Slide Film Makes for Fun Car Photos

March 13 Feature Photo: Ultra-saturated Fuji Velvia 100 bringing out the yellow.

I really like how this photo came out. Yet, I did the opposite of what you’re supposed to do when shooting slide film.

March 13, 2021 Car Bibles Feature Photo Details

  • Car(s): Honda S2000
  • Location: Schaumburg, IL – Windy City Miata Club autocross event
  • Photog: Peter Nelson (IG + Twitter @16vPete)
  • Camera: Canon EOS-1N, EF 50mm 1.8 Lens, Fuji Velvia 100 film

Slide film is super tricky to shoot. There’s no wiggle room like good ol’ forgiving print film (which is what most film is). Instead, slide film requires you meter as accurately as possible, and the highlights often end up blown out, and the shadows end really dark. There’s exposure latitude to be found in slide film, but you have to shoot it right to get it. It’s not like print film where as long as you don’t backlight stuff to hard, or shoot into the sun, there’s tons of latitude.

I took this photo at an autocross event during the Summer before I moved to California. I really like how the ultra-saturated Fuji Velvia 100 really brought out the S2000’s yellow. And since detail is a slide film’s high card, it brought out all of the subtle details. The paint texture, the texture of the sunbaked parking lot, and the paint line.

The colors are off, though. The tarmac is very blue, and the yellow is really cooled down. Again, the joys of shooting with slide film. If the exposure is off so can the colors. At least in my experience. But I don’t care, I’ve always shot it with the intention of producing some wild and fun colors. Side note: it’s the absolute-best film for SoCal sunsets.

I gotta load up a roll and photograph some cars soon.

Peter Nelson

Peter NelsonPeter Nelson has been wrenching on and playing with cars since he started driving them quickly between the cones at Chicagoland autocross events in his late teens. Nowadays, he can be found wringing out his Mazda2 at tracks all over California. His writing background includes Winding Road, Donut Media, and Autolist.com. He's also an avid cyclist and '80s/'90s action film connoisseur. Contact the author here.