Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Processing Negatives from the Mt. Assiniboine Trip

In the past I have typically posted scans of some of my negatives in batches, with little comment about the images.  I thought I would change that a little and post some of my stronger images individually, with a little bit of commentary about their making.  Then the more average and mundane images from those batches will be posted in batches, after the fact.
Margarit and I returned from our trip to Mt. Assiniboine on September 18th.  The very next day, anxious to see some of my results, I processed a batch of Kodak T-Max 100 Sheet Film.  These negatives were all from Kodak ReadyLoad film packets. One of the ways in which I was able to lighten my pack was to use these pre-loaded film envelopes, and avoid the need to take along heavy and bulky film holders.  I'm not sure what I'll do once I run out of my current inventory of this format as both Kodak and Fuji no longer offer this format.  This first batch of negatives included a dozen sheets from the Mt. Assiniboine trip.  These were processed in 510 Pyro developer.  This is a formula originated by Seattle based photographer Jay DeFehr.  It consists of developing agents Pyrogallol and Phenidone, in a base of Triethanolamine.  Though many film developers are still commercially available in pre-packaged format, this one is not, and never was, so I mix it from scratch from the raw chemicals.... thanks Jay, for being so generous in sharing the recipe....  I have to admit that my darkroom looks much like a mad scientists laboratory... jars and bottles full of chemicals are all over the place, plus beakers, graduates, thermometers, scales and other such lab apparatus.
One of my favorite images, so far..., from the trip is this one.  It is of Gog Creek, along the trail up to Wonder Pass.  As Margarit and I set out on our hike in the morning, the late summer backlight on the rocks of the creek was remarkable.  I could not help but stop to make this photograph.  This image was taken on September 16th at about 10:35AM.  I used my Ebony SV45TE view camera with a Schneider Super Symmar XL 80mm lens.  I fitted the lens with a #25 Red Filter for increased contrast.  The camera was tilted down, and I tilted the rear standard back to control depth of field.  Exposure was for 1/4 second at F18.0, which included a filter factor of three stops.  The negative was processed in the 510 Pyro formula, diluted 1:100, for 7:45 minutes at 24C.  
I am quite impressed with the way that the negative held the mood of that morning, with the crisp sparkle in the light.  When I lightened my pack for the trip, one of the things that fell by the wayside was my bellows lens shade.  I thought that with the crisp backlight that this negative would suffer from some flare, but that was not the case.
While up at Mt. Assiniboine I shot both on Kodak T-Max 100 in ReadyLoad film packets, as well as duplicate images on Fuji Neopan Acros 100 in QuickLoad film packets.  My Acros negatives will be processed with Rodinal developer.  It remains to be seen whether the T-Max or the Acros negatives will be better.  I will reserve judgement until I see them side by side.  In the mean time I will post some of my favorites and welcome any commentary from those viewing my blog.

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