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 …
There is a strong trend within modern landscape photography to embellish, to fortify and to dramatize what is seen. It is the contemporary paradigm, a modern form of romanticism. Perhaps digital photography and post processing naturally leads to this.
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.
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.