I took my Holga camera with me to the Catlins just for fun and yesterday I did a very bad job of developing the film – I haven’t done it for a while. It certainly gives a very different look to some the places I went with my DSLR. I haven’t done any cleaning up on these images at all as should be obvious!
A busy week preparing images for the Kaiapoi Art Expo which I hope to take part in, also busy on this weeks diploma work – using a real film camera. Actually I have been using two, a Holga with 120 film and my old Nikon F80 35mm camera. They are both loaded with B&W film and I have been taking a few images at New Brighton and on my way to work. The Holga is fun with extremely limited options, it had Ilford HP5 film 400 ASA and of course pretty much fixed shutter speed and aperture. I was using a tripod at New Brighton and tried the ‘bulb’ mode holding the shutter open on counting elephants. I also tried lots of multiple exposure shots, including about 75 exposures on the same image.
I have spent the evening generating the images of the wedding a shot a couple of weeks ago – all done now – and developing the film form the Holga. It looks like I might have something interesting but I will know more when I try to print using an enlarger.
In the meantime here is a shot from last week’s homework, we had to take an ‘interesting’ shot of a fly. Not very inspired I went for there is a fly in my soup. Not pretty!
I had some fun last night printing a few images from my developed 35mm and 120 films. All black and white but great fun watching the images appear, a little messy but a fun change from sitting in front of the computer. The irony now of course that I needed to scan the images in show them.
First a Holga image, this actually turned out a lot better than I had expected.
And now a 35mm
This poor waitress was dressed as a lion on the hottest day of the year in Dunedin. She was still smiling though.
After a few months of being far too busy I finally had another go at developing some B&W film; two rolls of 120 from my Holga and my first attempt at 35mm. The Holga developing went okay, quite a mixture of images and exposures from looking at the resulting negatives – which is pretty much as I would expect given the limited control I have over exposure with the Holga (none at all?).
The 35mm film looks to have come out much better than I had hoped, it helps that I use a good film camera with good metering (Nikon F80). It also helps that I am much more aware of exposure and correct use of aperture and shutter speed than I ever was when my film camera was my primary tool. Practise really does help although I do miss the instant feedback from digital.
Having developed the film I now need to scan it in or try my hand at printing, I may give that a go this weekend if I am feeling very brave (and patient). I’ll post some images if I do try my hand at printing and enlarging.
In the meantime I am continuing with my 365 Project and seriously considering a month in completely manual mode. I am now very comfortable in aperture priority mode but I am starting to look at better lighting techniques, including playing with high speed sync and I think I need to get comfortable using the camera in manual. – the next step is then using my speedlights in manual mode too. Looks like a busy month or two, so much still to learn.
This is all really part of my tip for the day – learn your camera, read the manual and know all the common controls backwards so you don’t need to think about it.
A couple of days ago I attempt to print some images from my Holga using a chemical darkroom. Basically for fun and to help understand what was involved in the process. It was fun and not too messy fortunately. My setup wasn’t ideal I suspect but good enough for my purposes. I laid out the enlarger and trays of chemicals on my kitchen surface and gave it a go.
What did I learn? Quite a lot I think. The process is reasonably straightforward, follow the instructions when mixing the chemicals and for the timings and it ‘just works’. The actual time for exposing the print varies depending on the state of the negative, starting from a Holga with very little control over the exposure leads to quite varied negatives, some quite light and others quite dark. You really need to do a test strip to get the exposure correct. I must admit however having done one I did a fair amount of guessing this time.How did they turn out? Well here are my first two images – scanned and straightened but otherwise untouched.
I will be trying again!