Archive for September, 2013
This Summer was one of the greatest.
Pentax 645n, Fuji 400h, developed and scanned by thedarkroom.com
We took a sentimental trip to our much loved and soon-to-be-torn-down coffee shop, Bauhaus. Dave and I spent many a coffee date hanging out here between when we first dated and when he chased me down in Barcelona. Not to mention spending every single day here after school studying…(er reading the stranger, eating ding-dongs and drinking coffee). The barista told us that Bauhaus will have a space in the new building once it is built, but we wanted to be sure to get some photographs of it the way we remember…but with less hipsters and more punk rockers. 🙂
Pentax 645n, 75mm 2.8, Fuji 400h
I’m reading Ansel Adams ‘The Negative’…I am both inspired and slightly overwhelmed! The zone system, wah???
These two are from my last roll…Nikon F100, 35mm fixed lens (which I realized with my last roll is not a full frame lens boohoo), Kodak Tri-X. Waiting for the rest of the roll to dry…accidentally pulled these a tad to soon and they curled up which makes for difficult scanning.
Are you getting bored yet?! This is just so much fun and I couldn’t wait to try my hand with the 35mm film. I am happy to report that loading the film was a freaking breeze compared to loading medium format! My plan today was to shoot a roll of 35mm film to develop and scan…but I ended up only getting through about 22 images (we had a very trying day, child-wise!) and by about dinner I just wanted to move on so I rewind the film without exposing the rest of the roll (remember I have no patience for waiting!!).
I have to say that I really am a color girl when it comes to photography. When I was shooting digital, though, I did have a few images that always screamed out to be b&w…usually it was the photos that had an emotion that I really wanted to zone in on…a look…the shadows. And even in these last two days of shooting black and white film I have started to see shoots so much differently. When shooting color I mostly look for the quality of light and how it surrounds the subject…and with B&W I find myself seeking out the shadows…and focusing on not just pretty, but soulful.
I can definitely see why photojournalists and street photographers rely heavily on b&w! One other challenge I’ve encounter with b&w is that you absolutely MUST nail the exposure. There is no room for error here! With color film you almost always want to overexpose and there is quite a bit of room for error. You can over expose by up to 4 stops (!!) with a good film and it will still be amazing. (Side note…you usually must under-expose with digital because you can easily blow out the highlights…and you pretty much always have to do post-production, ie photoshop, with digital…which is the main reason I have been using film…I hate me some post production hardcore!!).
Anyway! That turned into a very long post that I’m sure you have no interest in! And don’t let me fool you into thinking I know anything…:) Just mulling over what I am learning.
Here are some of the shots I took…I just wanted to be quick so grab some stuff that I thought would be fun to mess with…what? Still life? Not really me…but good fun for a test roll!
p.s for some reason the software I am using to combine the photos is making them appear out of focus…which is super annoying…so just pretend they are actually in focus until I get that resolved, kay?
Using up the last of my color film so I can try out my 35mm B&W development! This is Portra 400 film developed at ol’ Walgreens! Still not my favorite film…but had to use it up before going back to my beloved Fuji!
A couple of days ago I decided that I wanted to start developing my own film. I did some Google searches and found out that developing B&W film is a pretty simple process and super cheap. For the most part I just use Walgreens which will develop and scan for about $8 for 35mm film, not bad and they do an okay job for “just for fun” shots. But they don’t develop either B&W or medium format film, both of which I like to use too. So I end up having to send it out to a lab and it costs about $20 a roll plus shipping both ways. Not cheap!! I haven’t really run the numbers, but to develop b&w film (after you buy the equipment which was about $50) the cost is only about $12 for chemicals that you can use for dozens of rolls of film…and well of course your time to spend developing and scanning.
So I gave it a go and here is the rundown:
– It was a super rainy and dark morning and I only had 400 speed film…so I was basically forced to shoot at 1600 ISO which got me baaaaarely in range to be doable. One of the upsides of developing your own film is that you can “push” process it which means that you basically pretend the film is a higher ISO and then let it develop for a bit longer to compensate. Not really what I wanted to do my first time out, but Tri-X is known for pushing nicely, so I went for it!
– I used my medium format film (Pentax 645n) in our bedroom…which was the ONLY place with any light whatsoever today (and it was raining so I couldn’t just go outside). But I really wanted to try developing TODAY…I have zero patience for waiting! Ha!
– Then came the dreaded film loading…ugh!! Basically you are winding film onto a spool, blind (the film is in a opaque black-out bag and your arms are in little holes in the side) and trying not to touch it at all. My film was super curly and jammed every time for about an hour. Did I mention I had a three year old running around me while doing this too? You can’t take your arms out of the bag until it is inside the film canister so you are shafted until you can figure it out. This was not fun. I REALLY scratched up the film in the process, but somehow I managed to wrangle it on there.
– Developing was super easy! Just pour in developer…agitate for certain times/Pour out/Wash/Fix/Wash again and dry! Easy peasy!
Overall I think I got the development times correct but I can’t wait to take some 35mm at the correct speed and see if I can spool it without scratching so much! I could fix them in photoshop but I AIN’T GOT TIIIIME FOR THAT! 🙂
So a couple weeks ago my beloved Nikon F100 fell off the top shelf and onto the hardwoods below (along with my also-beloved Pentax 645n…but it somehow went unscathed). The gentlemen at the camera repair shop fixed her up, but said there might be some issues with the calibration on the focus and that would end up costing more money than replacing the camera, sad face. I decided to run a test roll and, well, since it has been a ridiculous amount of time since I had used a real camera, it was a perfect excuse to document some of our camping! I’m happy to report that focus is fine…at least to my eyes!
It seriously has been a very long time since I’ve used a nice camera…I get so used to just whipping out my phone, and for the most part it does the job. I had forgotten how much easier it is to get what you want with a manual camera, though! Anyway…these ones I just developed and scanned at Walgreens…oohhh, I heart the look of film so much! Must be that 70’s vibe…
This set is just a couple shots from a while back…did I mention we got a puppy? These are from last year, actually! Blakey starts preschool a few time a week, next week…so I will hopefully have a bit of time to get this blog back up and running! What?! Time to myself?! So. Freaking. Excited.