Film and Developing, Tutorials and Techniques 0 comments on Sepia Sprockets

Sepia Sprockets

Following on from my post on stand development in Rodinal a few days ago, this seems as good an opportunity as any to write about another film for which I used this process, along with some digital trickery to create some exciting hybrid images.

The editing process

Working in a hybrid digital and analogue workflow to full effect often makes use of a number of little editing tricks. you can do some of this in the scanner and some in Photoshop depending on what you are trying to do.

Scanning

Scanning 35mm film with the sprockets can present a few issues. Lomography create the DigitaLIZA device which claims to be able to hold film flat to scan the full area, but with a bit of tweaking the 120 mask on the Epson works fine. Just line the film up with the hinged edge and trap the ends under the mask. If necessary a tiny bit of tape on the end can help. The film may bow up a bit, but with photos through a plastic lens is that really going to make much difference?

I scanned these images as is. That is to say while I made certain choices for settings I just scanned them as a raw file, aiming to do all the adjustments in photoshop later. I used a medium unsharp mask setting, and selected Digital Ice dust removal (have a look in my glossary if you are not sure what these terms mean). I also selected colour negative as the main setting – this setting has some effect on the way that Epson Scan colour corrects if this is performed at the scanning stage, but for now it just provides me with a inverted (positive) image with no changes. Because I am not correcting in the software I can leave a fair border around the portion of the scan I want.

Screenshot of scanning software
Scanning Window

Into Photoshop

Now it’s time to open the scanned image in Photoshop. Continue Reading “Sepia Sprockets”

Film and Developing, Tutorials and Techniques 0 comments on Old E4 film in Rodinal

Old E4 film in Rodinal

Sometimes I wonder about my sanity.

A long time ago, I bought a random collection of old film from that den of iniquity that is Ebay. I think I was pulled in by the fact that it had a couple of 126 Cartridges, which are stupidly expensive to get hold of now, along with some very exciting looking old films. Most of which, when I received them turned out to be far past the level of esoteric, and straying into the realms of (probably) useless.  Some of these do not even seem to be clear what the process is, though at least some indicate that they are the old E4 process.

Stand Developing

The E4 process was a precursor to the current E6 process used for Slide Film, but it used some pretty hardcore dangerous chemicals.   The dyes are similar to both the E6 and C41 process, but needing specific steps and a lower temperature.  I have heard of people having some success “cross processing” E4 in C41 chemistry at room temperature, but I thought for this film I would use a process that can normally bring out an image in anything – Stand developing in rodinal.

Stand developing uses a very dilute solution; in this case 1 part Rodinal to 100 parts of water. Agitation takes place only at the start of the process, which is then left undisturbed for an hour. Effectively this develops the film as far as the exposure will allow in a given area as the developer exhausts itself – once an area is developed no new developer is introduced to that area. This means that any film of any speed and any exposure (provided the exposure is enough to have actually exposed the film) will simply work. Highlights are retained and shadows are boosted. Continue Reading “Old E4 film in Rodinal”

Film and Developing 0 comments on Blue Bleach Bypass

Blue Bleach Bypass

Ever pushing the boundaries of odd techniques in kitchen development – I decided in the middle of a hectic and busy developing session recently to try something a bit odd. Cross processed, bleach bypass slide film.

An experiment in blue

Quite what led me to this, I am not sure. It seemed a good idea at the time. Cross Processing film is always quite fund, and something I do a lot at home, as I rarely shoot enough E6 to make it worth investing in sort lived expensive chemicals, and I have used the bleach bypass process a few times, both for creative effect and for films which I think are quite old and may have lost sensitivity as this leaves the silver image in place.

The negatives were very very dark, needing quite a lot of scanning trickery. I tried a few ideas finally settling on auto exposure scanning as slide film to create a basic tiff file in negative.  I then loaded these into photoshop and inverted them. Finally I set the levels for each colour channel individually to stretch the histogram by setting the sliders to each end of the “hump”. I tweaked this a little as needed to get a pleasing, if odd, effect.

The result is these captivating almost cyanotype like images.

Gallery

Film and Developing, Photosets and Projects 0 comments on Alien Landscapes

Alien Landscapes

Kodak Ektachrome Professional Infrared EIR Film has become a bit of a holy grail for experimental photographers, and I have seen it command prices of over £100 on ebay. I was lucky enough to get hold of a roll in a mixed bundle of old films (along with 2 HIE Black and White infra-red rolls for about £14 – I guess the guy didn’t know what he had!).

About the film

EIR is a ‘false colour’ technical film, coated on an Estar base with a sensitivity from 380-900nm – this covers the full visible spectrum and some of the near-UV and all of the near-IR range. Near Infra-red wavelengths are rendered as a deep visible red, and due to the ‘Woods Effect’ (reflection of n-IR wavelengths from foliage) this means that foliage comes out in this colour creating strange and bizarre visual effects. Continue Reading “Alien Landscapes”

Commentry and Hyperbole, Film and Developing, Photosets and Projects, Tutorials and Techniques 0 comments on Nuclear Implosion

Nuclear Implosion

There has been a bit of a buzz recently about this new film produced by Adox. This promises ‘Imploding Colours, Bursting Reds and Toxic Grain’. I have read that it was in fact a dud batch with one of the layers incorrectly coats. It is suggested that shooting at different EI settings produces different results; rating it at 100 provided muted colours leaning to blues, and at 400 it will lean more towards reds. Some people have suggested that (unlike redscale film, where this differential effect is due to the amount of light reaching the different layers) that this is due to effects of scanning- the scanner is not getting what it expects and compensates wildly.

Developing and Scanning

Scanning my first roll (shot at EI 100), it is certainly clear that this is a film that is open to a bit of experimentation at the scanning stage. This is something I have written about before, and something that the Lomo-Hipster crowd need to think about from time to time. There is a lot of prattle about ‘unpredictability’ and how great it it is; I don’t really buy into all that. Of course it is fun and rewarding to try something new that you don’t know how it will come out – whether this be sticking an old film that seems to have been stored in someone’s jock-strap into a toy camera and seeing what happens, or shutter dragging with Ilford Delta 3200 (ok, this one was due to being so pissed I really didn’t know what I was doing) – but if I try something new I like to be able to recreate it again if it works! And this is perfectly possible. What they refer to as ‘unpredictability’ is really (unless you have a clear idea what you want and know how to ask for it) a product of handing your film over to be printed and scanned as interpreted by a machine, or at best a lab technician who has to make a ‘best guess’ based on what they think you want. Continue Reading “Nuclear Implosion”

Film and Developing, Tutorials and Techniques 0 comments on Infra-Red – Part one.

Infra-Red – Part one.

I have been waiting all year for these…

Last year, I bought a couple of rolls of Rollei IR400 from AG Photographic, having read a bit about the crazy effects of infra-red photography.

Shooting Infra-red

Sadly this does not let you see through people’s clothes as some rumours suggest. What these films are sensitive to is Near Infra Red light, with wavelengths between 700-900nm. They will function as a normal film, most have a fairly standard panchromatic sensitivity, but the fun comes when you use a filter to take some of these normal wavelengths out.

When shot with a very dark red filter,anything below red is filtered out, so the bulk of the exposure comes from these red wavelengths. Using a red filter with normal black and white film deepens increases the contrast, darkening blue skies and green foliage, and lightning tones where there is a red constituent.

Infrared monochrome image of the River Calder at Sowerby Bridge
River Calder at Sowerby Bridge – Praktica TL-5B and Rollei Retro 400S

The Rollei Retro 400S used in this image has an extended red sensitivity, so the red filter has accentuated this in this image. Note how this has darkened the sky and the water, whereas the tan of the stone built mills remains light.

When you use a special infra-red filter even the visible red is blocked, resulting in the exposure coming largely from these NIR wavelengths. This means that subjects which reflect more of these wavelengths expose more and appear lighter on the image. Famously foliage becomes white, the so called ‘Woods effect’. Continue Reading “Infra-Red – Part one.”