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close encounters.

12 Jun 2012


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I am having some serious film developing issues right now — the lab where I take my film to get processed has just royally fucked up an important roll of film: they were supposed to push a roll of Kodak Tri-X 400 3 stops (I had been shooting as if it were a roll of 3200 speed film) and instead processed it normally, which basically means that I have negatives containing almost entirely-black images.  Photoshop can’t save this roll.  I made myself a rather tremendous pot of tomatoey rice with peas and seafood last night in an attempt to comfort myself, but I still woke up this morning incredibly pissed off.  There’s little way to prove to the lab that it was their error, and not a metering error on my part.

Such are the risks you take with film, I guess.

Sometimes the risks pay off in inadvertent ways, though.  Last night, while consuming that aforementioned pot of rice, I looked through a bunch of older photos I had taken last summer during a weekend trip up to my friend Bernard’s country house in Walton, NY, and discovered a couple rolls of film I had originally cast aside since they’d turned up with strange light leaks.  Looking at them now, I sort of like the way the photos feel — almost as if we’d been followed by a ghostly presence, making itself known in the oddest of moments (HEEEEY R!) and casting a slightly eerier mood to an otherwise pretty carefree, relaxing weekend upstate.

If nothing else, seeing these misfires of sorts helped to take the edge off this week’s film woes.  Back to work — and back to the fancier lab that I’d eschewed after a few years, thinking I didn’t need to pay top dollar to get my film developed.  Ah well.   Lesson learned.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. 15 Jun 2012 4:27 pm

    I understand completely. I think the better photographers opt for film, though, precisely because of the gamble; a stunning film shot is so much more than a stunning digital shot in my opinion. It gives photography an exhilarating touch that can’t be mimicked with digital from click to development. Digital has its own advantages – I’ve been toying with a Nikon FM for a few months but it got too expensive – just as film has its own advantages. And unique light leaks are one of the them!! Great pics + would you mind if I pop by here every once in a while? I just inherited a Hasselblad 500cm and will likely have questions!

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