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.
Photography can be unexpected.
Not too long ago, I thought I had perfected the color film in black and white chemistry processs with my particular set of film and chemicals. Thrilled that I had finally worked out a foolproof formula, I shot and developed another roll. As soon as I took the negatives out of the tank, however, I knew something was wrong. They were darker and denser than the previous set, and the scans bore out my suspicions: Bad. However, one image of a mural in an alley over a doorway looked like it might be redeemable. I “redeemed” it by cropping out everything but the mural (which was the only thing even remotely close to correctly exposed). Here it is.
Fuji Superia 400 color film developed in Clayton F76+ black and white chemistry and shot in a Minolta XD5 with center-weighted metering, which I no longer trust.
More new material! Shot Saturday night, developed Sunday afternoon, printed and scanned Saturday night. This is my first attempt at push processing, and the results aren’t pretty, though i think the image is interesting. The negatives are probably better than this. Unfortunately, this is a scan from perhaps the worst CVS print I’ve ever seen (which is saying a lot). I imagine they do fine as long as you don’t ask their computer algorithm to interpret sometihng like a two-stop push- oh wait, is that dust all over the scan (and more that I cloned out)?
All ranting aside, I’m pretty pleased to have gotten an image at all considering this was my first push process and I literally made up the development time. Hopefully I’ll be dealing with a better scan soon, and perhaps an updated version will even make it here. For now, let freshness triumph over polished results.
After looking deep into my conscience, this picture is better with the full story. I was out taking pictures at around 12:30 (AM) when I saw a police officer lumbering down the sidewalk all by himself. An awkward kind of man doing an awkward kind of job in a drinking town, he seemed like an interesting subject, or at the very least someone whose antics might amuse me. Assured in the safety of my sobriety, I followed him for a ways, shooting him against various backdrops. I felt rather guilty, but I put it behind me and kept shooting. I was following when he turned up the stairs you see to his left, which brought me into his field of view. I had anticipated this and didn’t want to be caught with my camera pointed at him (since civil servants and emergency responders tend to consider themselves above being photographed, although they are absolutely not in the United States), and ducked into an alley to my left. As I disappeared into the shadows, I saw him turn and step in my direction, and then I realized it: There’s only one thing people do in dark alleys at 12:30 AM in drinking towns, and the police tend not to take kindly to it.
Shockingly, this defender of the peace not only failed to comprehend “low light street photography” and “two-stop push,” but even after I related the basics of these elusive concepts to him proceeded to lecture me from his infinite photography wisdom: “It’s been my experience,” he said condescendingly, “That when there’s no light the camera tends not to see anything.” I immediately thought of at least eleven witty retorts about the camera never “seeing” anything or the “complicated chemical process” employed by the dinosaurs that predate digital photography, but I instead proffered some explanation of my experimentation with extremely low levels of light with chemical manipulation. “Make sure you’re not peeing” he quipped smigly before turning away. It was at that moment that I, with no remorse whatsoever, captured his awkwardness forever using a complicated chemical process in a box that saw nothing.
Agfapan APX 400 shot at 1600 and push-processed in 1+19 F76+ for a more or less arbitrary amount of time. Mildly corrected scan of a horrendous print.