When I had scanned all of the negatives from my cross-processed slide roll (see here and here) and was looking at my virtual contact sheet in Lightroom, I noticed something strange: The same character appeared twice. Though it seemed completely illgocial, upon closer inspection there really is no denying that the subject of this photograph is the same one shown here (note the tight white sweatshirt, bouquet, and shoes- I couldn’t believe it myself at first). The first was shot through a plastic window as I climbed a flight of stairs on one side of a parking garage, and as I wandered around the roof shooting, this guy apparently made his way all the way around to the opopsite corner where I unknowingly caught him again.
So why isn’t this one color? The more I look at this roll, the more I like them procesed black and white. Part of me feels like that defeats the entire purpose of cross processing (usually done for the crazy color shifts, which I have yet to see), but it does keep the sharpness, graininess, and high contrast intact (in fact, these things might be more noticeable). Though at first I tired to convince myself that the color versions were “truer” to the form, I think I’ll go with what makes images I like better from now on. For most of these, it’s E-6 processed C-41, scanned, and digitally converted to black and white. If I’m happy with the result, what difference does it make how I got there (assuming, of course, that I didn’t steal the image from someone else and put my name on it or something of that nature).
Maybe I should just go back to digital.
Kodak Elite Chrome 400 (expired a while ago), Ricoh KR-10 Super (unlikely to see more use due to light leaks), C-41 (color negative) cross procesing, digital black and white conversion.
I’m pleased that I’m pleased with two of the images from my very first cross-processed roll. My expectations were low, but I am going to go get some more Elite Chrome tomorrow (the store was closed today). I think this is a nice contrast to yesterday’s Valentine’s image. Between the two, it seems like everyone should have something to identify with. This one was so sharp (with none applied in scanning) that I actually backed off the clarity a little in Lightroom. I have learned three things about cross processing E-6 film in C-41 chemicals: It’s unpredictable, it’s grainy, and it can be so sharp it makes my head hurt. My hypothesis: Bright sun and overexposure make the colors go crazy (more formal testing of that one will commence when I get more film).
Kodak Elite Chrome 400 slide film (expired 10/2007) shot in a leaky KR-10 Super and processed (poorly) C-41 by the drones at the CVS in town.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
After finishing up a particularly long week on Friday, I stopped by the camera store in town to chat with the owners. They’ve been at photography longer than I’ve been living, so they have all sorts of interesting perspectives on various things photographic (especially vintage gear, which is all I have now that I’ve parted ways with my digital SLR). After talking to one of them for probably an hour, I asked about expired film and found that they had a gold mine. After attempting faux cross processing before, the prospect of expired Elite Chrome slide film was too exciting to turn down. I bought a roll, shot it the next day (yesterday), and had it developed at CVS that evening. Here are the results of my real live cross process: Grainy, ugly, tinted, and supersaturated. Hope your Valentine’s Days were as good as mine was.
Kodak Elite Chrome slide (E6) film developed in C41 color negative process at CVS. Shot in a Ricoh KR-10 Super which apparently has light leaks.