29 September 2011

More Caffenol! and Some News

Well... this one doesn't have nearly as many pictures as the previous one had.  In fact, this one doesn't have any at all as I'm tired and lazy. 

I did a roll last night that turned out, but with this weird spot where the dev and fixer did not go.  Because I decided to call an audible while loading the tank (and because I didn't have my ceremonial beer with me in the dev room).  I loaded the roll of film backward of what I had been rolling it.  Normally I roll it to the curve of the film as it comes out of the cassette.  So, it conforms to the natural bend of the film and will thus load easier... not sure why i turned it about, but I did.  Lost two pictures, not a big loss as they weren't the strongest of the roll anywho. 

Tonight I did a roll from my La Sardina (well Sardina 2, but Sardina none the less).  Did it the same ol' same ol' way and it turned out fantastically.  Was pretty much just a test roll, but there are some shots I would have missed had it not worked out.  I did have the beer and I did load it normally.

In other news!

So, I talked to my project director and he's letting me shoot on the site.  I let him know I'd be focusing on the people digging rather than the archaeology as we've got plenty of those types of pictures and I understand the sensitivity of the subject of personal photos.  Stipulations:  I was going to take off a few hours one day and shoot, he told me to fit it into my day, but my shots have to be available to the organization for their report and other publication uses.  I was fine with that as I'd planned on throwing that in anyways.  So, there's that.

Also, I'll be showing some pictures at a local gallery a few blocks from my house.  I met the curator during a street festival and we started talking art and then we met after and it just happened.  I brought some stuff of mine and he really enjoyed it.  I'll be showing in November (with an opening party in early Nov.) with two other artists.  Curator was really surprised to hear that I shot on film.  Was further surprised to hear that I developed my own stuff.  Granted some of the shots I'm picking aren't all self dev, some if not most will be.  I'm super excited and will have more info as it is made available to me.

Guess it's time for bed.  Lemon out.

22 September 2011

Fun with Caffenol!

Well, the gamble paid off.  I got the recipe right and have been successfully developing film for a few weeks now.  I'm a few rolls in, I guess.  Here's a sample from that first field test:

After this run I was so impressed with the results I decided to go again:

Took some more at a local street festival this past weekend that didn't turn out badly.  Haven't gotten a chance to process (resize and crop out scanning mask) those yet.  To now, these have all been shot on the Mamiya/Sekor 500dtl @ 80iso and meter. 

I just got a new camera from Lomography.  The Sprocket Rocket.  In comparison to the 500 it's very limited.  Single shutter speed, no film speed setting, 2 f stops for "sunny" and "cloudy."  So, I figured, it wasn't too sunny the other day I'd shoot a test roll and develop it at home.  So, I set it to the "cloudy" setting for more light and hopefully a bit over like the 80iso set.  I was pleasantly surprised with the results:

The first thing I did when I got the Sprocket Rocket was pull out the sprocket hiding mask.  I mean... why would they even send that with the camera?  Anyways, I was very happy with the outcome.  Granted, it's a little more foggy than I'd like; I can live with it, I think.

Now, I just have to mix my HC110 and get some more Tri-X.  Looking at bulk rolling The Tri-X rebrand and saving myself a couple bucks.  Just need to get that equipment.

Anywho, that's all for now.  Oh!  Meeting with a gallery owner about a possible show in November.  We'll see how this transpires.

01 September 2011


So, recently I've been completely obsessed with home developing.  More specifically:  chemical free home developing.  I found a solid caffenol site and worked on a recipe.  The first few tries were recorded in a notebook I've dubbed my Photography Notes notebook (where I will be noting everything I need to note photographically) like a mad scientist perfecting an experiment.  Well, that's what I was doing, really.

The Experiment

The first test roll was literally a full 36 exposure roll of Kodak Tri-X shot in the Recesky TLR.  That was a huge mistake.  Whole roll ended up completely overdeveloped.  But, the Recesky is also pretty fixed by way of apeture and shutter speed.  So, it could have been a bit under exposed too... we'll never know.  What we do know was that it was a failure.  But, I learn from my mistakes.

Next test was done with another roll of Tri-X shot in the Mamiya 500dtl.  Shot one pictre, same lighting and camera settings, 36 times.  Pulled one revolution in the tank spool from the roll and dev'd that.  This time I didn't make enough developer.  So, only half the negative was developed.  However, that section didn't look overdeveloped.  It was really thin, stainwise.  So, I adjusted for a third try.

The third Tri-X try was a success.  But, the image was... flat, I guess.  There wasn't much by way of midtones or shadow detail.  Afterward I did a little more research on specifically Tri-X in caffenol.  I found that there was a certain chemical missing that was required for the Tri-X emulsion blend.  Over the counter I would be ordering a dog sedative from Europe.  I said, "no thanks," and went back to the drawing board.

At this point I did more reading and found that Fomapan 100 was supposed to be an ideal film to use with this concoction.  So, I ordered a bulk loader and two 100' bulk rolls of Foma100 (the rolls were stupid cheap, 2 seemed right).  And that's when the magic happened.

Rolled out a 10 shot roll and loaded the 500.  First attempt wasn't bad, just needed some tweaking.  Adjusted the recipe and added a little time and this is what I got:

It's still a little foggy, but it has a definite texture/feel to it.  I'm really happy with these results, I think.

So happy, in fact I decided to gamble and run a roll through my Zorki 1 and develop it using the same recipe as the successful attempt.  Thus far it looks pretty promising.  It's hanging to dry in the bathroom as I type this.  Will scan in the morning and see if it will be feasible to run a roll tomorrow. 

Anywho, mostly I'm just running the materials for this little endeavor out as I've ordered some proper HC-110.  It's really cheap, at least as cheap as if not cheaper than the caffenol.  And, it's supposed to be more environmentally friendly than other developers.  So, that makes me feel a little better.   All in all, rolling my own rolls and developing my own film is going to cut my photography costs significantly.  Too bad I can't develop slide film as easily.  I've just gotten hooked on those gorgeous color shifts.