Throughout the year I will be dedicating a lot of time to shooting on Film. Whether it is for a personal special project, or just for some time to relax away from my worries.
I will reflect on the days and images here...
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So week #1 has yet to start, as 2013 is not quite over yet.
With a large purchase of this film. Yes, more Polypan F. 180 Meters of this stuff, two 90M cans. As everyone knows, or at least those that know me, I am a very avid Polypan shooter. The thing is, I don’t believe that this will actually be my film of choice for 2014. I’m more thinking along the lines of something that I really should shoot more of. No, not random cameras. We all know I have enough cameras to fill a barn, and that I have used so many different cameras this year, whether it is part of the 52-roll project, or just because I feel like something different, I think I’m going to slow it down. A LOT
Like Alex, we both have a large camera in our arsenal, but rarely do we use it. I believe he uses his Speed Graphic a bit more than I use my Monorail, but it’s only because the Speed Graphic is a faster camera to use. Designed for Press Photography back in the 20′s through 60′s, it was quick to load, quick to focus (rangefinder) and quick to unload. Err, if you’re using a FilmPACK.. Today it is a slower process. Focus, compose, expose, release shutter, close, flip, repeat….. Sure, still faster than a Monorail, where each adjustment has to be precise, and can cause a shooter to quickly get left behind the group when taking a photowalk… But that’s probably the biggest thrill… The final product! There is nothing like looking at a large format negative/positive. They are absolutely stunning!
So seeing as most days this camera is sitting in the corner of my living room more as a decoration than as a real functioning camera, I have to start using it more. I absolutely, positively, am not at all a very good Large Format shooter at all. In fact, I’d be willing to say I am a complete and total NooB at it. 35mm and 120, no problem. Stick it in my hand, and I know I can use almost any camera to take some wonderful photos with it. I think I’ve fairly proven that this passed year (of which I’ve only posted up to week #29 as of this post).
I do not intend at all to shoot like Peter, emptying a box of Ektar 100 in a matter of a day, or unloading some Kodak EIR AEROCHROME film. That’s still beyond my capability to properly afford.
No, this year I think my film choice will be of the 4×5 size. As for what film? I’m thinking of using a film that I can easily learn the 4×5 size of format without sacrificing too much. I have a pack of Fomapan 400 film, that I really like how it looks in HC-110 Dilution B. I also really like FP4+ 125 by Ilford. It’s another stunningly beautiful film!
Okay, so, here’s the deal. During the first part of the year, I’ll shoot on some Fomapan 400, because it’s a lower-contrast, and slightly faster film than FP4+. Except it’s only 2/3 stop faster, as it’s a true 250ASA speed film (and is total crap at 400!) Alex is shooting TRI-X for his project, so I’d love to shoot Foma400, but realistically, it’s not the best film. I mean, I could bounce my shots off his, and shoot HP5+, and be the other Tri-X shooter that uses Ilford’s lineup instead… okay, this is totally going off on a tangerine, and getting messy!
Alright, so lets try again… Fomapan 400, will be the primary film choice. Ilford FP4+ 125 will be the secondary choice, especially as the early spring months start to return… Rollei IR400 4×5 Sheets will be the next choice, come Summer.. On baby summer, come on! Ilford HP5+ for the fall months (or back to Fomapan 400) and as winter approaches, back to Fomapan 400 to finish it off…
Sounds like fun! That said, of course, I have to REALLY stop procrastinating on developing and scanning. I have a colour backlog in my fridge that is depressing! And it’s mostly 52-roll films!! Yeesh… A lot of E6 and C-41, which I have been putting off developing again and again..
I think I have to get it dropped off at Toronto Image Works for processing. Well, at least the 120 E6 and C-41. I like it when Blacks develops the E6 35mm as it is a little bit less expensive, and they mount it for me.
I do have some Efke IR820C still in the freezer to be exposed to the wonderful sunlight of next summer, but I think I might save that for my own personal use. And hopefully I can finally get my Deardorff 5×7 camera functional next year. That would be wonderful… and depressing.. I mean, 4×5 film is one thing, and it’s not exactly cheap.. but 5×7 film is crazy expensive! Right up there along side 8×10! AND I HAVE NO 5X7 holders!!! Anyone care to donate some??
I also intend on shooting a few more barns, and a certain Weeping Willow tree that has haunted my dreams, as well as St. George’s on the Hill Anglican Church, and a couple other churches… And various other locales that I have dreaming of shooting…
I do intend, as well, to get some other lenses. Perhaps a longer lens, maybe in the 300mm+ range. Or a 90mm lens, although my 105mm Carl Zeiss lens isn’t exactly any slouch! In fact, it’s damn sharp and wonderful!
Another idea I have is to compliment my 4×5 shots with some Polypan images shot on my Kodak Signet 35. The thing is, with the ease of pointing, focusing, and shooting the Signet, it seems like it’d quickly over shadow my 4×5 and I’d lose out. But of course, I would continue to shoot other cameras and film… one sheet a week shouldn’t be too hard….
Well, that is all great for my 52-rollSHEET project. But what about the "Year on Film" which seems to be ongoing since 2012...
Well, that's easy. In 2013, I concentrated on trying different cameras, different films, and learning how each film did in different developers. I seem to have become fixated on HC-110, and Rodinal. I do have others, like Microdol-X, and an unmixed package of D-76.
With the coming year, I intend to do more of a few things. For one, printing... Not ink jet, but dark room printing..
Also making Digital Negatives of Digital B&W images to make some gorgeous Contact Prints, as well as some alternative processes.. Say.... Van Dyke Browns, or trying my hand at making Calotypes..
I'm not going to go crazy on buying different films, but concentrate on films I know, and improve my shooting with them.
TMAX 100, Delta 100/400... HP5+, and Ilford.. Improve my scanning with C-41 films, like Portra, and shoot more Kodak Gold.. I really like Gold, even if it's a consumer film. Not as nice as Portra, but it's still not a bad film at all!
That said, I would like to also try making B&W positives. I have the kit, just too nervous to try it. I don't know why, of course, it could be the Sulfuric acid that is bothering me. It shouldn't, but it does.
Alternative processes and more meaningful shots I think are going to be the 2014 YOF concentration. Plus, I want to try shooting in a way that will tell a story, not have me tell the story of the photo..
Maybe shoot more street photography..
But one thing is for certain.. Get out more, and just shoot in general!
Until next time fellow bloggers... Keep those shutters firing!