There seems to be a slew of myths regarding film, and excuses not to use film around the web today.
Here are a few...
- You can't get film any more.
- No one develops film anymore.
- There are no labs.
- You can't get the chemicals for it.
- It's too expensive.
- You can't edit film.
- Digital is free.
- Film can't be used when it's not sunny.
- Absolutely no one uses film anymore.
- It's too hard to use film.
What I find amazing about the whole anti-film sentiment is the way it comes off as being passe or "un-cool." As far as chemicals and costs, film and prints can be developed with instant coffee and washing powder. I use a soft stop with water, but for an active stop, such as for prints, white vinegar can be used when diluted with water. I've read about, and seen, some photos developed using wine, which I find a bit extravagant.
As for un-cool, what could be cooler than making your own photos? That sense of reward and excitement that comes from doing it yourself is quite invigorating. Knowing that you did it without your camera thinking for you is a reward in itself.
I'm shooting mostly film right now, as I love the feel of working with my cameras. I love developing the negatives, and printing out the photos, even if it is only on a contact sheet. For me, it's like magic watching the photo come up on the paper while it's in the chemicals. My favorites are Ilford FP4+ 125 black and white film, Fuji Provia 100F RDP III color slide film, and Kodak Ektar 100 color negative film.
What follows is a selection of some of my film work containing shots on 35mm, 120, and 4x5 sheet films. Keep in mind that I haven't a scanner, they're photos of the negatives using my Canon 7D. While this can give you a good idea, only the print can show the full range and quality of the images.
Zugspitze across the Eibsee. Shot early in the morning on Fuji Provia slide film. EI 100, f/45, 1/2 second. This and the other color shots were sent to Photo Studio 13 in Stuttgart for developing.
One of the lochs on the Laaber. Near Breitenbrunn, this spot always reminds me of Psalms 23, with the peaceful meadow and small stream. Provia, EI 100, f/56, 1/4 second.
St Ulrich church in Hohenfels. This was made right before first communion. Provia, EI 100, f/45, 30 seconds.
A pond, surprisingly found next to a larger industrial area in Amberg. I had some difficulty getting right on the PC, yet still find it a rewarding image that shows nature can thrive in the most unexpected places. Provia, EI 100, f/455, 1/8 second.
The grotto shrine at St Ulrich in Hohenfels. HP5+, EI 400, f/45, 1/2 second. Developed for 10 minutes in Kodak HC-110 Dilution H.
St Ulrich during Christmas Season. FP4+, EI 125, F/45, 45 seconds. 9 Minutes in HC-110 dilution H.
Hertz Jesu Wallfahrts Kirche in Velburg. A small church set on a hill, with a pleasant wooded scene. The caretaker enjoyed our making a photo here and gave us a couple nice gifts to remember the church by. FP4+, EI 125, f/45, 45 seconds. 12 Minutes HC-110 dilution H.
Inside St Ulrich during a normal time. FP4+, EI 125, f/45, 45 seconds. 9 Minutes HC-110 dilution H.
Rustic Christmas Evening. HP5+, EI 400, f/22, 45 seconds. Developed in Tetenal Ultrafin Plus, 1+6, for 15 minutes.
The loch. An old loch gate on the Breitenbrunn Laaber. This is a popular picnic and sunbathing spot for young folks in the summer. As mentioned above, this spot always reminds me of Psalms 23.FP4+, EI 125, f/45, 1/4 second. Developed in HC-110 dilution H for 9 minutes.
Another shot of the loch gate. I like trying different angles, which leads to unseen visuals and almost abstract patterns in the final image. The old grooves for the gate and lichens on the stone make for interesting details. FP4+, EI 125, f/45, 1/2 second. Developed in HC-110 dilution H.
Leaf on a mossy stone. Near Raitenbuch is a little pullover at the edge of a small wooded area. There are giant moss covered stones, making a magical scene. This was on a bright day. FP4+, EI 125, f/45, 30 seconds. Developed 12 minutes in HC-110 dilution H.
Last Christmas. An attempt to capture the mood of celebration that accompanies the season. FP4+, EI 125, f/45, 45 seconds, Developed 12 minutes in HC-110 dilution H.
Christmas in the Kirche. St Ulrich, Hohenfels. FP4+ , EI 125, f/45, 45 seconds. Developed in HC-110 dilution H.
A small woodside shrine near Parsberg. Below the shrine is a bench, the shrine is in full light at the edge of the woods. It gives a feeling that as we rest before Christ, we will always be in the light, and going around him puts us in darker areas. FP4+, EI 125, f/45, 1/30, #15 filter. Developed in HC-110 dilution H.
Snowy field, Agfa APX 100, EI 100, exposure not noted. Shot with the Voightlaender Vitomatic II. Commercially developed.
Lodge room, Garmisch. HP5+, EI 400, f/45, 45 seconds. Developed in HC-110 dilution H.
Candy store display, Regensburg. Shot with the Canon AE-1. HP5+, EI 400, exposure not noted. Commercially developed.
Bamberg, Dom , tomb of St Otto. FP4+, EI 125, f/4, 1/15 second. Developed in Tetenal Ultrafin 1+30 for 18 minutes.
Shop window in Regensburg's old town. Agfa APX100, EI 100, f/8, 1/50. Commercially developed.
Winter woods. Agfa APX100, EI 100, f/8, 1/30. Commercially developed.
Roadside ferns, Hohenfels. HP5+, EI 400, f/45, 1/15 second, #12 filter. Developed 10 minutes in HC-110 dilution H.
Grand wall in the lodge, Garmisch. I love the scale with the sleigh on the wall. HP5+, EI 400, f/45, 45 seconds. Developed 10 minutes HC-110 dilution H.
Outside the Hirsch in Parsberg. HP5+, EI 400, f/8, 1/50, Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex I, Developed 18 minutes Ultrafin 1+30.
Outside the Hirsch in Parsberg, looking toward the small shrine. HP5+, EI 400, f/8, 1/100, Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex I, Developed 18 minutes Ultrafin 1+30.