HD disparu


in Photography

Trees on Dam Mountain, Vancouver

There is a short story by Orson Scott Card about a beleaguered group of photographers sinking into depression as film becomes completely unavailable in a digital age. While that is a distant prospect, if it is ever to come about, I am nonetheless feeling some sympathy towards those hapless fellows. It seems that Kodak has decided to discontinue my favourite colour film: their High Definition series, formerly called Royal Gold. Impossible to find in England or Ireland, it is now no longer stocked by any of the Vancouver photography stores that I have dropped into to talk shop with the employees.

After a period of time, a film becomes very familiar to you – even friendly. You know what conditions are likely to make the sky blow out; you know when a portrait really needs a bit warmer light; you know how complex patterns will be rendered on the film grain. While I certainly cannot claim to have mastery of any film, HD100 and HD400 were certainly the colour emulsions I understood best. All my colour photos from the trip to Europe with Meghan Mathieson and company were shot on it; likewise, all my colour shots from the Arizona Road Trip, Prague, Malta, and many other places.

The High Definition films were versatile, reliable, and attractive. Their passing will be lamented by me, among many others.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Tristan Laing September 21, 2006 at 3:55 am

UC400 portra is just as good as HD400 ever was, and is not actually more expensive, it’s just that it comes in rolls of 36 only. There are numorous other portra emultions of differing colour rendition that are worth trying. Also, I never heard of HD100? Perhaps you mean HD200?

Milan September 21, 2006 at 8:28 am

Re: HD100

I can’t see any photos tagged with this film in my Photo.net archive, so I must have dreamed it. T-Max 100 is a great film, however.

As for UC400 Portra, I will seek it out in Oxford.

tristan September 24, 2006 at 1:21 am

Portra will likely be very expensive in oxford, but likely available through a number of mail delivery services (which offer processing vouchers aswell). The cheapest place to get it is US walmart stores. 11$ for 3 rolls of 36.

tristan September 24, 2006 at 1:21 am

did you take this photograph? It’s phenomenal

Milan September 24, 2006 at 9:15 pm


I did take it, up on Dam Mountain. I am glad you like it. It has a kind of calendar look to it, no?

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: