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Part of the Process: Sadie Bailey

Part of the Process is a series of posts that puts the spotlight on film photographers and DIY film developers.  These features provide unique experiences and perspectives on shooting and developing film while also showcasing diverse talent and film photographers around the globe.  If you are interested in being featured, feel free to contact me!

Name: Sadie Bailey

Location: London & Los Angeles

Links:

Instagram

Website

Project Upcoming

What other websites or blogs do you keep up with to feed your photographic interests?

Matt Day on YouTube, @inverse.collective and @ilfordphoto on Instagram.

What attracted you to film photography? How did you get started/introduced to shooting film? How soon after did you start developing?

The tangible, “forever” aspect of film has always interested me. I have a contact sheets from my childhood that family friends have shot when we were in NYC and that was always the coolest thing to me. I’m extremely sentimental, probably too sentimental at times, so being able to document my life so purely was just natural instinct, really. I’ve been shooting film on and off for years, but it always seemed extremely pricey when I was younger. Now that I’m older, and run my own publishing company / online magazine, am I able to really dive into the art of it all.

Contax G1 w/ 28mm Biogon // Ilford HP5 +1

What do you like to shoot on a regular basis?

People! Not necessarily portraits as such. Much more “lifestyle”. A lot of my work is based around skateboarding, surfing, music & nightlife photography. However, when I’m in LA I do tend to explore the more street / landscape photography approach because I feel like the atmosphere there is extremely beautiful. I just shot a project where I skated up and down Sunset Blvd photographing buildings and landmarks that spark childhood nostalgia.

Nikon FE2 w/ 50mm 1.8 // Ilford HP5 +1

What formats, cameras, and films do you shoot? What do you like about the formats, cameras, films you prefer? 

I shoot mainly 35mm, but I dabble with Medium Format (120) in my studio from time to time. I’ve tested out a range of cameras from Canon EOS 10, Contax T2 & 139Q, multiple Olympus Mju ii’s and various different off brand SLRs but I’m currently settled with a Nikon FE2 (accompanied by a Nikkor 50 1.8) and a Contax G1 (with the beautiful Carl Zeiss G Series T* 28 mm f/2.8 Biogon). For 120- I’ve messed around with a Yashica Mat 124g and have access to a Hasselblad when I’m in LA but I only own a little Holga 120GCFN. It’s a little plastic toy camera, with very limited features / settings but the glass lens captures off some great photographs with the right lighting.

Contax G1 w/ 28mm Biogon // Ilford HP5 +1

As for film, I usually only shoot Ilford HP5 pushed +1 but will happily use some Tri-X (at box speed) if that’s laying about. Ilford Delta 400 is great in 120, the grain is beautiful. I very rarely shoot colour, I mainly avoid it completely unless I’m being commissioned to do so. If that’s the case, I’ll go for Fuji Superia 400 during the day & Kodak Ultramax 400 at night with flash.

Nikon FE2 w/ 50mm 1.8 // Ilford HP5 +1

What types of film do you develop?

Black and white only. I don’t shoot enough colour to get into the development process, however I have an untouched roll of Velvia 100 on my desk so maybe I’ll test my luck with E6 if I get bored.

Tell us about your first experiences in developing your own film.  How did you muster the courage to give it a shot? What resources did you use?

Oh damn. I was a few cups of coffee in, completely overwhelmed after watching video after video on YouTube. I’ve taught myself everything I know about photography so it’s always very trial and error to start off with.

Nikon FE2 w/ 50mm 1.8 // Ilford HP5 +1

I had the chemicals and all the equipment sitting in my office for months, with a roll just sat in tank, before I decided to give it a shot. I was so excited to finally start developing that when I got to the wet sink in my office I dove straight into the process without bringing all of my notes with me. I completely forgot what dilution and measurements I needed for my stop bath & fixer and stupidly ended up dumping half bottle of both into the tank instead. Needless to say, I fucked that roll up.

What is your development process like now?

 

My workflow process differs drastically depending on what I’m shooting. I can shoot 10 rolls in one night and have them developed in 2 days, or over 2 months and then another few weeks for developing. The only thing that stays the same is that as soon as I finish a roll, I write what it is that I’ve shot, whether I pushed or not, and then whack it straight into the fridge until ready for developing.

I also like to experiment with alternative processes, such as cyanotype, van dyke brown, or photographic emulsion, among many others. Alternative processes are really interesting to me but I haven’t got the time to work with them as much as I want. I hope I can work more with them in the future!

Nikon FE2 w/ 50mm 1.8 // Ilford HP5 +1

What’s your processes regarding scanning, enlarging, and/or printing your work?

I only scan, unfortunately. I don’t have the space to set up a full darkroom so wet printing is out of the question right now. Saying that, a new community darkroom just opened up in Portland, Oregon so when I’m there later this year I’m going to book a session and start printing my negatives for an upcoming exhibition I’m working on.

What equipment are you using to develop your film and why?

I have everything listed under Parallax Photographic Coop’s film processing shopping list (you can find that list here). I trust them with all of my photographic needs and queries.

Contax G1 w/ 28mm Biogon // Ilford HP5 +1

Are you content with where you are now with your shooting and developing? Do you have any future plans or ambitions?

I’m currently in the process of two big projects: one is a community-based project in honour of my friend who sadly took his own life a few weeks back. I’ve joined forces with my friend, and fellow photographer, Ollie Murphy and set to create a book that opens up a conversation of Mental Health. We’re photographing people in my studio and asking them to share their experiences in what we hope to be an open, honest and safe platform. On a more positive note, I’m in the midst (and soon getting back to) shooting my biggest body of work yet. It’s entitled Endless Summer and hopefully will release as an exhibition with all the photographs being shot, developed and printed by myself.

Ilford Delta 400

Have you completed any notable projects or in the process of creating something from the film you have shot and developed? 

All my projects that I’ve ever executed have been shot on film. I’ve never had the desire to try out digital photography. There’s nothing wrong with it- It’s just not for me. I just published a new zine, entitled “We Only Hate the World Monday – Friday”, along with recently shooting for Nike SB and having a 6 page feature in Wasted Talent Magazine.

Contax G1 w/ 28mm Biogon // Ilford HP5 +1

What advice can you give to others who are interested in shooting and developing film but are apprehensive about getting started?

I said this in a recent interview, but I’m happy to reiterate. Stop shooting “party” photos on a cheap point & shoot with Agfa 200. Spend your time thinking of projects you want to work on, and motivate yourself to do so.

Contax G1 w/ 28mm Biogon // Ilford HP5 +1

Do you do anything else that you believe is unique to your process but may not be addressed in the previous questions?
I think shooting for yourself (and not for Instagram likes) is, sadly, becoming a unique process in modern day film photography.
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Student Showcase: Club Photos 2017

It’s that time of year again.  As we approach the Holiday season, me and my middle school film photography students begin to prepare for the annual gallery event.  This year has been especially rad because we were able to put together a darkroom and begin enlarging our negatives in addition to scanning them.

In the past, newer, younger students were handed point and shoot cameras to focus on shot composition and film familiarity.  However. these young preteens and teenagers have seriously risen to the occasion this year since I took all training wheels off by handing them an SLR on day one.  The results were nothing short of amazing.  I find it particularly interesting to flip through my students’ images simply because of the subjects they choose to shoot.  Theoretically, it’s probably just like any of us; simply shooting the things that we care most about and find interesting.  However what a 11-14 year old finds interesting is much different. Their worlds are typically much smaller than ours and they find a lot of beauty through the that narrow scope, although each of our individual journeys are much different.

I plan on doing a post later on in the coming weeks on the final results of their work along with the gallery event, but since the students have a solid catalog of images already scanned in, I figured it would be a great time to display some of my personal favorites from the student archive of 2017.  I hope you enjoy the images as much as I enjoyed teaching the film experience to another group of youngsters.

Zoe B.

Joey M.

Anthony B.

Kyleigh O.

Elizabeth B.

Cole G.

Morgan C.

Abbigail J.

Emma D.

Emerlina L.

Anthony L.

Brianna L.

Olivia T.

Haley M.

Talia W.

Jailyn N.

Mackenzie M.

Janelle R.

Reader Excerpts: Guildford on an Olympus XA2

Today’s piece comes from Sikandar Rana. Sikandar shares a place that is close to his heart and how he has interacted with that place through creating images, both snapshots of daily life and deliberate, time-consuming photo creation.  As Sikandar takes us on his move from London to Guildford, we understand his appreciation for simplicity both in the city in which he resides as well as the simplicity in his Olympus XA2.

Reader Excerpts allow those who read Now Developing to become part of the collective by sharing a written piece alongside their images on a topic of their choice.  If you have any ideas for a piece and would like to have it featured here, feel free to contact me!

Guildford on an Olympus XA2, Written by Sikandar Rana (Instagram, Website)

The town of Guildford, in Surrey holds a very special place in my heart, in that it was the first time that I ventured outside my London home to live away from it for a significant period of time. This time spent living away from home was due to the commencement of my degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Surrey. The jump from bustling London to a relatively quiet, serene town was quite a shock, but wore off after the first few months.

I stayed in Guildford for four 9 month periods, one for each year of my course, with the remaining three months of each year being spent back in London. Despite my initial fears, there seemed to be no shortage of things to both see and do around campus and the local area, from attractions such as Guildford Castle to the multitude of events organised by the friends I’ve come to know throughout my degree.

In addition to the places in and around campus that I deemed worthy to document, a few images in my collection also capture the first time that I had lived in rented private sector accommodation. This was the case during my fourth year, having lived in university accommodation during the three years prior.

I’ve been practising photography on and off for about 5 years now, but it wasn’t until the last two years of my degree that I began taking film photography seriously. What began as an attempt to document the antics of those friends of mine who I wouldn’t have seen as frequently once I’d completed my degree blossomed into so much more during those final two years of university.

Like many other advocates of film photography, I came for the visually pleasing output of most film stocks, and stayed for the way shooting film slows one down and makes their photography more deliberate.

I brought the Olympus XA2 that all of these images were taken on in my final year of university, with most of my prior photography being done using digital cameras. I wanted a small, compact way to shoot film day-to-day without sacrificing quality and the signature “look” that film is known for. I also have a Pentax ME Super, but that is usually used when I go out with the intention to take photos, and is much better suited to the slower, more deliberate types of photos that I shoot when I go out with this purpose in mind. Both cameras were bought from eBay, and have served me very well, being as reliable as can be.

I started shooting colour film initially, having being drawn to the pleasing examples of different film stocks posted all over the Internet. Due to the low cost of Fujifilm Superia 200 and Kodak Colorplus 200, those were the two main film stocks that this series of photos were taken on. I bought the rolls of film used for the series from a combination of Boots and London Camera Exchange outlets found in Guildford’s town centre.

London Camera Exchange in particular turned out to be a treasure trove of film and photographic equipment, and I’ll definitely be stopping by to pick up a few rolls next time I find myself in the area. The rolls of film were developed and scanned at the same Boots outlet that some of the rolls were bought from. Thank you ever so much for reading my insight of Guildford through the lens of my XA2, and happy shooting!

Part of the Process: Eric Löfgen

Part of the Process is a series of posts that puts the spotlight on film photographers and DIY film developers.  These features provide unique experiences and perspectives on shooting and developing film while also showcasing diverse talent and film photographers around the globe.  If you are interested in being featured, feel free to contact me!

Name: Eric Löfgen

Location: St. Vith, Belgium

Links:

Flickr

Instagram

What other websites or blogs do you keep up with to feed your photographic interests?

Petapixel, Lomography, ishootfilm, and Matt Day on Youtube.

What attracted you to film photography? How did you get started/introduced to shooting film? How soon after did you start developing?

I never really was interested in photography, I was more into music during my youth. Sometimes, my best friend took his camera to our rehearsals and he shot some pictures of us. What I really liked about that, was that two months later he showed us the shots. I was used to that when I was a kid because of my parents, but seeing this years later fascinated me.

A few months later, I contacted another friend who was into photography, to give me a quick lesson about exposure and all that. He gave me his Pentax and I took some shots. After that it took me almost a year until I purchased my first own 35mm camera. It was a Yashica MG1 that I found at the flea market. I still had some troubles shooting because the exposure was fixed to around 1/60s and I didn’t like rangefinders at the time.

Another two or three months later, an old friend contacted me. His grandfather died and they found his old photo gear in the attic. It was a Canon AE-1 with a 50mm, a 28mm and a 80-200mm. I immediately bought it and I’ve never regretted that decision. I started shooting more and more, mostly landscapes.

But I was still learning, I shot a few rolls who were completely underexposed. I wanted it too fast — so I started to teach myself more about exposures and ISO. After that, I was in a buying rush, everything I saw on flea markets had to be mine. I got into developing at home, because my local development spot charged me about 24€/roll, which was really expensive because I was shooting a lot more by this time.

I started with a Adonal black and white starter set. The next evening, I developed my first roll. The pictures were bad, but the feeling while pulling the film out of the spool was unmatched. Seeing that I nailed it was a great feeling. Half a year after that I started with C41-color development.

What do you like to shoot on a regular basis?

I mostly shoot portraits at the moment. To me, portraits are the best way to capture feelings.

What formats, cameras, and films do you shoot? What do you like about the formats, cameras, films you prefer? 

I’m shooting a few 35mm cameras: Canon A1 & AE1 and a Rollei 35s.  I use my 35mm for action shots like concerts and skateboarding. They allow to jump in and take the shot because they are a bit more handy. They are more of  a snapshot camera to me, if needed.

For medium format, I am using a Yashica Mat 124.  I’ve been forcing myself to shoot only with my Yashica Mat 124 this past summer, to learn more about the camera and to slow down a bit more. I’m using this camera mostly for portraits and landscapes. It allows me to think about what I am about to shoot.

I am also shooting Polaroids using a Polaroid EE66.  My polaroid camera is just for fun. It is mostly used on evenings combined with drinking with friends.

I’m still looking for my favorite film, but I am currently shooting Kodak Portra series, Ilford HP5, Ilford Delta 400, and Fuji-100.

What types of film do you develop?

C41 and black and white.

Tell us about your first experiences in developing your own film.  How did you muster the courage to give it a shot? What resources did you use?

I remember my first roll quite well. It was a 120 roll of Ilford FP+. It was actually kind of a risk. I never did the spooling with a medium format film and I wanted to try this the first time in complete darkness. It took me half an hour until I got the film into the spool and at the end, I wasn’t even sure if it was right. During this half hour I thought “What the fuck? Why am I even doing this? This is nuts! You won’t succeed!”. When I turned the light on, I proved myself correct because I mistook the backing paper for the negative. Beginner fail.

I did some research on the internet and everyone was saying something different. I read many blogs, watched many youtube videos. To be honest, I did not expect any results. So many ways, and so many different times to develop film.  I just didn’t know where to start. But when I opened the tank and I saw something, I realized that I did it. I developed my first roll of film!

What is your development process like now?

At first, I’m shooting some rolls until I have enough film in my fridge. After that I start developing. When everything is dry, I start scanning. Mostly with a good beer, because it takes forever. After scanning I’m archiving the rolls.

What’s your processes regarding scanning, enlarging, and/or printing your work?

I scan all film myself with a Canon 9000F Mark II. Not the best scanner in the game, but it’s alright. I’ve bought an enlarger on eBay, did some prints but I didn’t find the time yet to really get into it.

Sometimes I’m developing with friends. These evenings are special to me. We’re both creating something this evening. Drinking a beer during and talk about life. This is something unique that I really enjoy about my process.

What equipment are you using to develop your film and why?

I’m using the paterson beginner set with Paterson 35mm and medium format tank with Adonal black and white chemicals. I’m using the Tetenal C41 for color. I did not choose a special brand, the monetary offer just was simply attractive to me.

Are you content with where you are now with your shooting and developing? Do you have any future plans or ambitions?

I’m still looking for my way in this world. I’m currently trying to improve my development process. I’m also trying to shoot more with models/people I don’t know. That’s something I’m afraid of but I’m ready to try something new. I always learn by doing, so that’s something I have to do.

Have you completed any notable projects or in the process of creating something from the film you have shot and developed? 

I just started my first project called a summer on 6×6. The concept is very simple. I shoot my Yashica Mat124 all summer and develop them come Autumn. Maybe I’ll do some prints, or maybe even a book. We’ll see. I have some other projects planned for the coming years.

What advice can you give to others who are interested in shooting and developing film but are apprehensive about getting started?

Try it and don’t be afraid of failing! Failing is normal but you’ll learn from it! You will love it.  Take notes, get into you own rhythm, never stop learning, watch youtube videos, try different techniques … Don’t let anyone stress you. Shooting is my way of relaxing. It allows me to slow down in this stressful world 🙂

Shutter Sounds: 003

Shutter Sounds is a monthly, ten-song music playlist based upon my most-played music of the previous month.  These monthly compilations are not limited or constrained to any theme or genre.  They are simply a selection of songs that I chose from my most played artists of the month for the readers to enjoy while shooting, spending time in the darkroom, or want to listen to something new.

Shutter Sounds_003, November 2017.

YouTube: https://goo.gl/W4XtLt

Spotify: https://goo.gl/nG32Kb

Reader Excerpts: Finding Inspiration in the Eerie and the Emotional

 

Today’s piece comes from my personal friend, Joy Celine Asto. Joy shows shares a piece of photographic work accompanied by a piece of written work that visualizes and originates from her interest in Greek literature and mythology.  A truly spectacular execution of photographic representation of feelings, thoughts, and storytelling.

Reader Excerpts allow those who read Now Developing to become part of the collective by sharing a written piece alongside their images on a topic of their choice.  If you have any ideas for a piece and would like to have it featured here, feel free to contact me!

Finding Inspiration in the Eerie and the Emotional, Written by Joy Celine Asto (Website)

In Greek Literature and Metamorphoses, Phobetor was the god of nightmares and one of Oneiroi, the sons of Nyx (the goddess of the night) and personifications of dreaming. Also known as Icelus, his brothers include Hypnos (Sleep), Morpheus (Dreams), Thanatos (Death), and Geras (Old Age). Traditionally, it’s Morpheus who specializes in appearing in human form. While Phobetor is an expert in appearing as various animals in dreams, he’s also in charge of nightmares and nighttime fears. Here, I imagine him “borrowing” Morpheus’ craft for a night, appearing less menacing but still unsettling.

This set is inspired by my love for Greek Mythology since childhood, and two nightmares that have made the most impact on me. One is about a floating white hand/glove that kept beckoning me out of my room, and was part of an interesting mix of a lucid dream and false awakening. The other was a faceless man who kept appearing in my recurring dreams; He would either be backlit so I couldn’t see his face, or I would wake up just as he would turn his face towards me. In these dreams, I was always supposed to meet him somewhere, and he was always the first to arrive in our meeting place.

Meanwhile, I met Paolo, my model for this shoot, a few months ago during a talk about literature and mental health. As one of the event’s speakers, he talked about his own battles with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and suicide attempts (his most recent being in February this year). However, I found his creative and expressive side easy to see on the get-go. I interviewed him straight after the talk, and proposed the idea of a collaboration after learning that he did a lot of performance art.

Four months later, I finally had an idea for a portrait shoot with him, and he was thankfully game with it. He said his artistic tendencies and interests typically veer towards the dark, the strange, and the surreal, so he liked the idea. I already had the camera and film combination in mind: my trusty Nikon FE2 and Kodak Double-X (5222), which was a no-brainer after the nice, contrasty results I got with it in a previous portrait session.

The shoot itself was very collaborative indeed – I’d throw him an idea or a scenario and he would interpret it with a pose. The location was also his suggestion, and it was in a mostly secluded spot that allowed us to shoot in peace. I’m also glad that we had all the props that we were able to bring that day. They somehow helped us steer the visual narrative into something that is both eerie and emotional.

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Part of the Process: Chris Moore

Part of the Process is a series of posts that puts the spotlight on film photographers and DIY film developers.  These features provide unique experiences and perspectives on shooting and developing film while also showcasing diverse talent and film photographers around the globe.  If you are interested in being featured, feel free to contact me!

Name: Chris Moore

Location: Springfield, MO

Links:

Pinterest

What other websites or blogs do you keep up with to feed your photographic interests?

The Phoblographer, PetaPixel, Film Photographers group on Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.

What attracted you to film photography? How did you get started/introduced to shooting film? How soon after did you start developing?

Originally, my dad was into photography so as a child it seemed like there were always negatives and prints laying around, and there was always a camera somewhere. I didn’t really get too much into shooting myself until my early 20’s. After a while, film processing was starting to get a bit expensive, so I invested in a good scanner and decided to do it myself with black and white film (at the time, it was the cheapest and easiest thing to do).

What do you like to shoot on a regular basis?

Landscapes, flowers, street, and urban scenes, and also very unusual objects. To find beauty in the mundane is part of what makes photography such a blast of a hobby for me, personally.

What formats, cameras, and films do you shoot? What do you like about the formats, cameras, films you prefer? 

I shoot a good mix of both 35mm film and digital.  For 35mm, I have a Canon EOS Rebel 2000 that I have used since 1999 for both color and black and white. Not long ago, I inherited a Pentax Spotmatic with assorted lenses (50mm, 100mm, 28mm) purchased by my father while serving in the Marines in Japan in the early 60’s along with a newer Pentax MV with the standard prime 50mm SMC lens. For its historic value I have tried not to use the Spotmatic too much, but I got an adapter ring to use the M42 lenses with the newer K mount, so I am letting the MV be the workhorse camera between the two.

For film there is nothing like the faithful Canon.  Although, as of late, I have really enjoyed the Pentax MV.  So in terms of preference, it’s a toss up. Manual focusing has proven much more difficult than one might think, but the focusing screen helps a great deal.

Canon Rebel 2000 with 28-55mm // TMax 400

What types of film do you develop?

Traditionally I have always developed Kodak TMax or Ilford films in liquid Kodak TMax developer concentrate, although as of late they charge so much extra shipping for liquids that I have switched to D-76 powder.  Man, have I ever been missing out. D-76 is way better in my opinion, but to each their own. I have done that for many years.

Last night, for the first time ever, I developed a roll of C-41 using the most common Unicolor kit sold on several sites. The results were by no means perfect (a second blix may be in order) but still very encouraging and promising, and there is nothing like the feeling of pulling film off your reel and seeing color images. It was an experience that encourages me to try it again and keep going with it. As I told my wife – “that was the best 15 minutes of my photographic life.”

Tell us about your first experiences in developing your own film.  How did you muster the courage to give it a shot? What resources did you use?

The first developing experience ever with any kind of film goes all the way back to 1999 when I did my first roll of black and white. There was so much I wanted to try and do and I wanted to be able to shoot my photos, bring them home and work with them without the hassle of making a trip to a lab to get them developed and part with perfectly good cash.

I had practiced loading the reel several times and that helped, though I got in the changing bag and I used a bottle opener to get the film can opened up and I must have fumbled around for an hour to just get it threaded. Lesson learned – cut the film tongue off, it’s much easier to load after that! I got my tank loaded and poured in clear developer mixed from Kodak TMax liquid (at the time I found powder to be very daunting). A few minutes later, I found myself pouring out amber-colored fluid and I was excited — the development must have worked. I went on and rinsed and fixed. The moment of truth came and I pulled the negative off the reel enough to look – and there was an image there! I had done it, and the development had worked flawlessly. I had but to rinse, dry and scan. That was all it took to get me hooked. Digital is nice and very convenient, but there’s still something very enjoyable about the physical aspect of film and chemistry.  There’s something nice about having a tangible result of your efforts that can’t be had with digital.

The first experience with color film was actually very recent. For the longest time, I never thought color (C-41 or E-6) was very economical or practical to do at home due to chemistry cost and very short shelf life. More recently, I’ve seen on sites and blogs where people are doing C-41 at home and it actually doesn’t cost very much at all with a very decent shelf life.

I took the plunge and decided to try it on a roll of Fuji Superia ISO 200 film – a WalMart standard and a film that I have had good luck with in the past with pictures. I expected it to smell much worse, but actually there was very little odor left over. It was different working with hot liquids rather than room temperature liquids but it actually was not that much more difficult. My results were by no means perfect – a bit of a brown tinge on some frames and a slightly darker than normal orange mask make me think that a second blix may be in order.  But still, the results were not bad at all and I yielded a few good looking positive images. Very promising results and good enough to encourage me to try again and keep going with this. There’s lots of fun and creativity yet to be tapped into with C-41 processing.

What is your development process like now?

1) In the case of film, shoot a roll of the stock of choice in the camera body of choice.

2) If using my Pentax MV, I rewind the film just until I can hear the tongue break away from the spool. Then opening the camera, I have an exposed film leader, so it’s easy to get my reel started in the light and then put it in the bag to get it loaded the rest of the way. In the case of Canon, I shoot it until there’s 1 frame left, then open it up for that same reason. Granted, that’s not the most efficient use of film because a couple of frames do get lost, but that’s a lot easier than doing it all in darkness. Aside from that with sites like ultra fine online there’s no excuse to pay high prices for film and chemistry.

3) After the negatives are dry, I scan in 16-bit TIFF format so I am left with the rough equivalent of a digital camera RAW file and then import it into GIMP, at which time I invert my negative, adjust exposure, fix up the color, desaturate for black and white images, and then export to a JPEG to be sent off to either my Pinterest page or the film photographers Facebook page.

What’s your processes regarding scanning, enlarging, and/or printing your work?

I primarily scan. I have a Pacific Imaging PrimeFilm 1800u scanner that I bought in 1999 that I still use and it still performs quite well. Astoundingly, it’s still available on Amazon.  I can scan negatives as transparent images, the reason being that the software along with the scanner is quite old and it’s better to just scan it as is, than use newer software (in my case the latest GIMP version) to invert, color correct (or desaturate), and beautify.

What equipment are you using to develop your film and why?

I have a standard issue changing bag, Patterson universal development tank, D-76 developer and hardening fixer in the case of black and white.  I use the Unicolor C-41 kit in the case of color.  Additionally, I have some pyrex measuring cups, a graduated cylinder, and a bathroom where it all takes place.

Are you content with where you are now with your shooting and developing? Do you have any future plans or ambitions?

As mentioned, I just began my journey into color development and I really want to keep going with that. I also do not want to give up black and white film and I don’t want to replace film with digital by any means. I think both formats have their own value. I don’t really have business plans.  And as far as publishing goes, I would just like my Pinterest board to be seen by anybody who wants to look at it.

What advice can you give to others who are interested in shooting and developing film but are apprehensive about getting started?

In this day and age it’s never been easier or cheaper to get into film photography. Film SLR cameras can be had amazingly cheap (in some cases free if you have older family members that embrace technology and happen to like you). Film, chemistry and development gear are also quite inexpensive and quite fulfilling as well. If you’re apprehensive, there’s really no reason to be!

Reader Excerpts: Foreign Observer

Today’s feature comes from Daniel Rodriguez. Daniel tells a story from his perspective of a Mexican-American that most likely echoes true to many first-generation citizens.  His work as well as his written story make you understand what many people in America go through on a daily basis: floating in the in-between of identifying and understanding their cultural roots while also attempting to solidify their identity as an American citizen.  Daniel brings us on his (and his family’s) journey back to Mexico to document the town in which his father emigrated from to find his place in two different countries.

Reader Excerpts allow those who read Now Developing to become part of the collective by sharing a written piece alongside their images on a topic of their choice.  If you have any ideas for a piece and would like to have it featured here, feel free to contact me!

Foreign Observer, shot and written by Daniel Rodriguez (Website, Instagram)

Foreign Observer is a photo series that took me three years to complete and is centered on how I was able to reconnect with my cultural roots through photography. When my dad immigrated to the USA over thirty years ago the only sentence he could confidently deliver in English was “One Jumbo Jack and a Strawberry Shake, please.” A few years passed and he became fluent in English, met my mom, got married and, had 3 kids.

My mom was born here in the states, but was a child of immigrant parents and understood the hardships of life in Mexico. My parents wanted my siblings and I to have that same understanding as well as the knowledge of where we came from. Once my dad became a legal citizen in the 90’s, we would take trips down to Mexico as a family every other year. The trips consisted of lots of handshakes with family we had never met, fireworks, and a temporary suspension of my parents’ anti-junk food rules. These trips felt more like a vacation to me than an opportunity to connect with my culture but that all changed once I became a teenager.

I had dealt with an unusual amount of discrimination as a child and was often treated differently by American kids for being “too Mexican” while also be teased by Mexican kids for being “too American”. I never felt like I fit in anywhere and somehow felt like a foreigner in each land. I remember being 13 years old and walking around the streets of Calvillo, Aguascalientes with my dad wondering how different my life would be if I would have grown up here instead of California.

Would I have discovered my passion for art? Oh man, and what about my love for music? What does it really mean to be an American or a Mexican? I promised myself I would go back next year with my family and finally get a grip on where I fit in between these two cultures, but… the events of September 11, 2001 had happened and new international travel laws required passports cross the US/Mexico border.  It was going to take a lot of part-time summer job hours earn enough for a passport.

Pretty soon after that my attention shifted to learning photography, the San Diego Punk Rock/Hardcore scene and my turbulent teen years which bled in to my awkward twenties. Before I knew it, over 10 years passed without visiting Mexico.

I returned to Mexico in 2014 with my family in hopes of closing the chapter I started in December 2000 and photographing the experience. I knew I was going to bring my trusty Nikon N80 with my 35mm F2 lens and 28mm F2.8 lens but I couldn’t decide on what film stock to bring. After thinking things over, it seemed best to take a street photograph approach for this project and I convinced myself to use Kodak Portra instead Kodak Ektar (which is usually my preferred color film) in order to benefit from the faster film speed. I had never really shot with Portra and I was immediately dissatisfied with the results of that first trip back.

I wanted make up for my error in judgement and I ended up shooting almost 40 rolls of Ektar after my subsequent trips in 2015 and 2016. It took a couple months to hand develop, scan and edit all the images but it was such a relief to see my images with the punchy colors and contrast that Ektar is famous for. These shots are a direct result of me walking around aimlessly for hours on end and interacting with the city. I stick out like a sore thumb when I walk around and take pictures since it’s such in small town. Between the guava orchards, churches and bars, there isn’t much to do there.

My dad rented a car and took my Mom and I on a drive during one of our last days there. I spotted a corn field and asked him to stop so I can snap a few pictures. I hopped a fence and walked in to a cornfield to shoot the bundles of corn stalks piled together like giant yellow pyramids.

When I came back to the car, an old man was speaking to my dad and I instantly got nervous and thought he was mad at me for being on his property. I introduced myself as I approached him and he asked me which news channel I was shooting for as he shook my hand. I explained that I was not a reporter, but just a photographer from the U.S. and that I’m here to capture the city my dad immigrated from. He was surprised that someone had taken so much interest in this little city and he praised God for giving me the opportunity to document it.

He said to me, “Listen, son. I think it’s a beautiful thing you’re here capturing these landscapes and finding the beauty of this land. Never forget that you’re a part of this land and its yours as much as its mine, or your fathers. Your home exists on both sides of that border and you know why? Look over there… That’s my home. It may be small and it may be simple, but it’s also yours. You are welcome to it at any time. Whether its a glass of water or a bed to sleep in, it’s there if you need it.”

If you would like to purchase this project in print, Daniel is selling the work here.

Developed Roll: Leica M2 w/ Canon 50mm f1.8 LTM

In my (hopefully deceased) search for the perfect 35mm rangefinder, I decided to pick up a Leica M2.  While I already had a Zeiss 35mm f/2 ZM, I felt that I could really benefit from a 50mm focal length.  After a bit of reading, I came across the “Japanese Summilux”, or the Canon 50mm f1.4 LTM.  While the extra half of stop would be nice, I decided to go with its slower sibling, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 LTM at a fraction of the cost.

To put both the lens and my ability to judge exposure without a meter to the test,  I took my M2 with 50mm attached and HP5 loaded and left the light meter at home.

I took my camera to an exhibition hockey game between the University of South Florida Men’s hockey club team and the USA National Women’s Hockey team who are currently on a tour to garner excitement and get a bit of practice in before the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea later this year.

While shooting a hockey game is typically no easy feat with a dSLR due to the tricky lighting, I found that shooting meterless and on black and white film was definitely a bit more rewarding.  Not to mention manually focusing a subject at f/4 that was moving at high speeds.  All in all, I was very satisfied with the results.

All images were taken on a Leica M2 with a Canon 50mm f1.8 LTM on Ilford HP5.

Part of the Process: Sara G. Amo

Part of the Process is a series of posts that puts the spotlight on film photographers and DIY film developers.  These features provide unique experiences and perspectives on shooting and developing film while also showcasing diverse talent and film photographers around the globe.  If you are interested in being featured, feel free to contact me!

Name: Sara G. Amo

Location: From Barcelona, Spain, but currently living in Iceland

Links:

Cargo Collective

Tumblr

Facebook

What other websites or blogs do you keep up with to feed your photographic interests?

I like to wander around Tumblr to find other photographers and inspiration.

What attracted you to film photography? How did you get started/introduced to shooting film? How soon after did you start developing?

What attracted me the most are the aesthetics of film and the whole artisanal value of the process of developing. I discovered film when I was studying graphic design, we had a photography class and the first year was all about film photography, so we learned to shoot with film cameras and develop our negatives and prints. After that, when I became more focused in photography, I started shooting and developing by myself at the same time.

What do you like to shoot on a regular basis?

I shoot mostly portraits, but also landscape. I am very interested in human emotions, the connection between humans and nature, and also in the social documentary perspective.

What formats, cameras, and films do you shoot? What do you like about the formats, cameras, films you prefer? 

I use mostly 35mm and medium format. I like 35mm because it’s the most easy to bring when traveling, or when going out in the street or hiking in the mountains.  It’s light weight, and you have a lot of photographs in every roll. But actually, my favorite format is medium format, I love the depth of the negatives; the results are amazing both in portrait and landscape photography. But it’s also more difficult to use because the camera is a lot heavier and the rolls have less photographs.

So, I often use the 35mm when I’m shooting on my own, and the medium format when I have to work on specific projects.

What types of film do you develop?

At home, I develop black and white, both negatives and prints. In the future, I would like to be able to also develop C41.

Tell us about your first experiences in developing your own film.  How did you muster the courage to give it a shot? What resources did you use?

I already had the basics of developing because I learned it at school, but I remember the first time I decided to do it at home, totally by myself alone, and I felt kind of scared of making some mistake and ruining the whole batch of work. But in the end, everything went well and the more I developed, the more confidence I gained to continue doing it.

What is your development process like now?

First, I decide what format or camera I am gonna use depending on the project, after the shooting, I normally don’t develop the rolls until I have many to develop them in a batch.

I send the color film to the lab, also when I have quite a lot of them. After I have all the negatives, I scan them at home and make a selection. Then, I edit the final ones in photoshop, just the basic touches: brightness, contrast, color dominance, and not much more than that. When I have money and I can buy photographic paper, I enlarge some of my favorite black and white prints in the darkroom and scan the final print instead of the negatives.

I also like to experiment with alternative processes, such as cyanotype, van dyke brown, or photographic emulsion, among many others. Alternative processes are really interesting to me but I haven’t got the time to work with them as much as I want. I hope I can work more with them in the future!

What’s your processes regarding scanning, enlarging, and/or printing your work?

I like to do everything by myself. The first thing I did when I got my latest job was buy a professional scanner so I can scan all my negatives at home, because the prices of the laboratory were too high and I also didn’t like the quality of it.

I enlarge and print my black and white photographs in the darkroom, but lately I can’t do it much because of the cost of the photographic paper. But when I have an exhibition, I always do it, the quality of the prints is much better when you develop them in the darkroom.

What equipment are you using to develop your film and why?

I don’t have a fixed darkroom. I would love to have it in the future, but for now I have to use my bathroom (I call it the “bathlab”). I use a Meopta Opemus 6a enlarger and a Paterson tank, because I bought it all together from a friend that was selling all of her darkroom equipment.

Currently, I use Kodak HC-110 as a film developer because I love the results in all the films that I’ve tried, the contrast and tones that you get are perfect, and also because it lasts for a long long time. The rest of the chemicals, including fixer, stop bath and paper developer are from Tetenal, mostly because they are the ones that are more easy to find here and the price isn’t too expensive.

Are you content with where you are now with your shooting and developing? Do you have any future plans or ambitions?

I feel that I am still in the beginning of the journey. I still have to shoot a lot more, I still have to develop a lot of projects that I have in my mind and spread my works so they reach more people. I realized that my way is slow, so everything goes little by little, but the best I can do is enjoy the process, go with the flow, and see what happens next!

Have you completed any notable projects or in the process of creating something from the film you have shot and developed? 

I’m currently finishing some projects that I shot in the last years, organizing all the photographs and making the final selections. This is always the most difficult part of the projects for me, mainly because it’s very time consuming and I have to spend many hours on the computer.  I prefer to be shooting outside or developing in the darkroom.

My latest finished project that you can find online in my portfolio is ‘A dor da ausencia’, regarding the loss of my grandmother Ilda, probably one of the most special and difficult projects that I’ve done up until now.

What advice can you give to others who are interested in shooting and developing film but are apprehensive about getting started?

Don’t be afraid, start in the most simple way: just find a film camera (ask your family if they have any old cameras or buy a second hand one), buy the cheapest film that you find, and start shooting!

Developing B&W at home is very easy, you just have to learn the basics and start experimenting. You’ll discover a whole new world that will let you experiment photography in many different ways. Don’t worry if you make mistakes at first, keep shooting and practicing, that is the key to grow and improve!