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As always, if you have questions, objections, worries or praise, and especially if you found your picture and want it removed, feel free to contact me. I will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also read my full disclaimer, if you are interested.

 

When people ask me whether shooting film is more difficult then I usually say no. It doesn’t have to be more difficult at all, especially if you shoot with an automatic camera and use a lab to have your film developed and scanned. However, for the quality I expect lab development and scanning would be a bit of a luxury though. I also shoot mostly black and white film and a lot of labs develop it so rarely that they screw it up. Not to say that I never screw up – on the contrary – but at least I don’t pay extra for that.

Developing the film yourself is easy on some level and difficult on others. It’s easy to have pictures come out on the negatives. It’s hard to get the grain, tonality and highlights to come out right though, especially if you can’t find a recipe for the developer and film combination. Kentmere 400 in Ultrafin was always a problem somehow. At first I had too much grain, problems with the tonality and blown highlights. The grain and tonality I got under control by reducing agitation and I think I now finally have the highlights under control as well. After seeing how much of a difference the agitation made for the highlights in stand development I thought that I could manage the highlights with it in regular development as well. It just didn’t want to work though, since I would get bromide drag by reducing the agitation more. This meant that actually the development time was the problem. I had calculated the time from the differences between HP5+ and K400 in other developers, since there wasn’t a recipe for Ultrafin to be found anywhere. However, although 16 minutes was a good starting point, 30 seconds less seem much better to me. Ironically I had already given up on shooting Kentmere at box speed, since it isn’t exactly amazing in Rodinal – merely ok – and was giving me so much trouble in Ultrafin. After all blown highlights aren’t exactly ideal in a place like San Sebastian where the sun is really glaring and most of the pavement has white tiles! I also didn’t want merely ok, but something I could fall in love with and remind me why I shoot film. Well, Tri-X definitely did that for me in Ultrafin. Looking at these I might actually reconsider my attitude to K400 though. There is something about it …

All pictures taken with: Olympus XA, F.Zuiko 35mm f/2.8.
Kentmere 400 developed in Tetenal Ultrafin 1:20, 15.5 min.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Still a bit of a glow, but even in bright sunshine it doesn’t seem too much.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Classic “Why are you hitting yourself?”. The only weird thing is that the younger one is doing it to the older one!

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

I really like the tonality in this one.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Nothing quite as scary as a clown, especially when he’s singing children songs. Also not the little girl on the skateboard on the right!

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Decisive moment.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Basque is probably the most alien language I’ve heard so far.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

The tonality of this one is nice as well. I especially like the skin tones. If you wonder why I shoot film, well this has a lot of it.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

The sign says “Recently painted”. Well, they are true to their word.

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