Essays / s /

Why is Film separate?

Loggia [Canon EX Auto/Kodak TriX 400]

The short answer is, film is *not* fully separated in my portfolio. When you're looking at the sections not marked film, the photos are a mix of digital and film.

There film section is broken out separately as there are people who prefer to concentrate on images which were produced through an analog process, and frankly this made it easier on everyone.

I shoot with a variety of camera gear, and regularly use both film and digital cameras, selecting the right tool for whatever vision I am trying to achieve.  Although in many cases, particularly with film cameras, I just enjoy the process of slowing down.

I have an ever expanding collection of cameras, some of which you can see on my other site ClassicCameraGuy.com.

Fujifilm FP100C Negative Recovery

[Polaroid 250/FujiFilm 100C negative recovery]

Many of the photos in the film/car section were created with a non-standard process, using a circa 1967 Polaroid Land Camera Model 250 with the now discontinued Fujifilm FP100C, bleached negative recovery, scanned with Epson V600.  This provides a severe vintage feel, particularly with regards to colors, emulsion imperfections, and out of focus control.

The process involves using an old Polaroid camera with discontinued, but in my case, still "in date" FujiFilm pack film which is made for this kind of camera.  Pack film is "peel apart" film.  After a couple of minutes for developing, the actual print is peeled off the backing paper, which most people then throw away.  I'm not sure how real Polaroid pack film worked, but in the case of FujiFilm, the "backing paper" can be saved and a negative can be recovered from this. 

Jaguar [Polaroid 250/FujiFilm 100C negative recovery]

It took a good day or two for the negative backing paper to dry.  The emulsion is on the side which faced the actual print.  The other side has a thick black layer which presumably played a role in exposure as it appears to be completely light blocking.  This black layer can be removed using bleach, but  care must be taken to not damage the emulsion on the front side.  I repurposed an old sheet of glass from an 8x10 frame, carefully taped 2 or 3 negatives emulsion side against the glass, and used bleach toilet bowl cleaner on the black stuff.  Toilet bowl cleaner is in gel form, and that makes the process much easier.  I used a pair of yellow kitchen gloves and went to town rubbing away the black goop.

Methodist Tower [Polaroid 250/FujiFilm 100C negative recovery]

The resulting negative scans have some decently brutal shifts in color which I cannot quite fix the white balance on.  Of course these negatives are quite large - larger than medium format, although they don't resolve as much detail as some of my medium format cameras would.

In addition, almost every negative ended up with some tweaking of the emulsion, whether as a part of the development process, or in a couple of cases some bleach found its way through to the emulsion and did some minor damage.

All in all, this was a satisfying process and I am quite pleased with the results.