Happy Birthday Kodak Tri-X!

Kodak Tri-X was originally introduced sometime in 1940 but November 1st, 1954 is the date to remember.  On November 1st, 1954, Kodak released Tri-X in 120 and 35mm formats.  Tri-X was considered a very high-speed film during this time and allowed for quality push processing as well.  Photographers were now free to shoot dim scenes with handheld cameras.  This ushered in new avenues in photojournalism.  While Tri-X has been reformulated several times over the years, its same basic character has remained; blacks deep enough for you to fall into, sharp compelling grain and stops of latitude for both expansive tonality or unbelievable pulling and pushing capabilities.

Everything from weddings, to political events to family photography, Tri-X is there for me!  Please enjoy some of my favorite portraits taken on Tri-X 35mm film in celebration of this remarkable and historic medium!

It was an honor to photograph a former Discovery Channel co-worker’s wedding with Tri-X.  A lover of film photography, Flora is a video editor for hit television shows such as the Real Housewives of New Jersey.  I often use Tri-X for pre-bridal preparation.
Whilst on a walk on a slightly rainy day, my daughter & I found a broken mirror by our neighbors’ trash & we decided to use it to make a cool self portrait using my Leica IIIc!
EPSON scanner image
I was privileged enough to meet & photograph Bill Clinton some years ago & then Hillary prior to the 2016 presidential election.  Tri-X paired nicely with my Leitz 90mm E55 Summicron.
© 2016 Johnny Martyr | www.JohnnyMartyr.com
Here’s a perfect example of the wide dynamic range of Tri-X.  While preparing to photograph Ted Cruz in 2016, a transgender teen was ejected from the gathering.  My Leica M6 was already loaded with Tri-X in preparation to shoot a well-lit stage.  In order to get this shot in the dimly lit theatre, I had to just take it regardless of the mismatch between my ISO & the amount of ambient light.  Tri-X pulled through, & in a sea of digital press photogs, I got the ONLY photo of the teen being removed from the rally.  Buzzfeed did a story on the event featuring my image.
© 2016 Johnny Martyr | www.JohnnyMartyr.com
And here’s “Lyin’ Ted”, well-lit & on stage, after the teen was removed, unaware of the media firestorm I was about to ignite with Tri-X!
My wife Stephanie did formal portraits for You Salon’s website.  I did her lights & took my own contrasty Tri-X shots of the area’s most talented hair stylists, just for fun.
Stephanie’s & my wedding photos of Nicole & Chaz were featured in Modern Wedding.  Here’s one of their engagement shots at the restaurant where they first met.  For weddings, I always bring TMAX 100, Delta 3200 and Tri-X to fill in at 400 and 1600 ISO.
Of all the adventures I’ve been on with Kodak Tri-X, by far my favorite is the continuing adventure of being a parent & taking photos of my beautiful daughter… who is also an aspiring photographer!  Hopefully, Kodak will keep Tri-X alive another 63 years for her!


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