I Shot a Roll of Kodak T-Max 400 by Virginie Aubert

Dec 17, 2019
4 min read

When I first saw this not so usual giveaway opportunity on Instagram, my first thought was: ok that’s awesome, but I don’t have any interesting project that will potentially step out of the mass. Then I put some more thoughts in it and I had an idea that grew so big into me that no matter the result I’d still get out there and make it happen.

That’s why I’m gonna share here the story of my relationship with the city of Le Havre, more than a standard story about the day I shot this roll of Kodak T-Max 400 on my Nikon FE.

Le Havre is a city where I lived for 2 years – from June 2013 to May 2015 – I went there for work, and it was my first and last real job experience as an engineer after I got my degree. Before that I had never been once in my life in Normandy, and I didn’t know anybody over there. That’s the reason I decided to look for a house-share situation when I arrived, instead of the regular one room apartment just for myself. I had no idea it would affect my life that much at the time, but only for the best.

This journey began when I moved in into this 4 levels pre-war house – I wish I could go back and take portraits of all the people I met whom once lived in it. During this time living in this house, I’ve met so many people with so many different stories, I’ve made real friends, I’ve gained self-confidence, I’ve explored the city in a way that made me feel like one of its native (thanks to my housemate Marion), and so much more. 

It was also at this time that I acquired my first DSLR, which really was the start of me diving into this wonderful photographic world, which finally led me to film photography for even more creativity exploration. 

So for all of you beautiful readers, here’s the explanation for this choice I made. During those 2 years I fell in love with the city, with its history, the streets, the monuments, the inhabitants, the beach, the industrial harbor, the architecture – I could go on and on but you get the idea. The idea I’ve had that grew so big I couldn’t ignore it even if it wasn’t selected to end up as an “I shot a roll of” story.

I hope you enjoy this series of pictures, I hope they honor and show how eclectic this city can be felt.

And last but not least, as an unspoken way of telling me how proud she is of being her singular self, Le Havre gifted me a warm autumnal sunny Sunday between 2 other windy rainy days. It truly was a perfect day to borrow a bike and take my camera for a ride. 

As it is for the roll, I don’t regret choosing the T-Max 400 because its contrast brought so much by showing perfectly what I wanted to show : the straight lines of the streets, the old and modern buildings, the geometry and especially the symmetry, whether it’s downtown, at the beach or anywhere else. As far as I’m concerned, I intend to carry on and continue this project.

And before I let you go, I wanted to thank the lab Nation Photo for their great work. It was my first time using their online service since I usually stop by the shop every time I have a roll to develop, and as usual I was fully satisfied with the result. The people there are always helpful and well-meaning and I appreciate every visit. 

Thank you for reading,

Virginie


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