A Tale of Resilience

One of the major differences between film and digital photography are the stories one can tell. In the digital realm to tell someone that you underexposed 10 or 12 photos 2 or 3 stops without noticing just means you are not very good at what your doing.

Alternatively, mistakenly putting a 50 ASA film in the camera and metering for a 400ASA film will extract humorous groans from those who have also done it. It becomes an more interesting tale when you compound the mistakes. In this picture which I shot two weeks ago I never noticed that the film was not the much faster HP5 that I thought it to be and I consequently metered and developed it as if it was. But what makes the tale interesting for those who like such things are the extraordinary details. Such as because the film was over ten years out of date I was reluctant to buy new developer and the internet said that Rodinal  film developer could be kept for a few years before it went off. I had an open bottle of it that had been hanging around for about a year and a half so I thought  why not give it a go, even though the chemical’s colour had shifted from light amber to almost black.

The fixer (just as old) smelt a little, but what the hell.

The end result is that the chemicals did their job and properly developed the film , but due to the massive underexposure  when I shot the film the negatives are seriously thin and it took a slow 3200 dpi scan to get a sort of image.

Considering everything, a 4-second handheld exposure, terrible lighting conditions, gross underexposure, old out-of-date film and failing chemicals, I was surprised to get anything and yet I still got a picture. And it looks like a very old photograph  straight out of the camera, which is cool.

Film, it’s amazing stuff.

Bronica SQa, 50mm wide angle, f4, 4 second exposure, Ilford Pan F, ISO 50.

Image

The Stripper

The Stripper

Shot this picture back in 1996 with Konica Hexar, a range finder film camera with a magnificent fixed 35mm F2 lens. I doubt a strip club would allow anybody to shoot pictures now, but in those days things were some how a little more naïve, or seemed less exploitive might be the better term.
But legions of people taking pictures and invading the privacy of those who don’t want publicity is the reason for official restrictions on photography. And I understand because where ever you go some one is trying to take the next big picture, the photo to make them famous, confirm their talent, which is the reason newspapers stop hiring photographers. The public is doing the work for them, efficiently, and often for nothing more that citation.
I have no opinion as to whether this is a good or bad thing, because I, like so many people before me, stopped buying newspapers when they became mixed media vehicles peddling intellectually insipid shopping tips. I held out for a long time because I liked the textile feel of reading news from paper, but I guess I’ll get over that, eventually.
35mm, Tri-X, 400asa, Developed with Agfa Rodinal.