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Part of the Process: Tom Allen

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: Tom Allen

Location: Suffolk, England

Links:

Instagram

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

Magnum Photos, Japan Camera Hunter, The Phoblographer, Wasteoffilm and anyone I find inspiring on Instagram.

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

I got interested in film photography when my dad found his Olympus and gave it to me to play around with after I had been shooting digitally for a year or two. I didn’t love it at first, but for whatever reason I kept shooting and now I’m completely taken with film and use it for all my shooting. I was shooting film for about a year before buying my own developing equipment because I realised it would be cheaper to learn than to keep sending to a lab.

Olympus OM2 + 50mm f1.4 on Ilford HP5

 

What do you like to shoot on a regular basis?

I like taking inspiring from all different areas, but documentary, portraiture, and landscape are the three areas I find most captivating and they are the three styles I shoot the most.

Olympus OM2 + 50mm again on HP5 @800

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

I use a 35mm Olympus OM2n and a 50mm f/1.4 that belonged to my dad.  It’s not very expensive online, but the images are beautiful and it’s smaller and more compact than most film SLRs.

Olympus OM2 + Zuiko 50mm f1.4 on Fuji C200

I also shoot 120mm film with a Yashica 635.  Again, not very expensive and it’s certainly no Rolleiflex, but the images are still very sharp and very pleasing to my eye at least.

Yashica 635 + 80mm f3.5 on Portra 400

What types of film do you develop?

I develop B&W film myself but have never developed C41 or E6.

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 knew the basics from Youtube tutorials, and had my first experience through school, which went surprisingly well. After that, I bought a Paterson kit and started developing in my kitchen. I’m a very cautious person, so I planned my first attempts meticulously.  That has now become habit and so far I haven’t ruined a roll of film (thank goodness!).

Yashica 635 + 80mm on Ilford FP4

What is your development process like now?

I develop my film in my kitchen using times from Massive Dev Chart with all my lovely brand-loyal Ilford chemicals.  Then, I scan them with a little-bit-outdated-but-does-the-job Epson V330 scanner. After that, I choose which negatives, if any, I want to print and then I get to work printing. I test strip, dodge, burn and all that until I am happy with what I see. I then stash them away so my photography tutor can’t see them and persuade me to use them for my school work, and finally mount them in a sketchbook.

Olympus OM2 + Zuiko 50mm f1.4 on Ilford HP5

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

I scan my film at home for use on social media, but printing in the darkroom is my absolute favourite way to ‘finish’ the image.  It’s also my favourite part of the film process. Don’t get me wrong, the scans are useful and nice to have, but the satisfaction of making a print, the look, the process, and the experience of it is really special and I don’t feel like I’ve truly captured an image until I take the time to print it.

I know that can sound really artsy and pretentious, and that side to film photography gets on my nerves, but printing is a lot of fun and I wouldn’t enjoy photography as much without it.

Yashica 635 + 80mm on Tri-X

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

I use Paterson tanks and reels and a changing bag because that seemed the most available brand, nothing really to do with loyalty. Brand loyalty does come into play with my chemicals because I am an Ilford user, down to being a student who lives in England where Ilford is based so can get it way way cheaper than something like Tri-X (Not to mention I like the look of Ilford’s film!). So I use Ilford ID-11 (after a brief affair with Rodinal) in a 5 litre jerry can, and then Ilfostop and Ilford Fix, too. The darkroom I use has Fotospeed developer, stop and fix for printing which work perfectly well when paired with Ilford Multigrade paper.

Yashica 635 + 80mm on Ilford HP5

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

I’m pretty content for now I think.  My main focus is to put together some kind of body of work that I’m really happy with. Maybe in the future I’ll look at publishing and perhaps expanding on my developing and learning colour printing or something like that, if I can find the opportunity to do so.

Yashica 635 + 80mm on Fuji 400h

Have you completed any notable projects or in the process of creating something from the film you have shot and developed? Feel free to give a solid summary of each project.

I’m currently working on a documentary project focused around a Victorian seaside town near where I live because of it’s strange mixture of run-down areas and up-market posh middle-class places crammed in next to each other, which I find really interesting. Alongside that, tomorrow (from the day of writing this) I’m going to shoot the first part of a portrait project on film in the studio which I was inspired to do after coming across the work of Alvin Langdon Coburn and Irving Penn.

Olympus OM2 + Zuiko 50mm f1.4 and Ilford HP5 @1600

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

I would definitely say just go for it, if you’re worried about getting it right, you’ll never know until you try, so why hold yourself back? And there’s always the friendly internet to help when you’re stuck. If you’re worried about cost, then there are always loopholes and hacks you can find.  You don’t need the best of the best equipment.  Look on eBay for good deals and find what works for you.

My final piece of advice (not that this is unique) would be to make yourself an amazing Spotify playlist for when you’re printing!

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Reader Excerpts: April the 2nd

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!

Today’s piece comes from my good friend Phil Schiller. Phil writes about the first day he got his hands on a camera and how he made the quick and swift progression into shooting film.  Although his experience in photography in general may be limited, he tells us how shooting film has quickly made him realize why and what he loves about the craft and process of photography.

April the 2nd, Written by Phil Schiller (Instagram)

April 2, 2016

That was the day when I finally got my hands on what I would consider to be a real camera. Before that day, the iPhone was as far as I had got into photography.

Fast forward to April 2nd 2016.

My boss let me borrow a Nikon D200 for a while. I expressed to him that I’ve been looking to get myself an actual camera, so he graciously lent me his.  I remember when he gave it to me, I had literally zero idea of what I had just gotten myself into. I’ve never been a patient person by any means, and this definitely tested that. I would look on various Flickr pages, Instagram accounts, etc. and see people’s results and it would simply frustrate me. I finally decided that I wanted to actually sit down, do the research and force myself to learn the basics of photography. Finally, understanding aperture, ISO, and exposing my subject properly; I began seeing actual progress.   I’ll never forget when I took a photo of my roommate working on a project.  I snapped the photo and looked down at the camera to see the final result and it make me geek.

From then on out, I’ve been so lucky to have friends that have already been in the field of image creation, most notably, Katy Konsulis. She was the number one person to teach me not only do you need to know how to operate a camera, but to feel what you’re actually shooting. I can’t express enough how grateful I am for her guidance and knowledge. She’d always ask me “Do you love this?”

At the time, I sort of overanalyzed that. It made me in a way, reconsider what I’m actually striving for in photography. Which in turn, made me realize that all I want is to love the images and the experiences that bring me there. You can be using the best equipment in the world and think that this is it. You’ve found that true happiness that you feel produces the best quality. However, in my opinion, it doesn’t matter what you use to create an image; just make sure it gets you stoked.

After the D200, and gaining as much knowledge and experience from that camera, I knew what I wanted. I saved up and bought myself a Fuji x100T.  Before I plunged and got the T, I gained a lot of interest in street photography. Mainly from watching YouTube channels like Pablo Strong and Negative Feedback. I knew I wanted to give it a shot, so I took the D200, went out of my comfort zone and drove to Downtown Tampa. Being out in that environment was breath of fresh air and super enlightening. I immediately fell in love and I knew what I needed. That’s when and why I bought the x100T. I wanted something fast, quiet, and could produce images without having to think about setting up your camera for an image. This camera, will forever be one of my favorite cameras. I never thought a piece of equipment could train you like the x100T did. It opened my eyes in a completely different way. The Fuji gave me that and so much more.

I started gaining more confidence with photo making and being my own individual when it came to shooting. I even got the opportunity to put up physical work in the coffee shop I work at. This was insane to me at the time. Actually seeing my photos in physical form for others to see. That’s a feeling I don’t think I’ll ever forget. I have to give the Fuji so much credit, because it taught me what I actually wanted. It made me realize that it’s okay to only be a hobbyist. It made me happy, and that’s all that mattered. It also made me realize that the T was not my end all. I was getting to the point where I was just shooting to shoot. In hopes that I’d snag at least one good photo from that session. At the time, it bummed me out and curbed my drive to go out and shoot. I knew I needed a change. That’s when the latest stage of my photography journey came together.

In February earlier this year, I had the opportunity to go to Portland and Seattle for a week with the company I work for. I haven’t traveled much in my life, so this was actually a huge deal in my book.  For one, I actually get to check out the west coast coffee scene and most importantly, I was so stoked to take my camera with me to freeze those moments in time.

I thought to myself, I’m truly excited to record my experiences over there but I wanted to do it in a different way. I wanted to take photos that actually capture the environment and the feel of what I was feeling. I wanted to shoot film. The dude that has graciously allowed to me tell my story on this blog, Dylan, let me have a Canon SureShot 35 and a roll of Arista 400.  It may seem like a simple point & shoot, but right when I loaded the film up, I knew that this was different. I knew I had to revert back to how I originally took photos and to shoot what I feel. I did that exact thing and it was the best experience of my life to date. When Dylan gave my the link to my scans I was so unbelievably stoked. I don’t think I’ve felt that feeling.. perhaps ever? Seeing what you captured weeks later and remembering that exact moment and how it made you feel. That was an amazing experience.

I knew I was hooked. The film bug was in full effect and I sold my x100T.

About a month ago, I finally picked up a new film camera. I bought a Contax G1. When I was researching what I wanted in a camera, I knew I wanted sharpness and reliability. Everywhere I read, the G series is hailed as some of the best cameras do date, for good reason too. Zeiss glass. The competitor to Leica’s glass. I was lucky enough to find a killer deal on a G1 with the Planar 45mm T. Once it arrived in the mail, I knew this was it. I immediately loaded a roll in, and went out shooting. While I was shooting the G, it made me realize how of a wildly different experience it was than shooting with any camera I had shot before it. I shot what I felt and that’s all I did. I just recently got back my first three rolls from Dylan and I’m so excited to keep diving deeper into film. Seeing and feeling the environment of what this camera produces is enlightening and produces such a different feel that I honestly cannot put into words. All I know is I was looking for more realism, more challenge, more emotion.

I found it and I’m not letting go.

Camera Review: Minolta AF-C

With premium point and shoots skyrocketing in price due to their scarcity, celebrity endorsement, and cool-guy factor, many people are searching for alternatives to cameras such as the Contax T2 (nearing $600, I sold mine for $325 about a year ago) and the also steadily-rising Olympus Stylus Epic with 35mm 2.8 lens (some asking prices near $2-300, but I have found more than a handful at the local Goodwill for under $4).

I frequently (almost daily) come across Facebook groups where someone is asking about the best quality point and shoot for the best price.  Typically speaking, OP is looking for a camera with a sharp f/2.8 lens.  In the replies, I always see the same answers; the Contax T2, Olympus Stylus Epic, Rollei 35, and Olympus XA usually round out the top of the responses.

One camera that I have never seen mentioned (nor did I know it even existed until recently) is the Minolta AF-C: something that looks like the long lost sibling of the Olympus XA series or the Lomo LC-A.

The Minolta AF-C is an interesting camera.  By its looks, it appears as if the Lomo LC-A and the Olympus XA had a love child.  The AF-C has a sliding lens cover and also sports a detachable side-mounted flash.  It’s pretty slick looking, perhaps a bit too Robocop-looking for me personally, but it does remind me a bit of an 80’s Ferarri.

Starting at the top of the camera, the camera is ridiculously simple and minimalistic for better or worse depending on what you are looking for in a camera of this type.  The camera only has a rewind knob, shutter button, and film counter on top.  The film advance is also manual.  To me, this makes the camera feel a little cheap.  It makes me long for the advance tab seen on my Minox 35 EL.  The front of the camera is just as simple.  The AF-C sports a 35mm f/2.8 lens with a self timer switch to the left and an ASA dial underneath the sliding lens cover.  The left side of the camera (looking at the front of the camera) has a small metal loop for a wrist strap while the right side of the camera has a connection for the EF-C flash which looks strikingly similar to the Olympus A11 flash.  Finally, the bottom of the camera has tripod accessibility as well as a battery door and film rewind release.

Loading film into the Minolta is probably my favorite part about the camera.  The take up spool has such a neat little mechanism that grabs the film tab as you load and advance the film through for loading.  Be careful on used/abused cameras, because sometimes this tension clip loosens over time.  My initial roll was compromised because I trusted that the clip was in working order.

When taking photos, the viewfinder is relatively bright.  It has two LED lights at the bottom. A green LED to indicate successful autofocus and a red LED to indicate a low light exposure.

The camera is rather pocketable with the flash on, but much more so without it.  Personally, I do not utilize a flash all that often, so I would probably leave the flash at home anyhow.  I know we are talking about ounces here, but when it comes to portability every centimeter and ounce tend to count.

Shooting the camera is just as simple and as easy as it looks.  Point, press half way down to be sure of exposure and focus, and slam it down for the shot.  The lens is super sharp, and I consider it (and the camera) all too overlooked.  Perhaps this will change as the popularity of point and shoots is on the rise and consumers searching for an affordable and quality camera will start breaking off from the soon to be unattainable Contax-branded cameras.  The only downside I can mention is that you really have to trust the camera.  It’s reliable, but some shooters really value their manual controls. Oh, that and ISO 400 is the highest setting on the camera.  So, you have to adjust accordingly.

In the test shots below, I include both black and white and color film.  The roll of Fuji Superia 400 I shot was a bit dated and wasn’t stored very well.  It came out a bit underexposed, to say the least.  You can still see the quality of the lens through the fade and haze of the expired film, but perhaps not a great representation of color and exposure.  These aspects are seen best in the black and white frames provided.  Those were shot by my buddy who I borrowed the camera from for the review.

All in all, the camera is solid for the purpose it’s meant to serve: to point and to shoot.  It’s quick and produces quality results.  It’s pocketable, and rather inconspicuous.  It also performs rather well in all general conditions, which is nice for a camera you want to have on you at all times.  However, if you’re looking for any manual control aside from setting the ISO, you might not enjoy it as much.

Minolta AF-C // Superia 400

Minolta AF-C // Ilford HP5+

Minolta AF-C // Tri X

Minolta AF-C // Superia 400

Minolta AF-C // Tri X

Minolta AF-C // Superia 400

Minolta AF-C // Tri X

Minolta AF-C // Superia 400 // No Flash v. Flash Comparison

Part of the Process: Colin Staehle-Lantelme

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: Colin Staehle-Lantelme

Location: Naples, Florida, USA

Links:

Website

Instagram

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

Usually just YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook but i do like to try and find websites of full bodies of work.

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

Honestly the mixture of a really bad break up and a tab of LSD is what kickstarted my passion for film. My roommate at the time had the day off from school and knew I was having a bad time dealing with the break up and offered to trip with me. Before we left our apartment I grabbed my Nikkormat at the last second (first time i used it in about 4 years).

I remember looking through the viewfinder and saying one of two phrases the entire day “It’s going to look like this” or “that could be a shoegaze album cover”. I got the roll back from the lab a week later and every shot was perfect. Since then, photography has been therapy for me. Soon after that day, I signed up for this community darkroom class in Orlando and continued to rent out the darkroom months after.

Olympus XA2
Agfa APX 400

What do you like to shoot on a regular basis?

Growing up in the fashion industry I’ve always been drawn to fashion photography. But I do love shooting skateboarding and musicians as well. I always take a few portraits of all my subjects as well.

Whenever I go to shoot a new client, I usually treat the shoot like we are just hanging out.  I try to have some introspective conversations, make their thoughts stimulating.  It usually makes the shoot a little smoother and brings more emotion into the model. I usually get a bowl of ramen with them after the shoot, too.

Nikkormat EL
50mm f/1.2
Ilford HP5+

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

For 35mm I shoot with a Leica M6 and an Olympus XA2. I recently switched from digital to exclusively film for my professional work.  The M6 just offers me a feeling of complete reliability. I used to shoot on a Nikkormat EL and it used to be a nightmare.  I’ve had to refund clients because of that camera. The Olympus is great for my more “experimental” projects as a lot of my work is inspired by psychedelics so the XA just offers something simple and durable for me . All I have to do is focus on composition and hit the shutter.

Leica M6
Voigtlander 35mm F/1.4
Kodak Tri-X 400

For medium format, I use a Hasselblad 500C/M. That was my dream camera since I started shooting (almost eleven years now). It’s what my cousin, Brian Lantelme, (who is a massive drive in my work) used in the 70’s and 80’s when he was shooting the Transgender and Drag community in New York City. Other than the camera being a flawless machine, and the 6×6 format somewhat forcing me to push my composition boundaries, choosing this camera was mostly cathartic.

Olympus XA2
Agfa APX 400

I recently got into instant photography which i use a Polaroid 450 Land camera. I just love the feeling of showing a client a shot during a shoot. Especially with the beautiful colors Fujifilm FP-100c has to offer. My standard film used to be Ilford’s HP5+ and Fujifilm Pro400H but since the announcement of Kodak’s Ektachrome making a return and the rumors of Kodachrome coming back, I felt obligated to give Kodak all my money. I primarily shoot with Tri-X400 and Provia 400 now.

What types of film do you develop?

Mostly black and white.

Nikkormat EL
50mm f/1.2
Ilford HP5+

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?

My teacher, Peter Schryer, walked me through the process. It was a euphoric experience, between the sounds of the flickering lights and the ac unit kicking on and off, and the smells of the chemicals, it became nirvana. I was probably listening to Velvet Underground or My Bloody Valentine (my usual go to darkroom soundtrack).

Just the feeling of being able to create photos from start to finish was very rewarding. Honestly the best advice i can give is be patient, explore different techniques, and play good music (makes the development time seem not as long).

Hasselblad 500C/M
60mm f/3.5
Ilford HP5+

What is your development process like now?

So I always start with picking music, usually some sort of shoegaze. I pour my chemicals then start loading my development tanks. During the rinse phase, I always smoke a cigarette to time my cycle. For enlarging, I usually make a base print of all the pictures i want to enlarge, dry them, then make my notes for cropping, dodging and burning. Then work on my final prints.

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

I actually scan every roll and create a contact sheet for each roll. I enlarge my own images as well.

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

For my enlarger, I use a Besseler 67SC with a Rodogon 80mm lens, Paterson tanks, Epson V500 scanner, and just various old odds and ends. About 90% of my darkroom was purchased through a good friend of mine named Michael who owns Kiwi Camera Services in Winter Park, Fl. He gave me a killer deal on everything, and is still providing insight and little gifts here and there. Last I was there for a gallery showing, he gave me a vintage bottle of retouching ink. He’s the man! For chemicals, I use all Kodak powder solutions, D-76 for developer.

Nikkormat EL
50mm f/1.2
Ilford HP5+

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

I’m never content with my work, which is what pushes me to continue. I love that I found something I can completely obsess about and constantly learn from. I’m actually moving to Denver to peruse a career in journalism, for both the writing and photography aspects. I used to be a literature major, so writing as been a big part of my life.

Have you completed any notable projects or in the process of creating something from the film you have shot and developed? Feel free to give a solid summary of each project.

I’ve done a lot of personal projects and commissioned work, but my favorite project was shooting Tampa Pro 2017. One of my friends started a blog/zine called SR50 in Orlando and he offered me the job. It was 3 days of partying with the heroes of my adolescence.  I got portraits of professional skaters like Jamie Thomas, Torry Pudwil, Lizard King and Geoff Rowley (tons more, too). Being able to just sit on the ramps and get the shots I actually wanted was so surreal. I actually had a spot in a gallery with some of my enlargements from Tampa Pro.

Leica M6
Voigtlander 35mm F/1.4
Kodak Tri-X 400

While i was living in Orlando, I shot one of Aesop Rock’s shows. My homie, DJ Zone, who did the scratching on his newest album, got me photo passes last minute. I got to the venue like three hours early and tried to sneak in. I saw Rob Sonic outside smoking a cigarette and I decided to try and talk to him I asked him “Hey, you with the Social?”  He replied, “Nah man.” I said, “Damn I am just trying to see my homie Patrick.” He replied with “Oh, you’re Zone’s homie? Come with me, I’m Bobby, if anyone gives you shit, tell them Bobby sent you.” It was a wild experience.

Nikkormat EL
50mm f/1.2
Ilford HP5+

Nikkormat EL
50mm f/1.2
Ilford HP5+

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

Just dive in!  It’s a rewarding experience. Find a cheap camera and never leave it at home.

 

Shutter Sounds: 001

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_001, September 2017.

YouTube: https://goo.gl/yj5zFu

Spotify: https://goo.gl/Cyi7F6

Processed Packages: Coffee and Prints from Christopher Sturm

There’s something about receiving mail that has never lost its luster.  When I was a kid, getting mail, whether a letter or package always filled me with an excitement that was similar to Christmas morning.   Of course, as a child, getting mail was always a good thing.  I didn’t have to worry about bills, notices, election materials, or junk mail.  As an adult, I think it is even more exciting to receive personalized mail and packages.

I like to think that I appreciate the small things.  These things don’t necessarily need to be physical objects, but sometimes small things like handwritten letters or small gifts prove that something about you crossed someone’s mind with a strong enough resonance to make some sort of impression or connection causing them to take action.  I don’t know, but to me that’s pretty amazing.

This past year, I got to take part in a print exchange that was coordinated by Mike Padua of Shoot Film Co.  I got to send and receive a few prints from a complete stranger.  That was quite enjoyable.  So much so, that I am thinking of coordinating a zine/book swap.  Most recently though, I got to exchange some pleasantries with Christopher Sturm of The Photo Dept.

Chris lives in the Oakland area of California.  After messaging back and forth, I decided that since Chris and I have a love for both coffee and cameras, it would be a great idea to trade local specialty coffee beans.  In my package, I decided to send him a bag of Mountaineer Coffee’s seasonal Hill and Holler beans and I also send him a copy of my book twenty seven, twenty eight, which he ended up reviewing on his YouTube channel.  You can watch that, along with his perspective of our trade and friendship below:

Just a few days after I sent out my package to Chris, he also sent me a few things: a bag of coffee, some really nice prints, and a short hand written note. Now my three favorite things might actually be hand-written letters, coffee, and photography-related paraphernalia, so it might explain my excitement for such things even though they are so small.  I think appreciate these tangible items more because in a digital society, they have become so sparingly utilized for human connection.

Like the process of analog photography, something like human communications can be compared in the same sort of light.  Snail mail contains a lengthier process than sending a direct message to someone.  It takes time, thought, and effort.  There is a human element to it that is absent in its digital counterpart.

I guess I could get on the soap box and start making the whole “technology is ruining us” argument, but I don’t think that does much good.  In turn, I would much rather promote the positive affect tangible items have on the heart and the human condition.  Of course, being conscious of the fact that technology takes out a lot of the work and time it takes to create and send things to others is something we should force ourselves to be aware of, but I don’t think it’s enough.  I think we should act more on our thoughts and connections we make in our minds and hearts of the people we meet and care about.  It makes our days easier and our lives more pleasant.

So, whether you are taking photos or thinking about sending a message to someone you haven’t talked to in a while I think we should take a step back, think about what we are doing, and choose the route that best shows our intentions, regardless of the amount of time and effort it takes.  No matter how small the tangible item is, it’s impact will be far greater.  It’s just worth it.

Thank you, Chris.  Your package and friendship is more than appreciated.

Part of the Process: Tayden MacDonald

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: Tayden MacDonald

Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Links:

VSCO

Instagram

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

Youtube Channels such as Negative Feedback and Matt Day.

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

My sister had a 35mm camera, and would shoot a roll here and there. I always liked photography but cameras were expensive. My sister let me try a roll, and I was surprised how detailed the photos came out. The color was amazing! Nothing compared to a digital camera. I then bought a Canon AE-1, and learned the basics of photography on that camera.

Canon EOS 850. 50mm 1.8. Cinestill 800

What do you like to shoot on a regular basis?

Portraits

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

Hasselblad 500c/m: The detail in a medium format camera is way better than a 35mm camera. I love shooting the Hasselblad because everything about it screams quality, from forwarding the film to clicking the shutter to opening the waist level viewfinder. Shooting the Hasselblad is an experience that you can’t get from a digital camera.

Hasselblad 500c/m. 80mm Zeiss T*. Ektar 100

Olympus XA: A great small camera to carry around and capture everyday moments, However the quality is nothing compared to medium format. I do enjoy the luxury of having 36 exposures though.

Olympus XA. HP5

Bell & Howell 675/XL Super 8 Camera: I love not being able to see what you have just shot. Film photography gets more special when shooting video. The experience of putting your roll of film through a projector and watching what you recorded is much more rewarding then going through your negatives. If you love film, you have to try Super 8! Plus Kodak is going to make Super 8 more affordable in the future with their new super 8 camera.

Land Polaroid 335: In terms of polaroids I prefer a 4×5 format shot on a land. I don’t understand why people buy crappy polaroids from Urban Outfitters, when they can get a a better Land polaroid for a better deal. Though that Fuji doesn’t make FP-100c anymore, you can still find a 10pack for $20 which is the same price or cheaper then Impossible Film, which I’m not a huge fan of. My favorite part of shooting the polaroid is pulling the film out of the camera. Feeling the rollers crush the chemical pack, is sensational, haha.

Hasselblad 500c/m. 80mm Zeiss T*. Ektar 100

What types of film do you develop?

Black and white as well as C41.

Hasselblad 500c/m. 80mm Zeiss T*. HP5

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’m a Senior in High School, and my photography teacher was contacted by someone who had a bunch of darkroom supplies that they wanted to donate. Luckily for me, I am the only one in my school who shoots film, so i got a bunch of chemicals, enlarger, reels, trays, etc. She also gave me a Nikon FE2 with a bunch of lenses which was a come up! I then bought a few more supplies and developed some B&W 35mm Film.

Nikon FE. Fuji Pro 400h

I learned most of everything by reading what to do online. I spent hours watching videos and not understanding a word they said. I have ruined so many rolls of film, because of lack of experience. My biggest troubles lately are developing 120 film. It will take me a hour to the film on the reel, and then I will give up. I hurts when I ruin a roll, because of all the time and money a spent in taking the photos and developing them is wasted and the photos are memories are lost. I will never be able to preserve that image in my head. Big risks come with big rewards! The more struggle makes the next roll more rewarding.

What is your development process like now?

Shoot. Develop. Scan on Epson v600. Share with friends.

Canon EOS 850. 50mm 1.8. Portra 160

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

I scan most of my work. Enlarging is an all day event for me and I just don’t have the time. I converted my laundry room into a darkroom, therefore I have to tape the door so no light creeps in. I literally can’t get out of my laundry room until I am done.

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

Most of my equipment is given to me. I HATE Paterson Tanks! I can’t load 120 film on it in a bag!

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

I try to be content with everything in my life. I have no future goals… besides simply improving my skills.

Hasselblad 500c/m. 80mm Zeiss T*. Portra 400

Have you completed any notable projects or in the process of creating something from the film you have shot and developed? Feel free to give a solid summary of each project.

It has been hard to create meaningful work. I think I just need to shoot more. Perhaps I’ll have a show or put together a zine one day. For now, I’m just working on my skills.

Hasselblad 500c/m. 80mm Zeiss T*. HP5

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

There is nothing to lose. After you’re first roll, you’ll be hooked. Film camera will maintain their value!

Hasselblad 500c/m. 80mm Zeiss T*. Ektar 100

Ongoing Process: One Year Later

One year ago today, I started Now Developing.  I can’t say for sure that everything I accomplished over the past year revolved around this blog, but I can definitely say that a good chunk of my experiences regarding photography over the past year in some shape or form definitely was either directly or indirectly due to the work or motivation that stemmed from this project.

In my very first post, I stated that this was something that was going to reinvigorate my creative spirit; and that my mind was starting to overflow with ideas of what the blog could be, become, and contain.  What I don’t think I anticipated was how putting my reflective journey through written discourse and capturing images up to the public of the internet could open up various windows of opportunity, amplify my desire to continue to create, and connect me with so many rad people across the globe.

Before I jump into the things I am most happy about from the past year, I would like to take a moment to just list out some of the objective data the website has amassed in just 365 days:

  • 42 Published Posts
  • 6,866 Views
  • 4,559 Visitors

I remember when the blog reach 1,000 hits.  I was ecstatic.  Needless to say, I am extremely honored that at the end of one year the numbers are what they are.  It’s just so…neat.  I know that in the grand scheme of internet traffic, I’m not pulling in millions of hits, nor am I making any monetary gain with this venture.  However, that was never the point.  As the blurb on my About & Contact page says:

I made this blog in order to record my thoughts, learning, experiences, and reflections as I continue to shoot film and develop images by hand.  In a sense, the images I create and share are a literal and figurative reflection of who I am and who I continue to become.

But this has been anything but a solo venture.  As I stated earlier, I have come in contact with some pretty amazing people.  People that I believe have now become a part of the Now Developing narrative that I respect, admire, and call friends.  Their support and the inspiration that they impart on me cannot be appreciated enough.  From simple chats, to camera talk, to mailed packages, to making my blog’s logo, it is all appreciated the same at a heartfelt level.  To avoid the risk of forgetting some integral people, I would simply like to say you know who you are and I thank you endlessly.  My gratitude cannot be truly verbalized.

I have accomplished quite a bit over the past year, and I can truly say that I am proud of the work I have done.  Again, I don’t think I can say I did any of this without the help of others.  I think creating goals is important, however, I think it is just as important to recognize when you achieve them.  So, without sounding too overzealous, I would simply like to list out the things I found noteworthy from the past year:

  • Self published my first book under the Now Developing imprint, twenty seven, twenty eight
  • Started printing work digitally
  • Built a darkroom for me and my students to start enlarging our negatives
  • Working with the Film Photography Project continuously to provide a better photographic education for my students
  • Partnering with Shoot Film Co. to put some really cool things into the hands of my students to assist them in securing their identities as film photographers
  • Able to be a part of the greater artist community in the Tampa Area, participating in displaying works at three different local locations
  • Held two exhibitions outside of the US, both taking place in South Korea
  • Traveled to Japan, and subsequently got to meet, hang out, and share a cup of tea with Bellamy, Japan Camera Hunter
  • Featured on Japan Camera Hunter, highlighting how shooting photos helped me cope with the loss of my father
  • Was interviewed on Analog Talk Podcast about photography as a hobby and passion
  • Provided a platform for other self-developing photographers to share their stories, featuring ten photographers thus far

While this list fills me with a large sense accomplishment, it is not without a secondary list; a list of goals for the upcoming year to strive for:

  • Host a solo photographic exhibition
  • Host a collective art exhibition
  • Publish two more publications of my own highlighting my time Korea and Japan
  • Publish a collective zine for the Part of the Process featurettes
  • Attempt a Now Developing Youtube channel
  • Travel to meet, shoot, and collaborate with people I have met over the past year
  • Recruit others to share their experiences through contributions on Now Developing

Overall, I couldn’t be happier just 365 days from my decision to start this blog.  In this past year alone, I truly think I have made my best photographic work to date.

I’m elated, to put it simple.  I am filled with ambition and motivation to not only shoot more, but to share more.  To share both my images and my experiences as someone who records individual moments of time.  As always though, the process continues.  To me, nothing is ever quite perfect,  both in my work and through the course of self-actualization.  As cliche as it sounds, it’s not about the result, it’s always about the process.  If you’re willing to take a risk, there’s always a chance for an equal reward.  I feel lucky enough to have obtained that reward.

Whether you’ve read something here, given feedback, provided content, given me motivation, inspired me, or interacted with me in anyway because of this page, I just want to say thank you.