ghosts

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 I ordered a roll of XP2 a few weeks back to test it, I wasn’t really expecting much to be honest. After all it’s C41 film and abusing it in black and white chemicals seems like nothing more than one of those silly “experiments” that can’t really amount to much. I suspected that some of the results I saw online actually had quite a bit of post-processing done to them. Boy was I wrong! The results I show you today in fact came like this out of the scanner with almost no contrast or level adjustments done to them at all apart from one or two where I only adjusted local contrast to counteract some minimal flare. I only removed dust and left it at that because the tonality was great just like that. These negs have great tonality, good contrast without losing highlight or shadow detail and very little grain without being too clinical either. Normally when I get a new film, it needs quite a bit of fiddling to have it come out the way I want it, but this was just perfect from the very start. With these great first results you can definitely expect to see a lot more of this in the future!

All pictures taken with: Olympus XA, F.Zuiko 35mm f/2.8.
XP2 stand-developed in Rodinal 1:100, 60min.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

This motion blur just looks so ghostly.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Lots of fake dogs.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

A real dog in camouflage.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

3 guys looking out onto the bay.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

The ETA cannon.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

View.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Something odd was going on with these pigeons. They didn’t look too healthy in general, but they had these weird growths on their feet as well that looked really awful.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Just after taking this picture my brother asked me why I took it. Well, because it somehow triggered me! I also knew that the tonality could potentially be really nice with the right kind of emulsion. XP2 did a great job on this one.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Possibly my favourite of this bunch. Simple geometric beauty.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

I love that hazy view over the city in the background.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

Composition experiment.

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

© Lilly Schwartz 2014

No dogs allowed. No humans either actually, but they didn’t make a sign for them.

Comments

  • I sometimes use the xp2 but never tried to develop it myself, always went with the c41 process. Only development and then my own scanning. Yes, it’s a great film…
    robert

    • Lilly Schwartz

      It worked surprisingly well I must say! Normally I don’t really shoot C41 film, precisely because I don’t develop colour myself yet. This one definitely looks stunning in Rodinal though and I will keep developing it like this.

  • Great shots!

    I love XP2 in Rodinal. Just knew you would love it too! For the absolutely best results shoot at 200 and give it a bit longer,say 90 mins, in Rodinal. Still great at 400 though. As you say, hardly any post processing required and very easy to scan.

    I bought a 30m roll of XP2 and roll my own.

    • Lilly Schwartz

      Actually, I’m an ass and forgot to mention that you gave me the great tip to try this! Thanks so much for this, it’s really a great film! They really were easy to post-process. I just didn’t really have the same experiences with dust that you mentioned – for me it attracted like crazy and sadly the Silverfast scratch and dust removal didn’t work for me on this one either although it’s C41 film. At some point I really have to switch to VueScan!

      I will try your @200 90 mins tip! Seems a little counter-intuitive to push when over-exposing, but I bet the shadow detail must be awesome!

  • Really like this set of photos. Never tried XP2 myself but perhaps I should!

    • Lilly Schwartz

      Thanks! I liked these XP2 results a lot as well. I was skeptical myself – why shoot C41 film to develop it in standard chemistry? However, the results really speak for themselves. You should try this!

  • Excellent set, Lilly!

    • Lilly Schwartz

      Thanks Richard! 🙂

  • Ralf D.

    The geometrical shots are great!
    But number one has to win a prize. And the mood of number six is unbelievable (to me) – a story in itself.
    And you’re right with number nine. That printed in great format – Symmetrie-Brechung and organic vs. anorganic.

    • Lilly Schwartz

      Thanks Ralf!
      For me this whole set has a strange mood, not only no 6. Maybe it was the rainy day in combination with the stunning XP2. And number 9 will definitely be printed!

      • Harry

        I tried a one roll of XP 2 about 15 years ago and sent it off to my C41 UK processor and they completely destroyed it,just got purple negatives back and washed out prints,even tried photoshop on the negs last year and couldn’t get anything worth printing.

        Seeing your lovely pictures may make me try it again, Blur, Cannons. and experimental composition are just so atmospheric and the latter as perfect metering on it and is a beautiful photograph.

        Thank you for sharing.

        • Lilly Schwartz

          Thank you for your kind words, Harry! Well, as you can see XP2 is well worth it! Obviously I don’t know whether you should send it to the lab, but if you want to develop it yourself it’s just the same as any other film in Rodinal. The base comes out pink, but that’s no problem at all for scanning and darkroom. Try it, I was definitely blown away and will get a bulk roll of this stuff 🙂

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