I once ran into Ken Light, an excellent photographer and photojournalism professor at Columbia, shooting in Chinatown. He had a Mamiya 6 and a bag full of 400TX. He was shooting a single type of film and only that film. I love shooting one film. It makes everything so much easier, and you get better with it faster. You know the film, what it can do, what it will look like after you develop it.
But where’s the fun in that? Hopefully I’ll be spending the summer with all sorts of oddball films. I just checked out on a web site that was entirely in Spanish. They carried all kinds of film I’d never heard of. I’m sure it’s all rebadged something-or-other, but don’t tell me and spoil the surprise.
I’m also committing to shooting lots of large format film (4×5) this summer. I’ve never made a serious commitment to that format, mostly because it’s incredibly inconvenient. But I think we can all agree that shooting film in the digital age is incredibly inconvenient in comparison, and that’s part of why we do it. And I ordered one of those new MOD54 4×5 inserts that lets you develop 6 sheets at a time in a Paterson tank. I have the Combi Plan tank but it’s not very easy to use as a daylight tank due to the very small openings for adding liquids and draining them.
The shot above was taken on expired Fujifilm NPH400. Expired film can be a lot of fun as long as you’re expecting it and it’s gone way off. The worst is expired film that just looks tired. This roll was nicely expired—from 2002 or so, I think. This was from a stoop sale batch I bought. I was so excited to get to try a bunch of different films. But most of the film was in pretty bad shape. I shot some of the black-and-white and it was really fogged. This roll had lots of unexpected color shifts and ended up with really large grain. I liked it.
Anyway, I really don’t have a lot to say. This was just meant as a placeholder to say “good stuff is coming soon.”
Let me know if you have any projects planned for the summer.