Roll #17

During my time in the class darkroom, I also did a roll of 3200.

I went up into town one rainy night with my tripod looking for streaky wet street scenes.  They were long exposures and I tried to bracket for most shots.

I checked the processing information online before going into class. I wasn’t going to trust their processing chemistry temperature and time chart for another roll of film.

This time my negs are plenty dense. Actually, many of them are too dense. Ugh!

So I picked a neg with a pretty decent exposure and gave it a go. I was on the same enlarger as with the other negatives, so I had the same vignetting and focus issues. This image might not look half bad if it maintained film grain focus from edge to edge and had a true black border.

I decided to try another negative that was too dense, but I liked the image. I didn’t want this print to be full frame, so I raised the enlarger up for a standard 2 inch crop for 8 by 10.   That also cropped away some of the falloff seen in the full frame prints.  Since it was dense, I ended up printing it at something like 100 seconds wide open. It was  impossible to have a sharp print anyway so it didn’t matter if the neg popped from the lamp, and the streakiness of the scene hides the remaining vignetting pretty well. This is my favorite print.

Although I gotta admit, by the end of my time in the darkroom, it was starting to get on my nerves. The tedium of standing over those trays, sloshing the chemistry back and forth had gotten to me. The time it took for my prints to wash and then dry was killing me.

The nostalgia had worn off.

There was once a time when I would spend all day or even all weekend in the darkroom, hunched under the enlarger and over trays of open chemicals. Or maybe I would be running two or three enlargers at a time, striving for the perfect print. If I ever did make it outside at all, I’d squint and blink in the blinding daylight before retreating quickly to my dark hovel.

Photography has changed and so have I.  For the better?


Leave a Reply