2015 was a good year for my hobby. I started developing and scanning my own black and white film at home. I acquired, in my opinion, one of the best looking cameras ever made, and I exposed more film than I ever thought I could. One of the reasons I thought it was a success was the fact that I set goals early in the year. Something to strive for.
So to start off 2016, I’m going to set some goals for things I’d like to work on this year.
Print More Photos
I did not print a single photo in 2015. Not one. I think as photographers we get stuck in the rut of showing uploading photos to the Internet for people to view on uncalibrated monitors and smartphones. Printing lets me control a number of variables including size, printing material, and how the final image looks. I’m not talking about getting stuff printed at Walmart or Costco, but taking it to someone who knows what their doing. I’ve already connected with a local print shop and can’t wait to work with them to see what they can do.
I also want to learn to print photos in the darkroom. Our local darkroom has enlargers and printing facilities and I think it would be a great experience to have complete control over a photo from shooting it, developing it and printing it all through an analog process. This is a bit lower on the priority list though.
The third kind of printing I was to work on this year is making photo books. Nothing fancy. Just some photo books to capture things like our summer vacation, family photos, and my solo camping/photos. In the past I’ve simply used the Photos application on my iMac and it seems to work just fine.
Develop Colour Film at Home
Don’t get me wrong. I love shooting and developing black and white film at home but that has partially been because the set of chemicals is different for doing colour. Until now, shooting colour film has been really expensive as I have to send it to a professional lab to get it done. Plus the cost of film isn’t cheap either. After conducting some research, I’ve already purchased a bulk roll of 100′ of colour negative film (Rollei CN 200) and hand rolled it into about 21 film canisters. This reduces the cost of purchasing the film by at least 50%. I’ve also already taken the plunge and purchased a colour development kit which includes all the chemicals required. I just need to go shoot a couple rolls and dive right in. Apparently, the temperature tolerances are much tighter than with black and white film which can be out a couple degrees, so that is my biggest worry.
Host a Film Photo Walk in Peterborough
In 2015, I attended a couple film photo walks and absolutely loved it. Swapping stories and checking out gear of other film shooters was awesome. I’ve done a bunch of (digital) photo walks in the past, but you don’t get that sense of camaraderie, and everyone stares at the back of their screens the whole time. With film shooters meetups, it just feels more social. With Peterborough having one of Canada’s longest operating darkrooms, and home to the month long Spark Photography Festival, I figure it would be a great place for fellow film shooters to get together and do a photo walk.
Shooting & Home Developing Large Format Film
Large format photography is something that I never thought I’d be interested in. The cost and time it takes to get a single shot is well beyond what I’m used to with shooting 35mm film, medium format film, and especially with digital. Early last year, I started reading more and more about large format photography where a single image is made on a sheet of film instead of a roll. The more I read, the more intrigued I became. The image quality was awesome and really lends itself to large prints. Also in 2015, a new 4×5 camera was designed and built in England by the Intrepid Camera Company that offers what I would be looking for in a large format camera for a price that I’d be willing to pay. Fellow Ontarian film shooter Alex Luyckx was lucky enough to back the Kickstarter project and recently received his camera (pictured here). There’s also a Kickstarter project for a SP-445 film development system for 4×5 sheet film. Both of these options bring the realm of large format photography within my reach financially.
That’s all I have for now. My goals might shift throughout the year and I may add to it. I’m looking forward to diving right into it!