hour sun.

I never realized how slow 50 ISO is.  Unless the sun is blazing, it's almost impossible to get a handheld shot.  So anytime I have this film in a camera, I also have to lug around a tripod.  Velvia is also known for its super over saturation of colors that makes landscapes and nature photos pop.  The combination of these factors made finishing a roll of just 12 shots quite a task.  It's a definitely a specialty film.  Luckily, spring rolled around and the flowers around my neighborhood started blooming.  The weather also dried up, so I was able to get out for a couple of hikes.

When I got my first roll back from Citizens (my preferred developing spot!), I was amazed.  Astonished, really, at how this film renders colors.  Seeing my results, I hurried up and finished up the other roll of Velvia I had in my 4x5 roll back.  If you have the chance of getting your hands on some Velvia, do it.  Just make sure you don't shoot any people.  Or they will look like Oompa Loompas.  Here are some more examples: