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Monday, 28 October 2013

Massive dev chart App

Digital truth have produced an app for all that wonderful film developing time data they have on their site. Called the Massive Dev chart timer. It has different coloured screens so it can be used in the darkroom and will recalculate times for different temperatures.   

Now you can get any combination of  film and developer the heart desires at the touch of a button on your phone. It will cost you £5.99 and comes in Android and Apple flavors.


Friday, 25 October 2013

Zero double take project first results.


Zero 6x9 camera. film FP4+ 120 format 6x6 neg size,
developed in PMK Pyro and printed on silverproof
paper, developed in Ilford warm tone dev.
As I sit here reviewing the first batch of photographs from double take, the wind and the rain is still lashing the property - something it has been doing for the last twenty four hours. I'm pleased to be inside in front of a warm fire with Tabatino who is stretched out in front of it like a rug. 


Zero 6x9 camera. film FP4+ 120 format 6x6 neg size,
developed in PMK Pyro and printed on silverproof
paper, developed in Ilford warm tone dev.
The contact print shows that the second exposures are quite weak and will require dodging and burning to make their presence felt. With this in mind I  have been using half page test strips  so I can see how much more exposure is needed to bring out the weaker parts of the negative. This has given me a better overall idea of how much extra time the weaker parts of the picture need so I can get as close as possible to what the final print will look like. Having  chosen to use 6x6 negatives I find myself cropping them to a landscape frame size giving me more choice over which parts of the negative make the final composition and partly to get the best use out of the paper size. I'm using Silverprint's gloss proof paper mainly because I believe it has added something to the overall expression of the photographs.
Zero 6x9 camera. film FP4+ 120 format 6x6 neg size,
developed in PMK Pyro and printed on silverproof
paper, developed in Ilford warm tone dev.

The results of this first film have been a pleasant surprise in that most of the negatives have produced picture combinations that work well. Whether this is down to luck or the pre-planning in the picture combinations only time will tell. The day I took the pictures was a challenge in that it was windy with a broken cloud sky that was fast moving making metering each shot difficult. By the time I had worked out the shutter speed and opened it the scene in some cases had gone from bright sunshine to dull and overcast or vice versa. It just goes to show how forgiving film is when it comes to exposing it in rapidly changing light conditions over extended periods. These were printed at grade 3 and not my more common split procedure.

Related posts:

Split grade printing.

Zero pinhole camera

Using Zero pinhole camera

Reciprocity

The start of double take.




Sunday, 20 October 2013

vintage ads: OlympusTrip David Bailey



As you know I am a fan of David Bailey. This is one of an add campaign that coined the phrase Whose he! There are a number of these on YouTube all very funny.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Basic kit for producing Black and white negatives.


For those who are thinking of processing their own film it can be quite daunting for the first time. If you keep things basic by using popular brands like Ilford and Kodak for film and chemicals not much can go wrong. What people don't tell you is that film like FP4+ is quite forgiving and a good place to start processing for the novice, making it quite easy to get good results.

With the advent of digital the darkroom has become a lightroom with the help of a scanner and changing bag. You no longer have to look for a place in the property that is or can be made light tight.

The basic kit:

Changing Bag: looks like a tee-shirt without a hole to put your head through and is double lined to make sure it is light tight. It will take time too get used to and will require some dummy runs to get the feel of it. Developing tank: there are two types, 35mm and universal. The universal tank will allow you to process 120 format as well as 35mm; you will also need to practice loading the film onto the spiral. Oh! before I forget there are two types of spiral plastic and metal each uses a different Technic to load. I would suggest starting with the plastic type first as it easier to get the hang of. Force film washer: is a tube that fits onto the water tap and into the top of the developing tank. It is for putting water into the tank for the wash cycle. Three measuring jugs that will cope with more than 600 mls of fluid, Chemicals: Developer, Stop and Fix, all come as concentrate or powder and will require mixing with water to get the right working strengths. Spirit thermometer: for checking that the chemicals are at 20 degrees C. Storage containers: of a suitable size will be needed to keep diluted chemicals. Wetting agent: by putting a couple of drops in the developing tank after you finish washing the film and a minute before you take the film out helps to prevent drying marks on the film. Film clips times two: so you can hang the film up to dry and if you place one on the bottom it stops the film curling while drying. An alternative is to use Pegs.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

A bit of a surprise.

There was a new kid on the block, a brash whipper snapper that goes by the name of Fisheye 2. This little fellow punches above his weight with the quality of pictures he produces. I'm not sure why I am surprised at this. I can only think that my view of the toy camera market has been tainted by the snobbery of professionalism! It is a brilliant piece of kit that allows a further string to the creative bow.

Let's be honest it is not my camera. My wife purchased it because she loves the fish bowl effect it produces when printed. She also thinks that the double, triple and many more exposures on a single frame are awesome. But the main thing is ease of use. 

This can lead to a bit of a dispute over who took what, especially when both of us are using it at the same venue! The only rule, once a film is finished we agree that colour or monochrome film is loaded. My wife prefers colour but more black and white film has been exposed.

Basically it is a point and shoot camera with a 170 degree field of view. With a couple of important buttons the most important as far as my wife in concerned is the little one on the back that allows the shutter to be re-primed for multi exposures and the other on the top right front by the shutter release ( which i think is the most important), this controls exposure the; L position locks the shutter so it is not tripped accidentally; N is the standard setting of 1/100 sec @ F8 and B a bulb setting that allows long exposures.
  

I must admit it's good to get away from all those decisions an SLR brings to the picture taking process. Just concentrating on the composition is  unexpectedly liberating knowing that if it all go's wrong it is a minds eye fault and not a technical one! when it comes to multiple exposures where serendipity influences the mix, some are far better than others.  Nevertheless  always interesting. I felt that I had been taken back in time to the excitement and wonder I experienced with my first camera.

It was a surprise when Elizabeth Roberts editor of  Black and White photography magazine got in touch asking if it would be OK to publish some of these pictures in the portfolio section. An unexpected boost to what has been a bad news year.

These pictures were taken in and around Baton upon Humber area, over a number of visits.  They are a mix of pictures  all made playfully exploiting the advantages of the lens. I had not intended to create a series. It just so happens to be an interesting part of the river Humber with its nature reserves, the bridge and foot path that extends to the estuary.


Three makes of film were used Agfa APX @100 ISO, out of date HP5 @400 ISO and out of date Fomapan 200 @200 ISO all developed in ID11. The pictures have been printed on a number of different photographic papers. The ones that appear in the magazine are printed on silverproof matt. Developed in a mix of Moersch SE6 blue and Ilford warmtone.