Winter = monochrome

December 23, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

I found a roll of exposed 35mm B&W film in the freezer and put it into my developing process finishing off the 120 film.  Not sure how old the film is - probably 2-3 years sitting in the freezer after exposing.  B&W is more stable than color when kept cold and in the dark.  Still, not a good idea to let the film sit around.  Looking over the images it's hard to tell if the resulting poor quality is a result of me doing bad exposures, the film aging in the freezer or the developer not performing as expected.  Probably a combination of all three.  Now that I have fresh developer and film I'll get out with my light meter and make some properly exposed images to see where the issue might be.

Out of 36 exposures there were only a couple really worth further processing.  What surprises me is the amount of grain in the images.  Kodak TMax 100 is a fine grain film and the Xtol developer is designed to maximize sharpness while reducing grain.  Here's one of the "good" images:

I did a bit of post processing to improve the brightness and constrast, and then toned it with a slight cyano tint because I like the cool effect.  As you see in the sky there is quite a bit of grain visible, enough so that it diminishes the sharpness of the tree limbs in the center.  This was made using and OM-1 film camera with one of the sharpest lenses Olympus made so I know the issue isn't with the equipment.  Hopefully fresher film will take most of this issue away and I can spend my time working on improvements with the developer.

A little technical work for the holiday to get ready for the new year and more monochrome film photography.  At least until the colors come back in the spring.


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