Captures of the Day (30/5/19)

We had a trip to Gunwharf Quays yesterday. The light was beautiful and I was able to get several good photos out of it. All shot with a Tokina 11-16mm lense.

I loved the reflections in this pool, which was an unusual colour.
I was interested in the curves of the buildings, which was accentuated by the lense.
Number one. This photo very much lended itself to a 2:1 crop. I really liked the strong lines.
I initially thought this photo hadn’t come out as I’d liked, but after going back to it and messing in Exposure X4.5, I managed to get something I liked.
Number two. I was very pushed to decide which of these looking out to sea I preferred, so they’ve both gone up.

Captures Of The Day (18/05/19) – or the tale of the forgotten battery…

So, I forgot to take my camera battery with me today, leaving me with just my phone camera. I’ve only ever used it for snap shots, so didn’t really know how it performed. It’s fine out wide. As soon as you focus up close you find it’s all digital zoom. Very disappointing as I wanted to do some macro photography. Even more disappointing was that the macro shots I did take looked good on the screen, but crap when I put them on the computer. I guess you win some, you lose some.

View through a tire swing.
Sweeping Flowers. False colour added in Exposure X4.5
Flowers given a red-cyanotype look.
Given a infra-red look in Exposure X4.5
A good use for an old bath

Large Format Friday

When I started playing with my large format camera the other day, I was fully expecting to have six beautiful negatives I could share here. Instead, I’ve had two crap negatives and the rest were completely unusable. So when it comes down to it, what went wrong?

Well I seem to be under exposing the negatives. But here’s the thing, I don’t know if it’s me or the shutter not working correctly. I’m also unsure how to compensate for a very extended bellows, so I’m just guessing.

On the interesting side of things, it’s forcing me to slow down and think. It’s been a while since I’ve really stopped to think about what zone something should be in. I’ve just relied on in-camera light meters and chimping it. I’ve had to slow down my process of taking a photo too. Check this, adjust that and play with the other. It’s enjoyable and frustrating at the same time! It’s very much like learning photography all over again.

The other downside in the darkroom is that it took an age to load the Mod 54, which last time was an absolute breeze. You win some, you lose some.

I’m posting the photos here, as much as a reminder of where I’m starting from as anything. So anyway, for your delectations, two very crap photos. Enjoy.

Wheelbarrow and box, Fomapan 100 in DD-X 1+4
A rose leaf. Fomapan 100 in DD-X 1+4

Captures Of The Day (16/5/19)

I spent a very nice hour and a half at Lake Community Gardens today. Had a mooch with the camera and got some shots I’m happy with.

A horse’s eye, taken with a 70-300mm lense.
While this isn’t an ideal shot, with the undergrowth getting in the way, I’m still pretty happy with it. This goose was sitting, but unfortunately there don’t seem to be any goslings. Taken with 70-300m lense.
Not sure what this flower is. Taken with Lensbaby Edge 35 Optic.
An iris flower, toned black and white. Taken with Lensbaby Edge 35 Optic.
And finally, another shot of the iris, this time in colour. Taken with Lensbaby Edge 35 Optic.

Developing Black and White Film, Part 2

Well I thought this would be a two part post, but it’s slipped over to three. I didn’t realise how much detail I wanted to provide and I didn’t quite realise how long it would take to write. Still very new to this blogging lark!

This is what you’ll need for the wet side of developing your film:

  1. Developer (Ilford Ilfotec DD-X)
  2. Stop Bath (Fotospeed SB-50)
  3. Fixer (Fotospeed FX-30, Odourless)
  4. Wetting agent (Ilford Ilfosol)
  5. Measuring cylinders. These ones take 600ml. You can get bigger and smaller, the latter will help measuring smaller amounts of chemicals. A top tip is to label your cylinders (eg. Dev, Stop, Fix). Even pros can accidentally put the fixer in first!
  6. Paterson triple timer. You can get analogue timers too, but I find that the Paterson digital ones are very resilient.
  7. Syringes. Again, useful for measuring small amount of chemicals.
  8. Thermometer. I prefer the digital probe type.

So, you should now have your film nicely tucked away in the tank and ready for development.

A quick mention of how the chemicals work. The developer develops the exposed silver in the film. The stop bath stops this process. The fixer removes excess, undeveloped silver from the film, preventing it from “developing out” in the light. You then need to wash the fixer off the film. Finally, you can use a wetting agent to help the film dry evenly. It’s also worth noting, some chemicals can be re-used and this is indicated as capacity of the chemical.

The first step is to mix your chemicals. If you look on the bottle, or the documentation for your chemicals, it’ll give you a ratio, such as 1+4. So for every 1 of one thing, there’s 4 of another, usually chemical to water. If you look on the bottom of your Paterson developing tank, it’ll tell you how much of the total mixture you’ll need to develop one roll of 35mm or 120 film. Since we’re just developing one 35mm film, you should need to mix up 290ml of solution.

So, assuming your chemical needs to be mixed at 1+4, you divide the total mixture by the total parts… in other words 290 / (1+4) or 290 / 5. This gives you 58. This is the 1 of the parts, so that’s 58ml of developer. You can add this to your measuring cylinder and then fill up to 290ml with water that’s 20 degrees C.

Now, you can develop at different temperatures, but 20 C is the “standard” temperature. Ilford provide a compensation chart for different temperatures.

If you’re really lucky, your water might come out at 20 degrees, but chances are it doesn’t. If you have a mixer tap, you should be able to get it right, but if like me you don’t, you just have to fill a container with warm and cold water until it’s “just right”. If you don’t want to do this (for instance, if you’re using deionized water in a bottle), you can fill a tray or large container with ice water or hot water and put your cylinder/s in it. This can take quite a while to get to the right temperature though and you will need to periodically stir it to get an even temperature.

Development info for Ilford Delta 100

You also need to know how long to develop your film for. This can also be found on your developer bottle or your film packet… but, your film or developer may not always be listed. This is where the Massive Dev Chart comes in. Select your film and developer on the left, click search and it will list time, dilutions, temperature, film size etc. Bookmark it, now!

Now you’re ready to go and in part 3, we will actually develop the film.