Bristol is a lively city, with countless bars, restaurants and attractions. When I moved closer into town from the countryside, I decided to take my Olympus XA4 with me on nights out, to capture the shenanigans we all get up to. Continue reading Bristol: Day and Night
An experimental roll of Fuji Superia 800 in the Cosina PM-1, at night. I think I underestimated the exposure times, I could have used a bit longer. The film is also VERY grainy, which I’m not keen on.
I’d like to go back to the suspension bridge (when it’s warmer!) with some slower, finer-grain film, and see how that turns out. I need to do a bit of research on reciprocity too, or pick a film that doesn’t suffer from reciprocity failure too much. Black and white would be really nice too – any suggestions welcome!
My day job is with a motorcycle dealership, here in Bristol. I covered the last Bike Night of 2017, on a digital camera for a change! We were losing the light towards the end of the night, and I had some fun trying to get the white balance right, but otherwise I’m pretty happy with how these turned out.
It’s perhaps inevitable that at some point in a film photographer’s life, he or she will mess up a roll. I’ve been having ongoing problems with developing at home, and today was no exception. Yesterday was Grillstock, a festival of food and music here in Bristol, and I took my new 24mm Superwide lens out, loaded with a fresh roll of HP5+. I shot a whole roll in one day, taking loads of photos of the event in the sunshine, as well as lots of shots of my friends and I at night, drinking and chatting and having a lovely old time.
This morning (despite my colossal hangover), I attempted to transfer the roll onto a reel, in a changing bag. Same as I have done, many times previously. However the film just wouldn’t go onto the reel – it kept sticking and tearing and buckling. As I kept trying, getting more annoyed, making the inside of the bag sweatier (nice), the film kept buckling and creasing. After about 30 minutes of annoyance, I eventually had to cut the roll to eventually get it onto the roll. I resigned myself to the fact that this roll was probably ruined – the heat and moisture in the bag had made section of it stick to itself, which is not a good thing for delicate emulsion. I processed it anyway (stand developed in Rodinal 1:100 for an hour), fixed and hung it up to dry. Checking the date on my fixer, I groaned again – it was WAY out of date, and cloudy. This roll was doomed.
One small thing to take from this disappointing morning, was that I seem to have alleviated some of the problems of bromide drag, I’d experienced previously. I did this by pre-washing the film, and keeping the tank in a water bath while it sat for an hour. There is still some evidence of drag, but only on the portions of film where it was also very creased – this probably didn’t help.
So, what did I learn? I need to find out why my reels are sticking and tearing my film. I need to buy more fixer (in a smaller quantity, perhaps). I also need to perfect the pre-wash and water bath technique, to hopefully eradicate bromide drag altogether.
The few salvageable photos are below – I like the energy and fun times captured, but I can’t help but feel disheartened with the results, technically. I’ve been enjoying colour photography a lot more, recently, and this episode has only helped push me towards colour, as I don’t develop it myself!
If anyone has any rips for my reel problem, I’d love to hear them in the comments!
A bit of colour, to brighten up a cold day…
Bristol Temple Meads and St Mary Redcliffe. Ilford HP5+, Pentax ME Super, devved in Tmax developer at box speed.
I’m not a massive fan of the grainyness of HP5, but it gives an interesting look here. Would like to come back and shoot the church with a colour slide film.