darkroom-based photography

Category: Chemicals

Standardising on film/developer

film developer combinations
What film/developer?

The general advice on choosing a film/developer combination is to select just one (or two) and to stick to this until you have learned its subtleties. The snag is that I enjoy experimenting, so I find sticking to this advice difficult. However, aside from some specialist techniques like infrared or pinhole, I seem to have settled on a few combinations that I favour …

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Tunbridge Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Church, North Dakota.

This photograph took some effort. The church is almost abandoned, lying about five miles west of Rugby, North Dakota. The problem was that the altar and its furniture was not quite square, so I moved the furniture to find symmetry around the figure of Jesus. Whereas I find asymmetry often pleasing, something that is supposed to be symmetrical but is a shade out gnaws at me at little.

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Pinhole and Pyrocat HD

Pinhole photography inevitably requires long exposures. So one of the features of many pinhole images is the high contrast caused by the long exposures. I am investigating the use of Pyro developers with their compensating behaviour to reduce the overall contrast, particularly in the skies. I also want to incorporate some edge effects. Pinhole images are usually quite soft and this is not always something that I want. In the images below, the mud flats are better with some edge acutance.

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Grrr! Tide marks using C-41 Process

This site is partly about sharing frustrations in learning film photography. A difficulty I am having at the moment is the appearance of tide-marks on my negatives after processing with Tetenal C-41 kit using a Jobo.

The tide marks are very evident in the photograph below. Shame, as I quite like the picture. I can clean the negative, but of course it’s better to avoid the problem in the first place.

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Adox Silvermax with Rodinal 1:50

A diary note: Some say that you should stick to one film/developer combination for a few years to get to know their intricacies. I’m not in that camp, as I like to play. Most of the time I use Ilford FP4, HP5 or XP2 Super. I’m not too fussy because most of the work in rendering a nice picture is done in the darkroom. What motivates me most when taking a photograph is to position the exposure so that I end up with a range of printing options.

Today I looked at Silvermax with Rodinal diluted at 1:50 at 20C.

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Air-bells a-plenty – Grrrr!

Out with my Pinhole camera today in the slate mining areas of North Wales. It was a bright day so I decided to load the camera with Ilford Pan F 120.

On my return home I thought I would process the images in Rodinal 1:50. It has been a couple of years since I had used Rodinal, and in the past I have always used stand development.

Shock horror when I saw the results:

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