I need to do more shooting, and I think I’m going to try cross-processing more slide film. Among other things, I have some Provia 400F on my desk (expired September 2004) which should be interesting. This is from another roll of the same film.
Minolta XD5, Fuji Provia 400F (exp. 2004).
Another from the “abandoned quarry,” which is apparently not at all abandoned.
Films aren’t “filmed,” they’re “photographed.” Early filmmakers drew heavily from the work of early photographers (particularly in the area of very careful composition, as any of the Lumiere brothers’ films will show you). I think some of my work is heavily infuenced by my favorite American films of the 1970s (Taxi Driver, The Warriors), particularly in their warm color tones and their persistent examination of the aesthetic decay of the American metropolis (typically, and in both of those cases, New York). When I watch a good film, I find myself constantly noticing things I could try to recreate or reinterpret in a photograph (and my criteria for what makes a “good” film have a lot to do with its aesthetic merits). To me, this instantly recalls the supersaturated tones and visual metaphor of Rear Window, though that film is neither urban nor from the 1970s.
Nikon D200, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8.
Photography is a two-part process.
In the days of film, there was negative making (“shooting”) and printmaking (“printing”). With digital, nothing has changed, the image is captured/created, then processed into a final product.
This means that sometimes you can find an old image you weren’t fond of and re-imagine the processing to get something you do. This was shot on Ilford FP4+, scanned as a negative, and processed digitally. Call it whatever you want, but it’s just stage one from one process and stage two from the other.
Pentax K1000, Ilford FP4+ in Clayton F76+.
Look what I found.
Another old shot of an old truck, this one from some time around October when I was testing out my brand new (to me) K1000. I’m trying to get back to posting regularly, but it’s tough because none of the film I’ve been shooting is developed yet (a black and white roll and a roll of ancient cheap color film I found in my boss’s office). This isn’t one of my favorites, but it fits the theme.
Pentax K1000, SMC-M 50mm f/2, Fuji Superia X-tra 400.
I was looking through old scans and forgot about this one.
I’m pretty sure I know who this truck belongs to, and this picture of this truck seems a fair reflection of his personality.
“FYI- YASHICA CAMERA” arrived today, and was a miserable disappointment. The film advance isn’t really connected to anything, the mirror is stuck up, and the shutter won’t cock. These problems are probably all related, but the point is that the camera is definitely not usable. After all of that waiting and frustration, it is utterly worthless. Now begins the delicate eBay refund tapdance. Though my dealings with the seller so far aren’t exactly confidence-inspiring, I hope this one isn’t too painful. Moral of the story: Don’t be stupid like me- learn your lessons.
I loaded up my students’ cameras with Tri-X tonight, and they’re off into the world of hybrid black-and-white photography. Most have never handled a 35mm camera before, and none has used a manual camera before. One pair is using a KR-10 from my personal stash (actually, it’s borrowed) in place of the disappointing Yashica. I forgot that it has a light leak, so I’ll have to track them down tomorrow with some electrical tape.
It’s strange trying to explain exposure and film and metering to people who have never tried it before. It’s easy to forget how foreign these things feel at first, especially to those of us hailing from the digital age. There’s a difference between explaining and teaching, and I’m hoping this week of playing with the cameras will help take me from the first to the second. Only time will tell.
Probably my KR-5 Super II loaded with Plus-X. I should write these things down.
Like it or not, here I come.
I suppose I can officially call off my hiatus from shooting (which was really more of a period of abject laziness). On Monday, I will teach my first session of hybrid black and white, in which students will use a menagerie of 35mm SLRs (from an all-manual stop-down metering M42 mount Vivitar 400/SL to a fully-automatic autofocus Minolta Maxxum QTsi). Unfortunately, my program’s limited budget meant that eBay was the place to go for these, and this has already generated problems. When I purchased the last camera four days ago, I expected it to have arrived by now. Unfortunately, I received this message today:
FYI- YASHICA CAMERA WAS SHIPPED OUT TODAY VIA USPS.
I was instantly reminded why I hate eBay. People who don’t feel the need to bother with written English make me nervous, and people who sit around for four days before shipping something make me even more nervous. I guess we’ll see what happens on Monday.
The good news is that I have no choice but to shoot if I’m going to effectively teach this class, so there are likely some 35mm black and whites on the way.
Ironically enough, the passage that formerly appeared on ethics here has been removed. For ethical reasons. Great.
Something about fields of flags always catches my eye
(and this one was no exception).
Redscale film is something I’d like to shoot more of in the future.
Kodak Gold 200 Redscale, Fuji toy camera, regular C-41 processing.
I’ve gotten away from my black and white roots.
When I first got my infamous $3 camera, I needed a roll of film to try it out with. I couldn’t think of anything better than Kodak 400CN, a black and white film that can be developed in regular C-41 color chemistry virtually anywhere. Even better, a local shop had an expired roll for $2. If I were Warren Buffett, I can’t help but think my photography would be different.
This is just a door in an alley in Virginia, but I like it.
Kodak 400CN approximately twelve months outdated, Fuji Smart Shot II (the “smart” part always makes me laugh, becaue I feel like an idiot for using it).
More toy cameras.
I shot another roll of redscaled film last week with much better results. Wide angle lenses (even if they are plastic and attached to a $3 camera) ar great for close-up perspective-disorting shots. I like how huge the (admittedly huge in real life) brake rotor looks. I had a dream last night that I bought some sort of used Triumph, and it reminded me that I wanted to post this.
Kodak Gold 200 film (expired six years ago and salvaged from my roommate’s mother’s closet) redscaled and shot in a Fuji Smart Shot II toy camera.
Am I lowering my standards?
After my repeated CVS developing disasters (preceded by my CVS scanning disasters), I’ve finally given up on CVS One-Hour Photo Processing. There’s something so incredibly convenient about having your negatives developed while you wait (they put a develop-only through in about twenty minutes), but when they are routinely destroying rolls of your film, it quickly becomes a problem. Now that I’m taking my film to the local professional shop, the dust and scratch problems have literally disappeared. While the jump from $2.19 to $3 per roll is really hurting my wallet, the real downside is waiting for my film to come back. They only run C-41 when enough piles up, which usually comes to about once a week. Last time I walked in literally ten minutes before they were running film and had my negatives back in twenty-five minutes. The next roll I dropped off has been there for five days, and will hopefully be done tomorrow. As a result, the blog has become a bit sporadic, and when a roll doesn’t work out (for example, because I’m shooting slide film I’ve never cross processed before in a camera with a lens I’ve (almost) never used before and another that I’d not only used before but cost $3.71), it can mean a dry week.
As is my usually style, I’ve been occasionally going back to these for a week. letting them grow on me and seeing if anything I really like emerges. Unfortunately, nothing did. I do think this is an interesting shot though (if just for the documentary value), and it’s also an interesting example of what happens when you cross process. These are the “natural” colors. This is not a Photoshop action or something of that nature (my post-processing consisted of a crop, a little highlight recovery, and a slight “s” in curves to boost contrast, along with the sharpening that is a necessity for every negative scan). Cross-processed films tend to turn either magenta or green to varying extents depending on the film used and the exposure, and this is an example of a strong magenta shift. You can also see how it varies across the tonal range: The highlights (the back of the SUV) have virtually no shift, the lights (brighter portions of the pavement and sky) have a minimal shift, and the darks (farther edges of the pavement and sky) have a strong shift toward magenta.
Also, note that I appear in the image. A decidedly postmodern nod in an otherwise pointless picture.
Fuji Sensia 100 shot in a Fuji Smart Shot II (which is ghetto beyond all imagining, and please be aware that the camera in that image is the “deluxe” model, which mine is not) cross-processed C-41 (and not ruined, but unfortunately also pretty uninteresting).