More from the darkroom

I am so enjoying working with chemicals and enlargers and stuff. Here is a selection of scans from 35mm negatives I developed last week. One of them, not sure which  yet, will get sent to Leanne Cole for this week’s Monochrome Madness Challenge. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.



From the darkroom

PICT0101bsmIn my quest to learn all about this photology magic, I have taken a workshop to learn how to use the darkroom. I recently found out that a small charity who have set up a community darkroom in town were holding an introductory workshop for amateurs. I went and since then, I’ve been back a couple of times, on my own to practise what I learned. The results leave a lot to be desired but I want to record here, my first attempts at processing my own film.

To convert the negatives to digital, for the sake of keeping record of what I have (the eyesight is not what it was and those negatives are pretty small) and to blog about it occasionally, and hopefully see some progress, I have treated myself to a little, stand alone negative scanner (Veho VFS-008 Smartfix) which, although the file sizes aren’t very big, is perfect for what I want to do with it.

Here are some of the negatives I then had a go at making prints from. I have to say making prints on 8×10 paper is VERY satisfying. Now, I want to buy a better printer to print off some of my digital images… And so the cost goes on.

Monochrome from 35mm colour film

For Leanne and Laura’s Monochrome Madness challenge, these monochrome images have been Photoshop’d from 35mm colour film I’ve taken over the past couple of weeks. I had them processed and saved to disc at the shop in town.

Unfortunately, despite getting this poor old camera serviced, I can still see evidence of light-leakage in some of the shots which I’ve tried to compensate for with a bit of either dodge or burning – not sure which is which yet 🙂

...up to the top of the hill.
…up to the top of the hill.
Enter if you dare...
Enter if you dare…
If... You are into Champagne
If… You are into Champagne
Under the sidewalk...
Under the sidewalk…
Those boots were made for walking.
Those boots were made for walking.



Film Processing Disappointment – Calling all Photoshop experts.

On two accounts has working with film thwarted me this week.

Firstly, being a novice photographer, I don’t want to pay too much to get my films processed as I still take loads of c**p images. This was fine as Tesco supermarket were only charging a couple of pounds to process the film and give me the disc – cheaper still if they put several films on one disc. I say were. They’ve stopped doing it in house and now, send it away for 7 days and charge £5 a film. Damn!

So, I went to the little independent camera shop in town who still charge a fiver a film but do it in 24hrs. OK, I’ll have to shoot less film until I get a better success rate on the digital camera. Well…. No! Looking at the images that have come back, most of them have a horrible white line right through the image.

Was it me or was it them? Has something gone wrong with the camera since last I used it? Looking at the negatives, it’s not just the picture as there seems to be a green ink blot that goes from the top to the bottom edge, beyond the image and into the area where the little square cut-outs are (What are they called?). It seems it might have been them but regardless, what am I to do?

Any Photoshop experts out there who can advise me on the easiest way to remedy this?

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No light meter, no cropping, no editing… ‘No nothing!’

Having read Doublewhirler’s post about his uncle’s camera, it reminded me that I had two roles of film to develop. At the moment, I’m practising with two old cameras, circa 1970s I think.

The first camera, a Fujica ST706, came to me through a house clearance. It was daunting to use it the first couple of times but I can buy film for £1 a roll in a well known discount store and the photo booth at the local supermarket will record it on to disc for about £3 and if I put more than one film on a disc and it becomes even cheaper than that, so it’s affordable to experiment. There is no auto focus but I quite enjoy twisting the lens and although this camera doesn’t have an ‘Auto’ mode, at least it does have a basic light meter to get the exposure almost right. Because I only post 6 images, I shall next do a second post on the Zenit 11 which doesn’t have a light metre.

I need more experience to be able to explain why I love the quality of these compared to images from the digital camera. Here are six of the 27 Images returned on a 24exp film, untouched in any way, Perhaps someone else has the terminology to explain the difference of quality.

Photo26_24Photo08_6 Photo12_10 Photo13_11 Photo16_14 Photo19_17


6 on 36mm film in an old Fujica ST705

This is the second roll of film I’ve taken on this camera, and apart from having to pass ALL the photos through Photoshop because I underexposed when I took them, I am really enjoying the whole experience of having to think harder before pressing the shutter, not knowing immediately what I’ve captured and rushing home to put the disc from the developers into the laptop. Well, here are what I thought were the best…

Photo11_8 Photo12_9 Photo15_12 Photo24_21 Photo28_25 Photo06_3