Tag: photography

A photographer at work
My Uncle Bernard working the light during sunrise at Saltwick Bay near Whitby

Leica M6 + Zeiss 28mm. Kodak Tri-X @ 320 developed in HC110(B)

I often load a film at night and leave it in the tank ready for developing another day with a Post It to remind me not to open it, as well as which film is in there.


Bill Cunningham is an absolute photography legend, still snapping away on the streets of New York and every catwalk with his battered Nikon FM2.

I recently got hold of the documentary movie about him (Bill Cunningham New York by Zeitgeist films) which is a must watch for any (film) photography nut. He’s a very charming and kind fellow, as well as a master with a camera. There is a lot to be learned from his technique, he uses off camera flash for social events.

I also love Bill’s trademark blue janitor jacket, surely a fashion waiting to happen!


Pulau Perhentian Besar on Flickr.

Just scanned a 35mm roll which I shot in May 2010 in Malaysia. Fantastic results as usual, I do love analogue. Flattening the film for a long time really helps the scan.

The rest of them have been added to my old Malaysia 2010 set

Tech: Canon QL17, Kodak TMAX 100 (ISO100). HC-110 (B)

Developing and scanning process with the Leica CL

Superscoop

I’m starting to get some acceptable results with the Leica CL now after a few teething troubles.

Teething Problems 101

I’ve been using Kodak HC-110 to develop my films (Ilford HP5 above) in my Patterson System 4 tank and reels. There have been troubles…

  1. Loading the reels takes practice, and is not made easier by the fact that the CL reverse loads the film onto its spool – it’s best to cut a generous amount of the film leader off and to leave it rewound in the cannister for 24-hours before loading onto the developing reel.
  2. I had the European Concentrate version of Kodak HC-110. Very confusingly, in 500ml bottles this is weaker than the 1L concentrate syrup sold to the rest of the world (and the UK). I was diluting as per 1L syrup and thus using only 30% of the required developer, no wonder my negatives were pale.
  3. Scanning is a black art requiring precise repetition of steps and careful preparation of the negatives so that they are as flat as possible to achieve even exposure. I tried a few methods but gave in and got a Canoscan 8800F which is a reasonably priced and relatively high-end scanner that gets good reviews.

Analog with the Leica CL – steep learning curve

I recently decided to go back to analogue photography, mostly to get some use out of the lovely Leica CL which I have owned for about 2 years now and never even put a roll of film through.

I haven’t shot with a fully manual camera for almost 10 years and I’ve never used a rangefinder so the learning curve was always going to be steep. But why stop there?

I had always wanted to try home film developing but didn’t want to outlay on the kit. Now that nobody uses film anymore it turns out that the darkroom kit can be found quite cheaply often in kits (£15 for the whole lot from http://www.secondhanddarkroom.co.uk/ ).

Here’s a bare minimum checklist of what is required for B&W:

Hardware

  1. Developing tank and film reel
  2. Measuring cylinder (1 minimum, 2 better)
  3. Thermometer
  4. Bottle opener (to flip the film cannister open)
  5. Scissors (to trim the leader film off)
  6. Film clips (pegs work if you’re super cheap)

Chemicals

  1. Developer (I use Kodak HC-110 syrup)
  2. Fixer (any will do)
  3. Water (at 20C)

The fixer does not have a dramatic effect on the results, but the developer really does. They all have their own characteristics and even one developer can give a variety of results depending on variables such as dilution, temperature, agitation and duration of processing.

I have no interest in color analogue since it has been shown that color digital photography is superior, but black and white silver film still offers the ultimate exposure latitude even in the digital age. That’s why you get those lovely silky smooth grey tones.

Stay tuned for some initial results and no doubt a painful voyage of discovery