Updated: Jun 17, 2021
There are some places on earth that makes you instantly feel good and for me, Iceland is one of those places. So when came up the opportunity to return there for the third time, I didn’t think twice and book those plane tickets. 10 days later I was landing in Reykjavik.
Even if I’d been there twice, this third trip was really special for two reasons. First, my young cousin and I took our 82 years old grandma on a road trip she would never dream of. The second reason was that I never shot film there before.
During my two previous trips, I was still a digital boy and had zero interest in film at the time, but this third visit was so special. It’s not everyday that you share such a trip with your grandma and cousin, so film was the obvious choice to capture those memories.
The only problem I had with that was finding which cameras and film to put in my bag. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know there are a few nice cameras in my collection so cutting down to only 2 bodies wasn’t an easy task! It’s like having to choose between one of your children!
Eventually, my trusty Hasselblad Xpan for 35mm and Mamiya 7 for 120 film were the chosen ones. Then came the choice of film stock. The weather in Iceland can be quite unpredictable, even in August, so wasn’t sure what to bring but I settled on Fujifilm Velvia for colour (see my review here) and Street Candy ATM400 for black and white on the Xpan. As for BW on 120, I picked a roll of Ilford HP5 and will show you below how it looks compared to ATM400.
Even if it’s meant to be in the streets, thanks to its high contrast, I wanted to test out the ATM400 with the beautiful pallet of landscapes Iceland has to offer.
We started our 7 days road trip from Reykjavik all the way to Djupivogur on the east coast and then back to the capital. Along the way, I shot 2 rolls of Street Candy on the Xpan and picked my favorite pictures to show you.
This first one above is the one I’m the most proud of. On top of being a great family souvenir with my cousin and grandma holding each other, I really love all the tonalities of greys in this picture! This was shot late in the morning with the sun on our back and a giant softbox right above the head with all those high clouds.
Then we kept driving and got to a first glacier called “Sveitarfélagið Hornafjörður”(good luck with that!). It was later in the afternoon and the cloud layer got thicker and lowered than in the morning, which made it a little more challenging for my Xpan to meter. The few pictures see a little underexposed to me. The dark ashes and lava soil also didn’t help at getting more information in the shadows.
As we drove deeper into the glacier, it got even worse with the dark ground so instead of shooting in Aperture Priority, I switched to Manual mode and measured the light on the palm of my hand, as the Xpan’s meter would have had a hard time seeing the small off-center grandma. It didn’t turn out exactly like what I had in mind, and I suspect that the dark surroundings absorbed most of the ambient light and didn’t bounced it back on her.
Next day we stopped at the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon which is also the place where you can see the black sand beach with icebergs crashing back on the shore.
Last shot of the roll was another favorite from this trip. When driving in Iceland, expect to see this kind of scene every 5 minutes. The good thing is that you can pull on the roadside almost everywhere without any risk and get shots like this easily right from your car seat.
Hope you enjoyed this quick look at Street Candy ATM400 and Icelandic stunning landscapes. If you also took some Street Candy on holidays or want to share your story, we'd love to hear from you!
I’ll wrap this up by thanking again my lab Nation Photo for processing and scanning these rolls for me. They've been my go to lab for years now and if you are looking for a place to get film supply or lab services, make sure to check them out!