Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

Parc de la gorge de Coaticook

When my high-school photography teacher described the flavors of Kodak B&W filmsβ€” Kodak T-MAX or Kodak TRI-Xβ€” I chose T-MAX & stayed faithful to it until I discovered Ilford Delta. I’m sure there were people who switched films all the timeβ€”and there were many filmsβ€” but such loose behavior me feel like a floozy.


I would expose the onto paper in such low light, sooooo sloooooowly. I was agonizingly slow in the darkroom. I was afraid that if I exposed with more light and shorter times, the moment of perfection would pass and I would not be able to catch it.


I liked matte paper. My high-school teacher recommended that we all start out with glossy, but I thought the reflection of light on the paper annoying. I would see the image, then I would see the extra light. I liked how the light sunk into the matte finish so I could look at the picture.


I took okay photos in high school. I was too shy to venture too far or to be too creative. I became more adventuresome in college, but still, I was shy. I was too afraid of humans to photograph them well, but I certainly thought they were (and still are) the most interesting thing to put in a box and look at through a view-finder. My favorite humans are my family. I like looking at them.



Now I can click on one imitation B&W film after another, chosing whichever one pleases me, wondering how accurate they are, wondering how they can mean anything at all when the look of the image changes so dramatically when I change my camera profile. For this picture, I tried out each film simulation one after another in quick succession, and then I did it again. What a floozy!

It would have been a much better pictureβ€” perhaps almost interestingβ€” if she was leaning on the other side of the bridge. Unfortunately, I didn’t ask her to move. Also unfortunately, it reminds me of my high-school photos. I think I photographed a lot of chain-link fences.






Developing B&W images in ye ol’ darkroom, courtesy of Ilford. The above photo is imitation Ilford Pan F 50.

Follow all step-by-step instructions or skip right to 5:50 to see the moment that makes a photographer’s heart go pitter-pat.

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