The journey of learning analog photography can sometimes be a frustrating one. You see the work that others can create using the same film stock and you wonder how their final results are so amazing. One of these days I am going to bite the bullet and get my 35mm film professionally scanned so that I can see if the results are that much more superior to what I am experiencing with my Epson V600. Below are a few frames from our last holiday to Disneyland's magic kingdom. I shot these images on Kodaks consumer grade Gold 200 film with the Pentax PC35AF-M point and shoot.
This past summer I did a road trip to visit my parents in southern Alberta. My insatiable desire for adventure prompted me to convince my folks to visit the near by provincial park called Smashed in Head Buffalo Jump. This provincial park has rich historical significance to the aboriginal peoples of southern alberta and is home to some stunning views. I chose to try out a roll of Kodak Vericolor III (160 ISO) in My Pentax Spotmatic that had expired in 2000. This 18 year old film had been freezer stored most of its life but I thought I would still overexpose it by one additional stop to be safe. As soon as i got home from the trip I refrigerated my exposed roll until today when I developed it at home in the Unicolor C41 Kit. Here are a few of the keepers from the day. The last two frames I took were exposed to some light leaks when I accidentally opened the back of my camera. To be honest I love the result that was created.
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Yesterday I made my first attempt at developing color film at home and learned a great deal in the process. I shot the below images as kind of an experiment while in Haiti this past summer. I decided to purchase a 3 dollar camera from a local thrift store and load it with cheap Fuji Superia 400 to see what kind of results I might get. I was quite sure that the conditions in Haiti would be challenging on film especially because most color negative films don't hold up past 27 degrees and there were times that we were pushing 40 degrees celsius. I shot the film with with a Canon Snappy LX II and honestly I think the camera did pretty good. Where everything fell apart on me was during the development process. For some strange reason before I poured the developer into my Paterson tank I opened the lid exposing for a brief second the film to light. I could not believe that I just did that. It must have been a nervous twitch not wanting to screw up in the development process. All in all developing color film is pretty much as easy as developing black and white and I look forward to my next go at it developing non baked (Tropical BBQ) and light exposed C-41. Seriously though these could easily pass as some great LOMO shots.
Bear Skull shot on Tri-X 400 with The Pentax Spotmatic and the 55mm f1.8 Takumar Lens
Shooting medium format film (120) is an incredible experience. Seeing the detail that is revealed from the larger negative is even better. Below is my first ever roll shot and developed with my new Yashica Mat and I will be giving a quick review of my experience with this classic TLR and Kodak's legendary emulsion. First of all here are a few thoughts that I have about the Yashica TLR. Composition within a 6x6 square frame takes some getting used to and requiresconsiderable thought when making it happen, not to mention the challenge of using the disorienting waist level view finder. The mechanics of this camera are incredible and the build quality is some of the best I have ever held. I have yet to see or handle a Rolleiflex but If is is better than the Yashica it must be amazing. As far as the optics go the lens stops down to a respectable 3.5 and is incredibly sharp as you can see by the images below. What more can be said other than it is a fun yet challenging camera to operate. There are many reviews of the Tri-X 400 film on the internet so I will just give my first impressions. The three Observations that I see with this film in 120 format is that it seems to be sharp and full of detail. The dynamic range of this black and white film also is truly amazing. I am always impressed at how a well exposed negative can outshine a digital file in the highlights almost all of the time. During this journey of shooting film I have been trying to discover the pro's and con's of both analog and digital image making. I thought initially that I would end up landing 100% in the film camp as I fell in love with the nostalgia of the cameras and the wonder of waiting to see your image, but now I can honestly say that there is definitely a place for all types of image making in my world.
Since I began to shoot film not long ago I was fascinated by not only the taking of images but also the making of them. Developing film couldn't have been easier yet there is a nervousness that happens as you pour the chemicals over the film and hope that you will see something after all the hard work. After opening the tank and discovering that it worked you can't wait for the film to dry and see what the final images turned out like. Here are just a few images I selected from 2 rolls of Ilford Delta 400 I shot, one just recently and the other I shot almost 3 years ago just waiting for this day. It is hard to judge the grain and sharpness of this Black and white film when it the first and only kind that I have ever shot. I should have a better idea when I shoot the very popular HP5 in the coming month or so. I continue to be fascinated by film because it seems to take me to a different place than digital. It's actually tough to describe other than to say it's quite calming.
Tech info on images
-Camera: Pentax Spotmatic & Canon A-E1 / Lens: Takumar 55 f1.8 & Canon FD 50mm f1.8 / Film: Ilford Delta 400 / Developer: Ilfosol 3 / Scanner: Epson V600
Canada day, the Canon A-E1 and Kodak Gold 200. A combo of consumer gear and consumer film. Each roll I shoot and review I am amazed at the ability of film to handle highlights. I used the Epson V600 to scan this roll and as I have read from others this scanner has a bit of trouble with 35mm film leaving a significant amount of noise (Not Grain) in the digital files. These scans are totally acceptable for the web but if I were to take them to print I would definitely have them professionally scanned. Kodak Gold is a great casual shooting film with fairly fine grain and decent daylight colors, I'm going to call it the poor man's PORTRA. Take a look at the images below and leave your comments below I would love to hear from you.