Lately, I have been spending a lot of time pursuing my photography hobby. Whilst I have had many digital cameras during the past decade I have lost touch with my analogue roots. I think there is a conspiracy from all the photography manufacturers to entice us to keep up with technology thus making our cameras obsolete every year or so. I know there are other bloggers such as Steve (click for his recent post) who photograph their scooters against scenic backdrops.
(Granville Island, Vancouver, BC)
I am preparing to embark on more rides focused towards photographic destinations. As A past camera collector, I dusted off a few collectibles and ventured out last weekend shooting B&W film for the first time in many years. I know that Steve (Scooter in the Sticks) mentioned recently that his darkroom was a cozy place. Well, I can tell you that in the past I have spent many hours in my darkroom until the wee hours of the night making prints and listening to my music.
(excuse the darkroom mess)
I have a Durst M601 (dichroic head) medium format enlarger where I use for enlargements from 35mm to 6x6. For my larger formats (MF/LF: 6x7, 6x9, 6x12 & 4x5) I use my Omega D2 (condensor). I also have a subminiature collection and I use my minox enlarger for those.
(Jobo CPE-2 colour processor, with lift, magnetic drums)
Most of this stuff hasn't seen the light of day for years. I originally purchased the Jobo to be able to do my own E-6, or C-41. As you can see, I am a hobbist and was not afraid to purchase all this equipment to "learn the trade". I have spent countless hours learning/practicing and I think that I have come to the point where I have forgotten mostly everything.
I was interested to shoot a couple of "test" rolls to get back into the developing groove. I was going through my film supply of black and white film and found that my most recent roll had expired nearly 6 years ago. Oh well, not to worry, just a little loss in speed or a minute or so of more developing. While I was pondering which camera to use, I noticed that my Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta A had a partial roll loaded. You can tell by looking through that little red window on the back (120 roll film). The Super Ikonta A is a small 645 folding camera. The one I have is prewar (non coated lens) made in the late '30s making it over 70 years old.
(Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta A, 645 folder with 3.5/7cm lens)
After I finished the film, I switched over to my Certo-Six (6x6 format). This is a lesser know model over here in North America but it is made in Germany and is a very solid camera with an excellent reputation.
(Certo-Six, w/ Zeiss Tessar lens)
Not wanting to "ruin" both rolls I took my first "test" roll from the Ikonta A and prepared to develop the film. I purchased "fresh" developer the other day, BUT in an effort to save some $$, I found a brand new, sealed bottle that I have had sitting on the shelf for 6 years. I opened the seal and noticed that the liquid had turned a muddy, dark brown, sort of like a strong cup of coffee. I used it anyway which was a big mistake. I developed for 7 min, in 1+9 dilution of Ilfosol agitating every minute and the negatives came out a little "light".
Tonight I came home and decided to "run" the other Certo roll using my fresh developer, Ilfosol 3. When I opened the bottle the solution was nearly clear light water, NOT brown like the old mixture
(Ilfosol "s" OLD, vs Ilfosol 3 NEW)
Because of my error yesterday, today I overcompensated and developed the negatives too long. I developed for 8-1/2 min, 1+9 dilution Ilfosol 3 agitating 10 sec/min. Now that I have honed in on my times, the next "batch" should come out just perfect. Ilfosol is not my usual developer, it's just the one I use when I am testing new film, or in this case, I haven't had time to mix up a new batch yet. I am a purist and prefer to mix my own developer from powder. I have had good results in the past using a divided D-76, 2-step developer system which develops in 2 stages; A + B which you can tweek for contrast control, or to collapse the "zones" to elimininate burning and dodging when making your prints.
(False Creek, Granville Island, Vancouver, BC)
Summer's not quite here. While the sun is out and the rain has stopped the heat of spring is just around the corner. Next weekend we start Daylight Savings Time. One more hint that summer is near.
During my travels on the weekend, I came across this tree full of "Bald Eagles" and tried to go for that silouette look. How many bald eagles can you spot ?
(Bald Eagles, Delta, BC)