Tag Archives: Godsbanen

First Analogue Prints


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We’ve spent a great weekend doing an introductory course on developing and printing analogue film — and it’s been nothing short of amazing! I’ve been wanting to do it for quite a while and finally the opportunity was there.

It was organised by the photographic society at Godsbanen and since it had not made it to our consciousness that we were supposed to bring an exposed black & white film, the first step was to quickly go and shoot 36+ photos of the architecture of this new place with the Diana Mini that I had brought (I had in fact also brought an exposed colour film but it turns out that developing such a bastard is a very different process).

Shooting with my Fish-Eye over the last year I’ve noticed the truth of spending more time on each photo when shooting analogue as opposed to digital: is the composition good, is it interesting, is it worth the 1/36th of a film? And during the weekend I noticed that developing a good print from a negative let me to be critical about it to an extend that would often not be matched in the digital setting: I spent more time picking which negatives to develop, how to frame them, how much contrast their needed, and so on. The slower process of waiting 5min between seeing the result of each new try-out might be part of the reason. So may the general atmosphere in the dark room without distractions to take away your focus. Time stops a bit and leads to an anticipation and excitement every time a print magically appears in the developer bath.

I was actually a bit surprised by how involved the process is. First off, the process involves more steps than I imagined. But perhaps more interesting was that the technique and tricks that one need to master to make good prints seems hard to teach but have to be discovered over time; a lot more hand-waving and good old experience. Naturally, you appreciate the printing even more afterwards, to the extend where it seems you can admire the print without liking the photo.

Finally, the result of a weekend’s work:

I’ve heard before that digital cameras even today have a hard time matching the dynamic range of film, and while it’s perhaps not clear from the digital reproductions above, the prints impressed me in terms of how much details there seems to be in the sky and shadows at the same time.