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All Sorts of Organized

Posted 2011.10.23 11.25 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

The Allsorts have organized!

Licorice All-Sorts of Organized

Licorice All-Sorts of Organized

You can’t eat just one. You can’t just eat one. You have to take them mathematically, or not at all!

Found Film #5

Posted 2011.09.15 23.34 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

I recently acquired another camera (no, really!) via that auction site, and was pleasantly surprised to find it arrived pre-loaded with a roll of film. The counter was on 8, so as long as nobody had opened the film door along the way, there was a good chance it had usable images.

This is my fifth roll of found film. After complaining that I was never lucky enough to find any, suddenly it’s everywhere!

I went ahead and shot off the rest of the roll (kitty pictures mostly) just to get to the end, then rewound it and gave it a bath in colour chemistry. The roll was a store brand ISO 200, 24 exposure colour negatives. The brand was “” and interestingly, it was marked as pre-paid processing. I don’t know if there are any PhotoLab stores around me, and if there are, if they still process film, and if they do, if they’d honour my found roll. And anyways, it’s way more fun to soup it at home.

As always, there is some suspense up till the moment you open the tank and look in for that first glimpse. There were images! The film was good!

It appears to be part of someone’s holiday snaps – either the start of the trip, or the end. I’m going to go ahead and say it’s probably from the end of the trip. I’m pretty confident of this, for two reasons.

First, when you snap a half dozen shots that include going to the airport, and then (presumably) being picked up at the other end, then you leave the rest of the roll in the camera unused, that sounds to me like someone went home and put things away. If they had just started out on the trip, they’d have used up the rest of the film, right?

Second, the person I bought the camera from was not local – the camera had to travel some distance to arrive on my doorstep… but the picture in the Taxi, and the pictures at the airport, were taken surprisingly close to me – in and around Toronto International Airport.

Anyhow, enough talking, and on to some images!

Film was souped in my (very old and tired) C-41 kit for about 24 minutes, at 68 degrees F.

Found Film #3

Posted 2011.08.14 9.17 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

In my travels last week, I happened upon some ‘junker’ cameras in a local thrift store. These were modern P&S dime-a-dozen types that I’d normally not give a second glance to. What did catch my eye though, was that one of them had a roll of film in it.

For a couple dollars, I thought what the heck – I bought the camera, to have a go at the film. Getting it home, I quickly figured out why the camera had been abandoned. The lens zooming mechanism was jammed, so when the camera was turned ‘on’ the lens would try to move to the active position, but would lock up then the little LCD screen would show “E” for error.

I fiddled with it for a bit, determined that it was ‘dead’ in this state, so put it in the darkbag. In there, I opened the back, and going by feel, I removed the 35mm can and then carefully pulled the exposed film off the take-up spool, and rewound it back into the cannister.

Still going by feel, I could tell that there wasn’t a lot of film on the take-up spool – the camera had jammed early in the roll. Not a good sign – that meant there wouldn’t be many pictures, if there were any at all.

Of course, it was also a possibility that someone had opened the back and ruined all the film, so regardless of how many frames were taken, there was a good chance all of them would be ruined anyhow. So, nothing to do but keep on going.

Processing was a snap and when it was done, I could see as I was hanging the film to dry that there were only a couple images at the very start of the roll. It looked like there may have been four or five frames taken before the camera failed. Unfortunately, someone had indeed opened the back, which flashed out a few inches of film from the fourth frame back. The first three frames survived, although with some discolouration from the back being opened.

As with previous found films, it’s fun to see what you find, and then a mystery to try and figure out what is going on. Obviously this one is much more current, probably within the last 5 or 10 years, so there isn’t an historic feel to it. Though it’s an interesting note that they had at least two film cameras with them – the one these pictures came from, and the one visible in two of the three pictures.

Anyhow, it really is a bit of an adventure, going through the process with the found film, seeing if you get images or not, and if you do, trying to guess what the people are up to.

The camera itself was kaput and not worth fixing – though I did get a good CR123A lithium camera battery out of it – new, those cost more than I paid for the camera. The film was Kodak Max 400, souped for 20 minutes in (stale, exhausted) C-41 chemistry at room temperature (78° F).

Playing with Colour

Posted 2011.07.10 21.33 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

With the ability to process my own colour film, comes the ability to screw around and mess up my own colour film… Experiments and accidents and serendipity — the possibilities are numerous.

Pink Sky

Naturally, I had to have a go at cross-processing. That’s where you intentionally use the wrong chemicals to develop a particular kind of film.


Not blazing any trails here of course, cross-processing has been around for ages, and my first attempt was to do it the most-common way: develop slide film in negative chemistry. Or to be specific, E-6 reversal film, in C-41 chemistry.

The results were… not bad for my first try. I realize now that cross-processing probably messes with the exposure or development time, so I should have either pushed the film a bit or increased the exposure. For my next attempt I will try exposing it by an extra stop or two.

I really like the effect though – it’s like a dream, everything soft and indistinct and … pink? Apparently the Velvia takes on a pink hue when cross-processed. That’s another thing – every film reacts differently, and some are different from one day to the next within the same kind of film. Different exposures can have different results.

Press Kit

The camera was my plastic Holga medium-format ‘toy’, and the film was Fuji Velvia 100. My chemistry is the Tetenal / Jobo “C-41 Press Kit”.

The press kit comes as bags of dry chemicals and includes instructions on how to mix them. It’s actually very similar to doing black and white.

There’s the developer, then instead of a fixer you have a bleach/fixer (or blix as they call it) and then at the end instead of a long water rinse you have a stabilizer. So with the kit, you need three one-liter bottles, plus your regular film developing gear (tank, spools, et cetera).

Pinhole Colour

Posted 2011.07.06 22.08 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

Another day, another roll of colour film. Sort of. Actually this roll was exposed at least a year ago, some time in 2010. I don’t remember when exactly.

It was some random colour shots around the house with my home-made pinhole camera. I had this roll of medium-format film sitting around waiting for me to make the trip to a professional lab and it just never happened.

So… results are middling. Mostly it’s dirty negs, dust in the scan. Someday I’ll figure out how to keep the negs and scanner from becoming dust-magnets. Sigh. There’s also some persistant dust or lint or something stuck in the camera itself, as evidenced by seeing the same hunk of lint appear on several frames.

Those problems are severe enough that they pretty much ruin the shots, but if you could pretend not to see them, then things actually look not-half-bad, I think.

These were on medium-format (120 roll film) Kodak Portra 400VC, shot in my home-made pinhole camera. Exposure times were guessed. Film was developed at home with C-41 chemistry. This time I developed at room-temperature and guesstimated the development and blix time.

And then, Colour!

Posted 2011.07.04 23.24 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

After a couple decades of developing my own black & white negatives at home, the time has come to make the big jump into colour!

Like many, I’d heard lots of reasons for why not — too difficult, too expensive, too picky, exacting temperature control requirements, and short-lived chemistry. Lately though, I found some articles online that helped to disspell some of these myths.

Finally, looking at the pics I took a couple weeks ago, I realized that it was time to make the jump to colour. Canada Day was the perfect opportunity to shoot some colour, and today I had my first go at processing it.

For my first attempt at processing colour film, I’m fairly pleased. The first image above was using 10-year-expired AgfaColour Pro film, but the rest were on a new roll of Kodak (Professional) Portra 400VC. The VC stands for Vivid Colour and I am quite pleased with the results.

The camera was, um…. well… a Lomo LC-A+. Yeah I know, I know. There’ll be a whole post about that in the future. Honest.

Anyways, I’ve got a couple medium-format rolls lined up for some colour chemistry, and I’m still shooting colour with 35mm as well. So there’ll be more colourful goodness coming in the next couple weeks.

Random Observation

Posted 2010.02.28 12.19 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

If we gathered up lots and lots of pocket lint, bellybutton lint, and dryer lint, we could build it into a big huge pile. Then we could get a couple elephants and coat them in glue, and then roll them around in our huge lint pile. When we were finished, they’d be all colourful and fuzzy I think. But they still wouldn’t be wooly mamoths.

Even if they aren’t wooly mamoths, I think we should do it anyways because big fuzzy colourful elephants would be kind of fun.

Plus, we could tell kids that they were really wooly mamoths after all, and they’d probably believe us, at least for a little while.

It’s important for children to have plenty of opportunities to learn things.