a chair under the tree with grapefruits

600 km for 6 litres

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.

Disorganised

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.

a picture of a toy fish on the grass

When you leave a roll on a shelf for too long

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.

Visual overload

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”

Ads ruined Instagram for me

Right at the top I want to be clear that I’m not against ads on the internet in general, I know why we need them and what they do. What I want to make my point about is the level of tolerance.

Now, let me go back a little and give you the context. For the last several months I’ve been mostly using Instagram for my social media fix, and for posting too, as you can easily guess by the date of my previous post here. I love the concept of Instagram, and I would even argue that it is a better platform for me to share whatever I shoot these days. It’s quicker and simpler and it’s photo oriented.

But today is the day I start drifting away from Instagram and the reason is ads. I don’t remember when they started popping up in my feed, I couldn’t care less for them. Occasionally, I would even stop scrolling and watch them a bit, and for some time seeing ads was fine with me. Untill I noticed a thing, or rather the thing. I saw that now I tend to see too many promotions when I scroll down to catch up with my feed. I got curious and actually counted how often they appear.

Every 3 posts. Three. I don’t know about you, but to me it seems a bit too much. At some point, especially if I look through a day worth of posts, I get the feeling I see only ads.

This discovery made me decide to leave Instagram or at least use it less, which is a great bummer considering my love for the idea. I strongly believe that Facebook have gone a little too far in their greed attempt to keep Instagram free and yet profitable.

Now, when I’m on my way out, there are only two platforms left that didn’t disappoint me yet. Those are WordPress and Twitter. Though I’ve always had troubles figuring out Twitter, I see how it can be a place for me to share my photography and more importantly connect with people. As for the WP, the whole insta debacle reminded me how great the Reader feature is, and that on mobile it even resembles a social media feed.

So this is it. As much as I would like to use Instagram, my tolerance for the number of ads was abused and I don’t feel like coming to terms with this. I’ve practically left Facebook years ago and didn’t feel any need to come back, but with Instagram the break up is not going to be that easy.