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 …
I have written a few posts on split-grade printing before (here and here) but I thought that I would revisit it again in more detail. The reason for this is that I am having some problems with it, so a post like this forces me to re-evaluate what I am doing, starting with the basics and trying to understand where I am going wrong.
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.
Bromoil was made for us neo-pictorialists. The long attention to a single image perhaps stretching to several days; the impressionistic rendering of a scene; the knowledge that what you do is connected to the many pioneers of photography such as Alfonso Louis Poitevan, John Pouncey and G. H. Rawlins to mention only a few; these reasons are sufficient to want to keep this old photographic process alive.
But it’s not easy … Continuing the spirit of this web-site, I share my mistakes.
I’m not interested in keeping up with camera gear nor am I interested in ‘retail therapy’ but over the years I have acquired several camera systems for one reason or another. Recently I found myself reflecting on the reasons for buying each one. The progression tells a story – one towards increasing simplicity of technology and increasing pictorialism of outcome.
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.
This blog is about my efforts at learning film photography and silver halide/alternative printing.
Two steps forward, then one step back. Or is it one step forward, then two steps back?
For me, film photography and darkroom skills are two sides of the same coin, inseparable. Taking a picture fashions the options that you have in the darkroom. Printing a photograph tells you how you could have done better when taking that photograph. I could not do one without the other.
In fact, my time in the darkroom drives my black and white film photography. I would not consider digital photography or even film photography where I could not print my own pictures. They would not be mine.