Oct 11, 2011

Travels With Color Film - Alcácer do Sal, Portugal, October 1998 (Ektachrome 100S)


Maybe some of you had the chance to watch the wonderful movie “The Bridges of Madison County”, adapted from the novel by Robert James Waller.

Clint Eastwood plays the role of a not-so-young photographer (Robert Kincaid) on assignment for National Geographic magazine, shooting a photographic essay on some covered bridges in Madison County, in the U.S. state of Iowa, not far from Des Moines.

Robert, the photographer,  meets Francesca (Meryl Streep), a somewhat-frustrated and lonely-also-not-so-young-but-still-very-attractive lady, italian war bride, who runs a farm with her husband. She happens to be alone for a couple of days, as her husband and kids are away at the 1965 Illinois state fair…

This chance encounter rapidly evolves to a very intense and dramatic once-in-a-life-time love affair. One can hear the deep voice of Johnny Hartman sing ballads in the background, and the whole story is described and interpreted with astounding artistry. The ambiance is very passionate and tasteful.

An overwhelming movie!

Besides picking up his beer from a cool box in the back of his green pick-up truck, Robert also stores in there his color films, subsequently changing them to Francesca’s refrigerator, when the growing lady’s hospitality permits him to share her house and bed comfort.

 Yes, Iowa in Summer can be a hot place! I have experienced it myself. I also went to Des Moines to photograph some buildings by Mies van der Rohe, although I must have to concede that I didn’t know about the covered bridges back then.

What a pity!

Those of you old enough to remember the existence of color reversal film, probably know what I am talking about: great care is needed to avoid excessive heat  on your films, or you risk to get back home from your dreamtrip only to find out that the colors have changed and shifted.

Yes, color film is heat sensitive and prone to surprises (black and white too, altough to a lesser extent).

Packing 30 or 40 rolls for a trip is also common procedure, taking most room on your bag, albeit with lesser weight than your photographic equipment. Despite the big volume and all the trouble, one also has much less shots at one’s disposal than in some small memory cards…

Well, having a cool-box with you is a good excuse to bring along some fresh beer. You don’t need nobody’s freezer!

The pictures that I show on this post where shot on Kodak Ektachrome 100S reversal film, with Canon gear. I was on assignment for the defunct magazine “Portugal Português”, which was associated with the better-known, but also defunct, “Casa Decoração”.

I made some assignments for both magazines for a while, before it was adieu, farewell.

Obviously, it was some celebratory date in Alcácer do Sal, but I don’t have a clue about what or why. I was too much busy (or too much lazy for notations?), back in those days, so I was happy when the client had his/her images and I could jump to the next spot, very often on the other side of the country.

The notations often got lost somewhere along the way, only the images and the feelings remained...

I would like to say thank you to all the people who have been supporting this blog.

You give me strength to keep going on!

Technical Data:
Camera - Canon EOS 1n
Lenses - Canon EF 17-35mm f/2.8 L USM + Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM
Filme – Kodak Ektachrome 100S
Location – Alcácer do Sal, Portugal
Date – October 1998