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Disposable Results

Posted 2009.10.29 19.39 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

I’ve been playing with disposable / single-use cameras again. I think I have reproducable results finally, in processing colour film with B&W chemistry.

The film is Fuji ISO 800, which I processed for 7 minutes in TMax and then fixed for 30 minutes. Like the last time I tried processing Fuji 800, it came out pretty good. As before though, I didn’t really take any remarkable pictures – just goofing around with a disposable camera.

Oh – and the disposable camera had some other goodies inside it… springs, a crappy lens, and an electronic flash assembly.

More Colours, Less Bright

Posted 2009.10.27 9.55 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

I also decided to try a roll of colour film in my home-made pinhole camera. Once again, I used reversal (slide) film, because I had read it was tempermental and you had to be very precise with your exposures. Obviously, I had to put some through the pinhole camera.

I took about half the exposures on a bright sunny day, and the rest of the exposures on a grey damp evening at dusk. The results are… interesting. I will protest that the scans do not do the slides justice – remember these aren’t 35mm, these are 6cm x 6cm slides (2 1/4 x 2 1/4 inches.) There’s something like four times the area on one of these, than a 35mm slide. Lots of detail. Seeing them on a light-table is amazing.

Scanning and down-sizing them for the web and all that… they lose some of their lustre.

Nonetheless, there were some interesting shots…

Technical stuff: Fuji Astia, ISO 100, 120 format, shot with my home-made pinhole camera. Exposures were guesstimated. Processed E-6 by a professional lab.

The Colours! So Bright!

Posted 2009.10.26 17.37 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

So a friend of mine was telling me about this exciting new trend in photography, called “colour”. Appearantly it’s the latest rage, although you can’t easily process the film at home, you have to take it out to a lab for processing.

Anyhow, I got my hands on a roll of fancy new colour-reversal (aka slide) 120-format film and my trusty Zeiss Ikon folding 6×6 Nettar camera, and struck out to find some subjects. Now I have read that the reversal / slide film is very unforgiving about exposure, so you have to be really bang-on accurate when you take the pictures. So naturally, I just winged it and used my best-guess for aperture and shutter speed.

Colour seems like it could be fun, the reversal (slide) film proved to be as touchy as I had heard, but it did provide some nice results. A couple shots had some light-blooms at the bottom, due to a problem I found with the 60-year-old Zeiss Ikon: a loose spring on the take-up spool led to loose film, which led to light-blooms when I removed the roll from the camera. I’ve since tightened up the spring.

Technical stuff: Fuji Velvia, ISO 100, 120 format, in a Zeiss Ikon Nettar, 75mm lens, exposed according to “sunny-16” rule. Processed E-6 by a professional lab.

C41 Film, B&W Chemistry

Posted 2009.09.25 9.35 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

So I’ve tried a few times to process colour film at home in Black & White chemicals. And I’ve had a few failures. It started out as a lark, then became a bit of a challenge and a learning process. In the meantime, I also got a newer, better scanner that has a bit more oomph in its transparency adapter and can better manage the darker negs that colour film produce. (Darker due to a built-in orange mask.)

My most-recent attempt actually produced workable results! Pitty I wasn’t trying to take good pictures.

What happened was, I picked up one of those disposable / one-use cameras. It was cheap, a ‘store-brand’, and mostly I wanted to take it apart to get at the shutter assembly and the electronic flash components. So I had 27 frames of film to piss away, and I did just that, snapping here there and whatever. The film was ISO 800 which is very fast (for me at least, I used to think 100 was ‘standard’ and 400 was ‘very fast’; now 400 seems standard.)

Anyhow, so at the end of the day I had managed to waste the whole roll and took the camera apart to get it out. The no-name camera contained a roll of no-name film. I had been hoping for some clue as to who made it, so I’d have some hope of knowing what to expect. No luck. So I snipped off a bit of the leader then loaded the rest into my developing tank.

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My Eyes! Aauuugh!

Posted 2009.09.18 7.38 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

I know I said I wasn’t going to try and process colour film in B&W chemicals any more. The problem is, I was reading and came across a clue as to what I did wrong. I didn’t fix it long enough – I read someone was fixing for 30 minutes to get good results. So armed with this new knowledge, I decided to give it another shot. I had two exposed rolls, and got a second reel for my tank so I can now process ruin film at twice the efficiency.

Well, it didn’t really turn out again. I don’t know what was wrong this time. Maybe I mixed the fixer too weak. I’ll have to go and read some more. The negs were still so dark (almost opaque) that I really had to push the scanner just to get an image out of them.

This time though I decided to go a little crazy with them. Instead of scanning them as black and white, I scanned in colour. And instead of trying to get realistic images, I decided to just yank the sliders and dials this way and that, I let each frame inspire me.

Oh – and I almost forgot! All these pictures were taken with a pinhole camera! I was not just testing the home film processing, but the roll itself was a test of using a pinhole instead of a lens.

Playing with Chemicals

Posted 2009.09.06 17.51 in Hobbies, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

I remember back in high school, I think it was grade 10, when the science teacher banned me from doing experiments. Whomever I was partnered with, got to play with the chemicals and I had to take the notes. It seemed terribly unfair, although it probably saved the school some money and agravation.

Though I maintain to this day that it wasn’t my fault — the textbooks simply should not ask “What do you think will happen if you…?” unless it’s something they realize you might try. After all, it’s science! Empirical data beats speculation hands-down. Why wonder what might happen, when you have the vial in your hand and the beaker on the desk? Just find out!

But I digress.

Having recently got my hands on some chemicals for developing black and white film, and having some colour film laying around, I decided I wanted to find out just how ‘well’ the two would mix. I’ve read that you can process colour negs with b&w chemicals, but I’ve also read that it’s tricky and takes a lot of trial and error to make it go.

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