Travel: Egypt

Not too long ago I purchased an Epson V600 scanner, mainly so I could scan 120 film. This was for two reasons. I now have a Hasselblad camera and need to scan new work. The second reason is that I’ve had a few medium format cameras over the years and would like to scan some of my archive.

Back in 2000, I had a Bronica ETRS with a 75mm lens and a 45mm wide, a couple of backs, grip and prism. Egyptian authorities considered this a “professional” camera. I also took a recently purchased digital video camera – so new that I remember reading the manual on the flight! Egyptian authorities considered this a “professional” camera too. I also took a Canon Sureshot Zoom 60 loaded with some slide film. Egyptian authorities considered this a “crap” camera.

I landed at Luxor, was taken to one side and interviewed about my gadget bag. I had to get a permit for my Bronica. Then I had to join another queue to get a permit for the “professional” video camera. The zoom 60 was waved through with a dismissive hand! By the time I left the airport it was dark. Something to eat, a good nights sleep and a shower later I was ready to go – first stop was the Temple of Karnak. Most famous for appearing in the Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me”.

All of these images were from the first roll of “645” Fuji Reala. In those days Fuji still made a choice of 120 film Reala, fine grain 100asa. NPS160 and NPS400. I took all of them! At the time the film was processed by Kodak, and I had 4 inch prints made. As one did in 2000. I was always disappointed with the prints – they all seemed too green to me. Now that I am rescanning them, I find that I’m getting that same cast. It’s taken quite a bit in photoshop to try to get shot of that. I’m pleased they look better than those original, now 23 year old, prints!

This little “Egypt” project of mine is going to take time. I have 25 rolls of colour 120 and a couple of hundred 35mm transparencies to scan and correct. Then I may have the patience to make myself a little book or ‘zine – we’ll see!

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