Pushing Provia 100F

Those of you who have followed this blog know that I am primarily a slide film shooter.  Lately I’ve been shooting mostly Fujichrome Provia 100F.  Ordinarily I shoot film at box speed.  Well with my son’s birthday coming up, I decided I wanted to shoot with faster film, so stopped by my current favorite local camera store, Creve Coeur Camera (in Springfield, IL).  Okay, CCC is an hour away, but I work in Springfield so it was no big deal to swing by there and see if they had any Provia 400X.  Sadly they did not, nor did any of their stores, but said they could order it.  Time was getting short for me, and I didn’t want to order it from them (I could have had it from B&H in 2 days, but it would’ve been too late for the birthday party).  They would’ve happily sold me Provia 100F, but I already had several rolls of that in the fridge at home so I declined.

Slide film has next to zero latitude in standard processing.  What you can do, though, is process it with a non-standard time, which gives you some flexibility to shoot the film at an ISO that is different from the ISO shown on the box.  If you shoot with a higher ISO, you need the film to spend more time in the developer (this is called push processing).  If you shoot with a lower ISO, you need the film to spend less time in the developer (this is called pull processing).  Fuji says you can pull Provia 100F 1/2 stop, or push it 2 stops.

I’d never pushed film before, so I decided that now would be a good time to try it (yes, I know, bad idea because I was going to be trying it for the first time at my son’s birthday party).  Enter the Internet (sadly I didn’t save any of the links so I cannot cite them here – just google “Provia 100F pushed to 400.”  I found quite a bit of info about pushing Provia 400X to 1600, not so much pushing 100F to 400.  Some folks said that if you do a 2 stop push, you should rate the film at ISO 320 instead of 400, and that the contrast would be increased slightly and you might lose detail in the darkest shadows.  Also there would be more grain (Provia 100F at box speed is almost grainless).

Well, I went for it.  I grabbed the film from the fridge, wrote “Push 2 stops” on the cassette with a sharpie, and loaded it into the camera, remembering to override the ISO to 320 instead of 100.  Got the film back earlier this week and projected it on the wall about an hour ago.  Pictures came out great.  I didn’t see any more grain at ISO 320 than I would’ve at ISO 100.  The contrast is a bit higher because I had the lab push 2 stops.  Highlights were not blown, and shadows still retain a good amount of detail.  Skin tones and color were also good, but with a slight shift towards red in some of the skin tones.Skin tones show a slight red cast.  Otherwise the color is good.
Flesh tones shifted slightly to the red in this photo.

The pond in late afternoon/early evening from the stone railroad bridge

The pond in late afternoon/early evening from the stone railroad bridge

I can’t wait to see how this looks in B&W infrared in the summertime, but that’s a topic for another time.


Teachers Don’t Always Know Everything

When D. was in 3rd grade, we wanted to have him tested for autism.  We had all the paper work ready to go to Easter Seals except for the one D’s teacher was supposed to complete.  She did not want to complete the paperwork.  We told her that we saw signs of autism and that we wanted to have D. tested.  Her pat answer was “Well I don’t see it.”  Thankfully he had a different teacher for 4th grade.  She was a bit of a drill sergeant with D, and he needed it in her classroom.  In 5th grade he had an awesome teacher (His 4th grade teacher had retired at the end of D’s 4th grade year after a 41-year career with the school district).  When we went to his IEP meeting at the end of the year, the IEP team had in fact decided that D. is on the autism spectrum.

D. had had a seizure back in 2004, and test results showed he had abnormal brain activity.  He’d also been diagnosed with ADHD back when he was in Early Childhood Education.  Those of you who have done your homework know that autism ADHD, and epilepsy occur together all too often.  Medicines which make ADHD better run the risk of making epilepsy worse, and vice versa.  We didn’t want to get into the vicious cycle of adding one medicine to counteract side effects of another medicine, which would make the first medicine less effective, and basically had told the school they were just going to have to do the best they could.

When D. started 6th grade (in 2011) , we decided that it would probably be appropriate to put him on some sort of medication for his ADHD.  Went to his primary care doctor, expecting to walk out of there with a prescription for ADHD.  As Dr. K. was looking at D’s medical history, he decided that we needed to see a cardiologist (D has a heart murmur) and a neurologist before putting him on ADHD medicine.  We were shocked, because D had been seizure free since 2004.

The heart murmur turned out to be completely innocent.  The neurologist diagnosed D. with Benign Rolandic Epilepsy.  He said “If you’re child is going to have epilepsy, this is the kind to have because many of these kids only ever have one seizure.  Those who have more usually only have them in their sleep or when transitioning between asleep and awake.”  Also this form of epilepsy tends to go away during puberty.  He gave us clearance to put him on ADHD medicine, and said “Oh, by the way, I could tell within 15 seconds of meeting your son that he is on the autism spectrum.”

Back to the primary care Dr. we went, but did some homework before we went to see what ADHD medicine might be suitable for D, especially since we did not want to run the risk of him having another seizure.  There are two medicines for ADHD that do not carry an increased risk of seizures.  One is Intuniv, and the other is Stratterra.  The Stratterra caries the risk of heart problems, and the Intuniv does not, so we went with the Intuniv because it has the least bad side effects.  While D. is still not at grade level, he is able to focus during school and has not had any seizures as a result of this medicine.  We are very pleased with how it is working.