Just a week ago I had a chance to go to a concert at my local pub and spontaneously I decided to grab a camera and a flash with me to practice shooting with flash. The film I used was Rollei RPX 400 pushed to 800, I specifically wanted black and white.
Now after I’ve developed and scanned whatever visible pictures I had on the roll, I want to share some of those. And what can I say about my flash experiment? None of the photos presented here were made with flash.
Except for the botched flash practice, I’m pretty satisfied with what came out. I’ve never shot a concert before, and I’m a little proud of myself. Though there is a ton of area for improvement. Especially that flash.
Some time ago my C-41 kit started showing the signs of exhaustion, and I ordered a new one.
While the package was on its way I had a problem to solve: getting rid of the old chemicals.
If you search online for advice on how to recycle photo chemistry, the answers range from “just dump it into the drain” to more reasonable “take it to a special place”. The first type of answers is definitely unacceptable but the second one exposed another problem for me. I don’t have any special place around.
Then I thought hey, there is a lab at work, they definitely have to recycle their chemicals! So I asked at the lab. Turned out their chemistry was organic and mine is not (or the other way around) and I couldn’t use them to get rid of my stuff.
Then I started inquiring about any place that recycles my kind of chemistry and was told there is a factory somewhat 300 km away from me that should do it. Suddenly a seemingly simple task of recycling photo chemicals turned into an Odyssey.
Practically, driving 600 km just to try to get rid of my 6 litres doesn’t make any sense, and honestly, for a moment I just thought of dumping the whole thing. In theory though, if I wait for my next kit to go, I will have a bit more significant amount to deal with and maybe then I’ll try.
Anyway, I’ve put those litres away for now but the whole story made me think about my own environmental impact from photography. I’ll write another time about it.
This is how I feel about my photography right now and it shows. I’ve had these two rolls of Fuji Superia 400 in my drawer for 9 months before I developed them and scanned today. Nine months! That’s a whole pregnancy right here. Why it took so long you wonder?
Well, no serious reasons to be honest. First my colour chemistry started failing and I didn’t want these rolls to come out wacky. So I had to order a new set. It took time to arrive, then it took time to mix it which literally happened yesterday.
All these steps don’t take months to complete but they did in my case because I wasn’t organised enough.
As a result, I have a practically expired film with signs of bad treatment: grain, washed-out colours etc. I don’t care that much about those esthetically but it just bums me out that all this fresh chemistry was used for some tired film to receive some subpar results. I’m disappointed not in the film but in myself.
I had a couple of rolls sitting on my shelf for some time, and when I finally processed them several frames had these lines across the picture. At one point I blamed my camera, but then the effect would be consistent across multiple rolls, which was not the case.
And then I heard guys on the FPP podcast talking about light piping. Turned out it is when an unexposed or exposed roll of film is kept without any light sealing for a long time before processing. Bingo! Exactly my situation!
My workflow with film is kinda slow these days, and I tend to leave exposed rolls on a shelf as a reminder to myself to develop them. Otherwise I can forget about them completely. This small trick works only partially because while I’m constantly reminded, I still can’t get to doing it soon enough.
Now, when I learned the reason for those lines, I can at least make sure I keep my film light tight, and maybe I should come up with another way to remind me I’ve got some film to soup.
I don’t feel the energy to take pictures. Or is it laziness? I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and never could nail it. I love photography, I want to shoot or rather I would like to do it but instead I’m just doing other things. Podcasting, streaming, board gaming, reading etc but not shooting pictures.
Does it mean I’m burnt out or just my dedication and love for photography were not true? Why don’t I feel that tinkling every time I think about developing film or scanning it? What’s wrong?
Continue reading “Visual overload”