Film failure

I used a roll of film and it didn’t turn out so well. It was an expired roll of Ilford FP4 Plus 125 Black and White. It expired last Summer. I had it for a few years and never got around to using it. I believe there were a few things that happened that caused these images to fail. 


I went to the river with a small tripod and my goal was to carefully set everything up to experiment. Not only did I kind of have to pee, but there were people occasionally passing by, and I didn’t want to be seen photographing myself because that feels weird. I would have preferred to have brought someone along to photograph, but it was a spontaneous decision to go there. So I was rushed and definitely not putting the care into it that I should have. Not to mention, I was really wanting to try out the multiple exposure setting and completely forgot! Dammit! So I still have to explore that another day.

So here’s the stupid things I did: 

Instead of shooting in manual mode, I shot in aperture priority mode. Because of lazy reasons. And I didn’t even use the tripod I brought! I set the camera on the damn ground! I barely took the time to verify things were focused. I’m so terrible. I kinda wanted to get it done and over with so no one would see me. I would have been so much more relaxed if someone was there with me and also if I didn’t have to pee. I believe I also lost enthusiasm because it’s hard to photograph film when you’re not behind the camera and can see how things look. It takes more patience than I had at that time.

I did take some rather nice pictures on my cell phone just to make sure I had something good to keep from my visit there if my film images were a fail. And they were!!

Processing the film:

The chemicals I used were new. I haven’t developed anything in quite a while and forgot how long I used to leave the negatives in the developer. I took a guess and did it for 4 minutes. I should have done some reading to refresh my memory on everything, but I did not. I remember when I used to develop film before and got pretty causal about it and the images still looked fine, but I should have still refreshed my memory. I could see images on the negatives before I hung them out to dry, so at least there was that. 

I busted out with my lousy, cheap Jumbl scanner, scanned the negatives, and was disturbed by how terrible they came out! Overexposed and super grainy! Ugh! They look like something someone created on their cheap cell phone, changed to black and white, and constrated the shit out of it for bottom-of-the-barrel black metal aesthetic. This was a fail.

I need to revisit some film processing knowledge, get a better scanner, and stop expecting good results if I am going to rush myself and not put real effort into things. I’ll have to revisit the 35mm self timer experiment when I have a lot more time on my hands.

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