So my tour of Dunedin in film presets ends at the famous Dunedin Railway Station, finished in the famous Kodachrome 64. Known for its fine grain, sharpness and colour the history and reputation of Kodachrome films is legendary.
It was a lovely afternoon as I arrived in Aramoana, a small coastal settlement on the western side of the entrance to Otago Harbour. I spent the afternoon walking along the beach, climbing over rocks, up sand dunes and enjoying the local wildlife. This photo that I took overlooking the beach, the mole and beyond to Taiaroa Head was finished with a black and white film preset called Retro 80s that was made by the Rollei company.
The Rollei company was founded by Paul Franke and Reinhold Heidecke in Braunschweig, Germany in 1920. Their vision was to create a new type of roll film for cameras. Over the preceding years the company grew until eventually acquiring a worldwide reputation. In the 1950s and 1960s it became a high-quality brand with a unique photographic style. In 2009 they released the Retro 80s film which quickly became one of the favourite black and white films for international photographers.
I continued on my journey to the Dunedin Botanic Gardens where I spent a few hours wandering the various trails, paths and walkways. This photo from my walk was recreated with the Kodak Royal Gold 400 film. The Kodak Royal Gold 400 film was promoted as the world’s finest grain, 400-speed colour print film. It was stated to provide a balance between fine grain, sharpness, and colour for exposure in daylight or with flash.
My next stop on my tour of Dunedin was the Dunedin Gasworks Museum and that’s where I headed now. Located in South Dunedin, it is one of only three known preserved gaswork museums in the world which makes it a significant heritage site. The gasworks which operated from 1863 to 1987, were New Zealand’s first and last gasworks.
This photo of the Dunedin Gasworks Museum is made from a Kodak Elite 100 film preset. In the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s the cross-processing of negative films came into fashion. The cross-processing of film came about by intentionally processing film in the wrong chemicals to create interesting and sometimes unpredictable shifts in colour and contrast. In this process a colour slide film could be developed as if it were a colour negative film and vice-versa. One of these films was the Kodak Elite 100.
Next, I called in to the Otago Museum for a look around where I took this image. I finished with a recreation of the Fujifilm Superia 200 film. The Fujifilm Superia 200 first appeared on shop shelves in the 1990’s. This was a very popular film and was a great starting point for photographers due to its ease of use. It worked well outdoors in daylight and indoors with flash. The Superia 200 featured enhanced colour reproduction, sharpness, fine grain and a green base with tinges of blues and reds. Before the digital age when film was still king, Fuji Superia 200 was the great competitor to the Kodak Gold range.
Next stop is the historic home of Olveston. Located near the inner city of Dunedin, the large Jacobean style home was built for David Theomin and his family between 1904 and 1907. This is the dining room of the grand house finished in the Polaroid 669 film.
The history of the Polaroid camera is really interesting. So, I might save the details and write more in depth another time. In brief, it was invented in 1943 by American Edwin Land. Initially, a Polaroid photo was created in monochrome but evolved into colour in 1963 when Polacolor was invented. Over the preceding years, many models of the Polaroid were designed and so films for the camera changed accordingly. One of those was the Polaroid 669 which produced a photo print in 8 x 10cm.
Toitu Museum in Ektachrome Infrared
Today my photographic tour of Dunedin using colour film presets stops off at Toitu Early Settlers Museum. While I was there, I took this photo of the train Josephine which started life on the Dunedin-Port Chalmers Railway in 1872. This image is finished with settings that create the Ektachrome Infrared EIR E6 film. When it was manufactured, it was one of the standard colour infrared films of its time which created a dramatic red look in photos. The film, which was made in small batches and was discontinued in 2010 due to declining sales.
This is the legendary Speight’s Brewery in Rattray Street, Central Dunedin. In 1876, James Speight, Charles Greenslade and William Dawson set-up their brewery on this location where it has been based ever since. In 1880, Speight’s won a gold medal at an International Exhibition in Australia which started the brand, Speight’s Gold Medal Ale.
The effect for this photo was recreated for a forgotten film in history called GAF 500. It was a very grainy film from the 1960’s and 1970’s. The GAF company began in 1886 as the Standard Paint Company of New Jersey and after several amalgamations in 1928 they changed their name to General Aniline & Film—GAF for short. In 1967, GAF introduced a revolutionary new 35mm high-ISO film called GAF 500. At the time the GAF 500 was twice as fast as any other film on the market. It was a film that customers either loved or hated.
My journey around Dunedin in film presets brings us to the University of Otago in Agfacolor Neu. I was hoping for a nice bright blue sky, however unfortunately the last few days have been very overcast and grey.
The Agfa company introduced the Agfacolor Neu film in 1936 for both amateur and professional photographers. The Agfacolor film was an early rival to the Kodak company as they competed to become the first to launch a method that would make colour photography with slides easy and cheap to use. Agfa Color Neu was the first commercially successful colour film that was accessible to mass audiences. In 1978, Agfa ceased production of colour film that was based upon the originally designed process used in the Agfacolor film.
Next stop on the tour of Dunedin, seen through early colour film is Tunnel Beach. The hidden beach is an amazingly popular spot for tourists. For this photo I used a preset based on the process called Autochrome. The early colour photography process of Autochrome was introduced by the Lumière brothers Auguste and Louis of France in 1907. In this process a colour image is created by combining microscopic layers of dyed potato starch grains on a glass plate.
And so to Taiaroa Head and the Harington Point Battery gun emplacements on Otago Peninsula. The site was first constructed in response to the threat of a Russian invasion in 1885 following Anglo–Russian tensions in Afghanistan. This led to the building of major fortifications along New Zealand’s coastline which included the Otago Peninsula.
This look was created from a more modern film that is currently available from the CineStill company. Based in Los Angeles and founded in 2012, CineStill sells a range of photographic film, one of which is a product called Redrum 200. Launched in October 2021, Redrum film is a redscale, reverse-rolled exposure base film that produces red, yellow, and orange toned images. Only available in limited edition runs in the 120 Medium format for Halloween, it is only sold in individual rolls and sells out incredibly quickly.
As I move through a photographic tour of Dunedin using colour film presets we come to Larnach Castle. So, I thought I’d show you another image from a Kodacolor preset. Kodacolor was made by the Kodak company, it was introduced in 1942 and was the first colour negative film for making colour prints. Originally, Kodacolor was sold with the cost of processing the film included, prints having to be ordered separately. Colour prints quickly became the amateur and social photographers medium of choice with the prints being stored in photo albums. However, prints that were left out and exposed to light quickly faded. The production of Kodacolor ended in 1963 when it was replaced with Kodacolor-X.
I awoke to rain. Not light misty rain that you can stand in for an hour and never really get wet, nor was it isolated showers that would invariably clear within the half hour. This was hard, heavy rain. The kind of rain that leaves you drenched from head to toe from a mere five metre dash to the letter box. I opened the curtains hoping that I was wrong and that I’d find to my surprise the rain clearing and the sun breaking through. It wasn’t! If anything, it seemed to be getting worse. From my lounge window I could see dark storm clouds engulfing the Dunedin coastline south from St Clair. I had planned to trek over one of the many Otago Peninsula walking tracks and usually rain doesn’t bother me, however on this occasion it did. I decided I wasn’t really in the mood to walk in the rain. I think it was the addition of the strong wind gusts that was the deciding factor.
I could see that it was going to be an inside day. But, being in a creative frame of mind I decided to see what magical inspiration I could find in some of my photographic programmes. Recently, I had been reading about the early development of colour photography. The Kodak company revolutionised the colour photography industry in 1935/1936 with the release of a film called Kodachrome. Since then, and particularly after World War II, Kodachrome became the world standard in colour film – the one against which all others were judged. With this in my mind, I went in search of some photographic presets within some of my software. I was interested in two things. Firstly, did I have anything that would replicate the early colour film look. Secondly, what would modern day Dunedin look like in replicated colour film?
So, to start things off, this is Dunedin’s Robbie Burns Statue, Cathedral, Clocktower and Municipal Chambers in Kodacolor, the first colour negative film introduced by Kodak.