Jan 31 2010

Roll #10

Roll #10

This week, light-tight.com hits the open road and travels all the way to the enchanting city of Steubenville, OH. Home of Dean Martin and Jimmy the Greek, Steubenville is also known as The City of Murals because more than two dozen of them can be found in the downtown area. Steubenville is the county seat of Jefferson County, OH., but it is generally regarded as a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA., and it will the subject for this week’s roll:


A roll of PJ400 Ektapress. As with the PJ800 I shot earlier, Kodak stopped producing this PJ400 film around 2003. How will we know if we should blame this expired film if it produces a gray and gritty set of prints?  Or perhaps it’s just the natural ambiance of this former steel-mill town?

Jan 24 2010

Results to #9

Results to #9

Processing: discount pharmacy

Time: next day

Price: $6.88

Yeah, I went back to the discount pharmacy. I haven’t found any more film processing labs in the area. I’ve heard the mega mart place does it, but I refuse to spend my money there. And I know a warehouse shopping club does it, and I’ve heard they do a pretty good job too. But I am not a member.

So, yeah, I went back to the discount pharmacy.

The Farm Show was the same as it ever was, but it was nice to see it from a different perspective this year, as I didn’t have to be there for the newspaper. Old habits die hard though, and even though I thought I was being different, most of my shots still look very….well….newspapery.


An animal in a pen. There are a lot of these. Not much more to say about that.


I liked the bored look of the kid sitting on the bucket, and the indifferent look of the cow as the visitors herded by. I knew I could frame them all into an interesting composition. I knew this wasn’t very unique. Then my friend who had been looking at the alpacas saw me crouching there and said, “You’re working again, huh?” Yep. Afraid so.


I kind of miss the painterly look that film sometimes offers in shots like this. With manual focus, I never get the images tack sharp (anymore), and without those 1/3 stops my digital gives me, it’s amazing how much more motion blur creeps into the image. I like this shot. It would have looked a lot different with my digital.

All of the prints had a bit of a yellow green cast to them, which I mostly tried to correct out in Photoshop once I scanned them. I would blame that on the flourescent lighting throughout the Farm Show complex, not necessarily on the film type, the film’s age or the processing.

Jan 20 2010

FlashBack – about a week and a half ago…

Revisiting Roll #7

Okay, so I took one negative to the “pro lab” to see if the print would be any better, and it was. In fact, it was a lot better. But for $1.25 per 4×6, I would expect it to be.

My scanner isn’t that great, so the improvement may not come across that well here, but the new print has better color saturation, better contrast and doesn’t have the “banding” that the first set of prints had.

The one on the left is the original print.  The one one the right is the new and improved.  More or less.


Jan 17 2010

Results to #8/Roll#9

Results to #8

Processing: a professional lab

Time: about 1.5 weeks

Price: $7.25 ($3.50 for process only, then 3/$1.25 each for prints)

Yeah, these look pretty much like I remember my sports shots looking way back when I was in my early twenties. Except back then I was accustomed to shooting manual focus, plus my eye was younger, so more of my shots were actually sharp. It’s a lot harder to anticipate and focus action before it actually happens than it is to just try to follow it and let the autofocus do all the work. They’re not very exciting, but here’s the better shots from that roll.

bb1This is the kind of action shot that I actually kind of consider cheating.  Yeah, she’s playing basketball, but she’s not moving around that much and she’s not that hard to get in focus.


This one is a bit more difficult because she is moving, but not so tough since she’s kind of far away.  The peoples’ arms in the foreground help to add to the sense of action, even though the actual action isn’t very exciting.

bb2This one was the toughest.  She’s close, she’s moving fast, and I got lucky with the focus.

But let’s get back to the film, because that’s what this whole thing is about. It held up well. It looks just like I remembered it. It’s more difficult to shoot than I remember. We’ve all gotten spoiled by the ease and beauty of digital.

Roll #9


A roll of 36 exp. Fujicolor 400.  I’m pretty sure this is old newspaper stock that found its way into my sack of goodies.  As for the assignment?  I got two words for you:  Farm Show!

Jan 10 2010

Results to #7

Results to Roll #7

Processing:  the mall

Price: $12.71

Time: 5 days

Well, I may have had to wait twice as long as they said it would take, but hey, the prints sure are crappy! I can’t put all of the blame on the lab. Remember, this film is very old. The clerk said that there is a nasty blue cast to the negs, and I have no reason to doubt that. On the other hand, they did admit that their orders for film processing are inconsistent, the chemistry is expensive and therefore they may discontinue that service soon.  That makes me wonder how long they stretch their chemistry.

Regardless, the digital printing system they use is just terrible. The prints have bands of noise, much like the really old digital cameras used to have.  The film may have color balance and grain issues, but I’m sure there’s no “banding” on the negatives.

scan0003The quality of this print is not that good, but I still kind of like the image.

scan0002And although this one is also pretty horrible, I really don’t think the print has to be this bad.  I took this negative to another lab to compare print quality.  So stay tuned!