What was I up to? Well, I guess the same as most everybody else: trying to keep working.
I don't agree at all that it was all grain in the 60s; we had all sorts of formats at work at the time and when you consider that 500Cs were the main horse for the course, no reason why there should have been too much. In fact, apart from some editorial shooters, most of us doing work for commercial clients had to be pretty careful to provide high quality results. You have to consider that the greater part of fashion photography (mine at least) was for manufacturers and chain stores. Those people were into selling a garment and not a photographer's ego. In fact, the sad reality was though much of my work came via my then book, I was seldom allowed to shoot in that free manner and detail and texture were highly regarded as essential; blur and grain were no-noes and the province of some magazines and/or portfolios. As for 500 ASA - Sarah Moon had a handle on that one and she used it to great effect on the '72 Pirelli, my personal favourite but, apparently, the least successful one; maybe a case of pearls before swine?
The trouble was, you had to be a star to get away wth those things. Also, it wasn't easy to be sure that you and your client were speaking the same language. I remember once that I had landed a shoot in France for a beer company client and the head honcho told me we should consider doing it in a painterly manner. I was delighted and rushed back to his office with the Moon Pirelli as an example of what could be construed to be a painterly manner and he almost choked! We ended up shooting Kodachrome 64 as usual. So much for painterly.
Cacharel was one brand that made great use of it with Sarah Moon, as did L'Air du Temps with David Hamilton, except that he was more into breathing onto his lens than hugely fast film...
Wonderful, if frustrating, days.