After 3 months, I finally got the last roll of film I shot in Taiwan developed. It took so long partly because I was lazy but mostly because there are no labs (that I know of) in Champaign or Urbana that develop anything other than C41 and E6. I ended up sending the roll of film to North Coast Photo for their mail-in service.
The results were phenomenal. All my previous black and white photos were C41 film, so in a sense, they are not true black and white. This roll of film was a cheap Ilford Pan model sold in Asia. In any case, despite being cheap, the quality, texture, and sharpness of the images is really a class above anything I’ve previously shot. So in the future, I’ll probably only shoot C41 BW for convenience. But for any photos that I actually care about, I’ll be shooting them with real black and white film.
I’m sure a large part of the fidelity of the photos is a result of the higher quality of service offered by a professional lab. All of my color negatives, ranging from generic 10 year old Rite-Aid film to Kodak Portra, had been developed at Walgreens. Despite the huge price difference from the lowest quality of film to the highest, I have never noticed a significant difference in color rendition or anything else for that matter.
This experience with Ilford and North Coast Photo has me really thinking about learning to develop on my own. Walgreens is fast, easy, and completely garbage.
In any case, the set was shot in at a movie set of “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale”, in 林口. The movie’s about aboriginal Taiwanese tribes fighting against the colonial Japanese. The set’s open to the public for the time being, but I heard they couldn’t secure rights to preserve the mock village. In any case, here is the link to the full set.
Below are some sample shots: