Film Shirt

15 09 2013

I know, two posts in two days. But this is just a quicky to share the vest I made yesterday.


It’s a little untidy around the bottom, since it was the first time I’d used that transfer paper, and I was using an iron rather than the recommended heat press. But it sorta works with the design, I think.

I scanned a box of Ilford film at a high resolution, resized it in PS Elements to 300px and A4 size, and just printed it out on my inkjet onto a decent quality transfer paper (in this case, Yolo JetPro SofStretch) and ironed it onto a white vest. Super simple.


Polaroid 320

13 04 2011

I’ve been keeping an eye out for a little while now, for a Polaroid camera which accepts type 100 film packs. I’ve been outbid on Ebay numerous times, because the bidding just goes to silly prices, but whilst slightly drunk over the weekend, I placed an on-the-offchance bid on a Polaroid 320 Land Camera. Next day I awoke to an email telling me I’d won it, hurrah!

It arrived today, and as of yet, I haven’t had a chance to test it out. The battery terminals needed a good clean, since the old battery was still in there and had leaked all over the place. There was also the problem of a replacement battery as the original ones are no longer made. However, after a bit of Googling, it seems I can substitute a 3v CR2 battery, and tape the terminals in place. So, I’ve ordered one, and am keeping my fingers crossed.

Hopefully the battery will arrive in time to test it out over the weekend, so I’ll post the results 🙂 For now, here’s a few photographs of the camera itself.




Negative Experiment

11 04 2011

Well, I’ve had a pretty productive weekend where film is concerned, having shot 5 rolls, developed the two black and white rolls myself, found a place in town which does C-41 developing only for £2.99 (for a half hour service), and loaded a sixth roll into the Olympus right before heading home yesterday.

J bought a new scanner recently, and as briefly mentioned in my last post, this weekend has been the first opportunity I’ve had to borrow it. It’s an Epson V600, and it is beautiful 🙂

I’ve scanned the black and whites, and the roll I took to the new developing place, and some of the shots from those have been uploaded to my Flickr.

One shot in particular, of J in a mask, I’d been having thoughts about working on further. I shot a few mask photographs on b&w, with the intention from the start of distressing the negative, and creating something very much inspired by the methods used by Joel Peter Witkin. Back in college, I enjoyed spending time in the black and white darkroom, using odd materials and processes during printing, to see what came out.

Not wanting to destroy my original negatives at this point, or risk getting anything on the scanner bed, I used small squared of acetate in layers, to scratch, and sandwich things between, before scanning. The result is better than I’d hoped, and for a first attempt at this sort of hybrid film/digital means, I’m thrilled with the outcome.


Aside from resizing and converting to jpeg, that photograph is directly out of the scanner, no retouching, no digital alteration, no dust/spot removal.

Kodak Portra and Pinhole Results

9 04 2011

I mentioned last week that I’d made a cardboard 35mm pinhole camera, using a print out design found here.
I got the film back, and scanned, yesterday, and am happy to report that I got something out of the film. Here’s a couple of the clearer images, tidied up a little in photoshop, with a curve adjustment to make the picure more visible (the originals were a little underexposed and hazy, although that’s in part because you’d expect that from a pinhole camera, and in part because I suspect my light-proofing could have been a little better).



I also got my first roll of the Kodak Portra 400 developed, and am happy to say that I’m thrilled with the results. It’s also one of the first rolls from the OM10, and I’m doubly happy to report that the scratch in the first roll from the camera was, as suspected, down to the pressure plate being loose.

Again, tidied up a few dust spots in photoshop, and made a very slight curve adjustment on some of the photographs, but overall, these are pretty much what came out of the scanner.

Kodak Portra 400 Tests

Kodak Portra 400 Tests

Kodak Portra 400 Tests

A few more from each roll of film can be seen on my Flickr.

Taking a Step Backward in Order to Move Forward

5 04 2011

Something occurred to me whilst writing an article earlier in the year which has been steadily creating an uneasy feeling about digital capture. The paragraph I wrote was “it is a disturbing thought that with each advance in digital technology, we may be erasing our steps, effectively removing our entries in the history books of the future”.

Before I continue, I should stress that I’m in no way anti-digital. I am completely pro-photography, in every single one of its forms. Digital photography has undoubtedly revolutionised the industry. It is convenient, accessible and rapid. It is also fragile. Regardless of how carefully you back up your files, how many discs or prints you make, they all rely on the technology used to create them. Technology is advancing at such a rate, that the risk of those backups being useless in fifty years is significant. Will you make new backups every time a format changes? New prints every time the inks start to fade?

My fear is of leaving nothing of myself behind. That the things that have been important enough to me throughout my lifetime that I have felt the need to capture them as photographs will be lost, forgotten, erased. In 100 years, if somebody were to find an old computer, or hard drive, or pile of discs, stored somewhere in an attic, what would they do with them? Sure, they might take the time to see what was on them, but in all likelihood, they’d just discard them as outdated rubbish. That’s if, in 100 years, computers still have the capability to read DVDs, or connect to external drives via USB. Let’s face it, if you found a pile of old floppy discs in an attic room, would you take the time and energy to go searching for a computer old enough to read them?

On the other hand, what would you do if you found a 100 year old folder of negatives or slides in that attic? The likelihood of someone at least taking the time to hold them up to the light, view them, is far greater than the computer files scenario. A file full of negavives might be cumbersome and costly, but it will stand the test of time. That is proven. Film needs no specialist equipment to exist. It is it’s own backup. A negative or slide can be viewed simply be holding it up to a light source. It can easily be digitised, and if those digital files are lost, it can simply be rescanned.

This is the primary reason for my decision to give up digital, at least for the time being. I’ll be selling my DSLR, and shooting solely film from here on in.

I do have secondary reasons, and these have been the contributing factors in deciding to sell, rather than store. One is financial. Like most people, I have a little personal debt. Far less than the majority of my age bracket, but I’d like it gone as quickly as possible. Selling non-essentials is a step in the right direction in this respect. I’ve calculated that I can be clear of debt as soon as next summer. I’ll be 30 years old, and I think that being free of financial responsibility by the age of 30 is pretty good going, really.

Following the accomplishment of that goal, should I find myself missing the convenience of a DSLR, I’ll be in a comfortable position to quickly save up enough to purchase a mid-range model.

The other secondary reason is that over the last year and a half of getting back into shooting film, I’ve realised how much my knowledge and technical skills have improved. The fact is, for me and for many people, digital makes us lazy. Two years ago, whilst I was perfectly aware of the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, I couldn’t have begun to guess the correct exposure for the light levels in any given situation. Right now, I can give a pretty close estimate, usually to within a couple of stops, and I’m getting better all the time. What I’m hoping is that the next year or so accelerates this learning process, and makes me a far better photographer.

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