Following on from Adventures in Film Part 1 the next step was to try my hand at developing negatives again. There were a number of reasons, including reducing cost, but also to have a bit more control over the end result and to experiment. It's been a long time since developing b+w negatives, and I've never done 120 film before, but I was quietly confident that it would all come back to me once I got started.
Best man and recent convert to film, Chris (Chris_Dont_surf), came over to watch and learn as well as develop a roll of his own.
I had 2 rolls of Ilford HP5+ from the Holga to develop - no expected keepers, so low risk if I made a pigs ear of it. I wanted to keep things as hassle free as possible, so settled on Ilford DD-X for the developer of choice.
Quality of the image / subject of the shots with the holga aside, I was pleased to have simply not messed up the development process. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of what happened to Chris' roll, but that's a story to be had over a pint sometime.
As with all things film, I keep notebooks of what I'm doing. Consistency is the key to good results, but also troubleshooting if things don't go to plan, so keeping notes is key. Temps, timings, solution ratios etc...
I imagine people reading this will fall into 2 camps; Those that think wonder why go through all the bother and cost when you have a limitless amount of data on an SD card, and those that are interested in film and have maybe thought about developing their own. I would encourage anyone that's thought about developing their own Black and White film to just give it a go. Once you've done it a couple of times, it soon becomes straight forward, and an art form in it's own right. There is nothing quite like the feeling - a mixture of nerves and excitement - of unreeling a freshly washed negative and wondering how they've come out.
I also that doing more film, and slowing, has improved my digital photography too. Using my Fuji XT-1 feels so instantaneous compared to the Hassleblad, that it's a joy to use. Digital and film each have a place in my workflow, and I enjoy the different experiences they both offer me.
Anyway, back on topic... here are a few of my favourite early film shots.
I scanned the negatives using an EPSON V600 flatbed scanner, and the standard Epson Scan software. All of the images have had very minor tweaks in Lightroom
Although the majority of my work has been in black and white, I've also been shooting colour too - Kodak Ektar and Portra. I have had good and bad results with both. The Ektar worked wonderfully on some of the recent frosty days we've had, whilst the Porta did a great job in the local woods. It's also delightful for skin tones!
Article Header image was taken with a Reality So Subtle 6x17 Pinhole Camera and Fuji Acros 100. A collection of pinhole images from London will be a future post.