View Full Version : Finally finished a roll of film

08-24-2020, 05:04 AM
A few years ago I decided that I would periodically revisit using my old film cameras. It was great going back to the cameras I loved using in the 80s, however I found that I either preferred digital for the subject matter available, or got caught in the mindset of preserving the number of frames of film, or worried that I might miss an opportunity if I didn't have my digital camera.

The result was that the film has been in the camera for something like 4 years. I finally finished it off a week or so ago and have just got back the processed film. I think I need to concede that I am not a hipster and that digital is now my go-to photography medium.

I still have one roll left, so stay tuned for the next update in 4-5 years time when that is finished.

This photo is from that roll. From memory, I noticed a mural across the street from the hotel I was staying at. By positioning myself in the right spot in the room, I could fill the mural in the window. For those that are interested (MBrager) it is taken on Ilford FP4

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50262520387_bfdb1510ce_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2jzwyc6)Ilford FP4 (https://flic.kr/p/2jzwyc6) by Dwayne (https://www.flickr.com/photos/56001877@N04/), on Flickr

08-24-2020, 04:59 PM
Great eye for the comp - but the PP needs work to my eye.
The INTERIOR has a nice dynamic range. But the portrait of the face is full on flat, it does not sing. The eye in particular is sooo flat.
(Unless you are going for the flatness on purpose, If this were mine I would bump up the contrast big time on the face......and possibly reduce it on the interior)
Hope that may help

08-24-2020, 10:45 PM
Thanks for the comments Marko.

All are valid and I will rework with this in mind.

I suppose I was leaving processing to a minimum to retain the integrity of the film characteristics. The only edit was was a very slight crop where I had a corner of chair in bottom right of frame. I don't know why I felt I wouldn't process it. I am in no way a "purist" on these matters. Perhaps it is just different and I hadn't thought it through

I was working with the scan that was done by the developing lab, and is evident that I clipped the shadows in the interior. I think I will scan myself and see what I can draw out, and bump up the murals contrast.

I did have another shot that was taken front on, that had lovely contrast on the mural (however i preferred the composition on the one shared).

Thanks again for comments and challenging me. I do appreciate that.

08-24-2020, 10:45 PM
Well, congratulations anyway on completing the film roll. What you point out about film is that it forces us to focus on composition and accurate exposure. Not always to our liking and it takes some getting used to and/or commitment. Black and white film creates a different mentality for the photographer having to consider the composition without the colors. Digital photography obviates both of these points since shooting multiple shots and converting color to black and white is a simple matter. In your photo here, your excellent eye for cool hipster composition is obviously still in play and I love the idea of this photo taken out of a window frame.
Marko's point about the processing is correct, but as he has pointed out to me several times, film exposure and processing is not the same as digital. I find that besides the film type itself, there are many other factors affecting how the final picture turns out. For instance, there is no longer anywhere in our city where a black and white regular film roll can be developed, so I've had to learn to develop, scan and process the negatives myself. It would of interest to know what you are showing us here: a scan of a negative which you converted, or a scan of a positive photo received from your processor. I'd also love to see more of your photos, here or on Flickr. Also, I'm curious about your camera. A Canon? Hopfully you'll reconsider making us wait 4 years to see more film.

08-25-2020, 02:33 AM
Thanks Mike,

Yes, I have come to appreciate that you need to approach film with a different mindset and intent. That is what appeals to me about it, however I still think I have not given it the proper contemplation and have been thinking more about results than enjoying the process and embracing the differences.

Interestingly we seem to have more and more film processing labs setting up here (or probably more accurately reintroducing developing to the range of services offered). The photo above is the scan done by the lab of the negative, as part of their service. I didn't get any positive prints made. Having said that, I only got the stock standard scan option and didn't get the extra-quality scan as I was planning to do that myself. Hopefully I may get some more subtlety in the tonality when I do my own scan.

Now I have another roll back I am a bit more enthusiastic again. If I do start to do more film, I would probably develop my own negatives as I understand that it is quite cheap once you have set up.

The camera I used for this roll was my Canon AE-1 Program. It was my first SLR camera that I bought when at university. I have couple of nice lenses that just don't date. I also have a more vintage Canon (was my grandfathers) and Minolta rangefinder that used to be my mothers. The lens on the Minolta is wonderful and I would love to use that again, however the last time I looked I couldn't find a suitable replacement for the mercury battery (that is used for exposure metering). I must check that out again now that of that type of item is found online.

08-25-2020, 09:12 AM
I suppose I was leaving processing to a minimum to retain the integrity of the film characteristics.

Nahhhh -:) From lots of BW experience, every print benefits greatly from dodging and burning - not doing so gets ya flat or overcontrasty prints.
Exposure and development are just parts 1 and 2. Part 3 is the printing with local and global adjustments.
The great master Ansel Adams knew this well long before digital and that's why nearly all his prints sing.
Hope that may help!

Also for me...the real magic of BW is the printing - always has been. There's NOTHING like seeing the work 'appear' in the developing bath under the red light.
Print it on high quality Fibre or RC of which there are many flavours in terms of surface feel. It's more 'hand-made' - feels much more like being an artisan. It's more satisfying - it's rarer. I'll stop now. :)