A week in film recipes #1: Agfa APX 400

This is going to be a new project. I wrote about wanting to find my own style in this post about my 12 most used film recipes. But these recipes are a great starting point and maybe I don’t even need to develop my own styles but choose one that works for me, maybe tweak it a little. So I made a long shortlist of film recipes from Fujixweekly and committed myself to shoot one recipe exclusively on my X-T3 for one week. Last week was dedicated to the Agfa APX 400 recipe. I generally like black and white and lately I shoot less and less color. So why not start monochromatic. I already tweaked this recipe using the smoother Monochrome setting instead of Acros. I also added a simulated yellow filter for some additional contrast. I am not going to describe and evaluate the recipe that much. I think I shall let the images speak for themselves.

Historical Architecture in Potsdam by Paul Hoppe
Ostentatious Brickwork (2021) Fujifilm X-T3 + TTArtisan 35mm F1.4

This structure serves no other purpose than being beautiful and allowing us to sit down and admire even more beauty (a lakeside church). For all practical purposes it is useless. But that is what makes it so invaluable. It opens our hearts and minds to beauty, it widens our breadth and allows reflection and contemplation.

a beauty salon by paul hoppe
Beauty and Stars (2021) Fujifilm X-T3 + TTArtisan 35mm F1.4

In contrast this place caters to another kind of beauty which should rather be called vanity. Not for all but for many who seek out this salon. Trying to recreate a youthfulness that can never be attained again. True beauty is not be found in cosmetics. Nevertheless taking care of one’s appearance can be a form of self care and it can provide confidence for the inevitably sexual games people play with one another.

a vw van by paul hoppe
Bully (2021) Fujifilm X-T3 + TTArtisan 35mm F1.4

“Bully” is the nickname given to these vans. Or it might be “Tub” depending on the model. I am unsure. This one saw better days but was still in working condition. If some politicians get their way these iconic vehicles will no longer adorn our streets. Maybe ultimately this will be good thing?

outside staircase by paul hoppe
Stairs into the sky (2021) Fujifilm X-T3 + TTArtisan 35mm F1.4

What might lurk behind the stairs? Nothing, a pit, a cliff, lemmings climbing up and inevitably falling to their doom. Or maybe just grass, people having a picnic or kids playing around.

a landscape with grass and trees by paul hoppe
Alien landscape (2021) Fujifilm X-T3 + TTArtisan 35mm F1.4

Astonishing what the removal of color can reveal. A landscape that looks almost alien. Structures and textures hidden behind the usual green and brown. There can you see it? A hidden camera from an alien space rover exploring our world.

a construction site by paul hoppe
Rise up (2021) Fujifilm X-T3 + TTArtisan 35mm F1.4

This wonderful park is being encroached by more and more buildings. There has to be a balance between nature and room to live. Maybe we should avoid building so flat, there so much sky to take instead of land.