Gone full circle now with my photography. Started in a darkroom with B&W film way too many years ago, went back and forth with slides until moving to digital. Then turned back to film for a look I missed. Now I’m back in the darkroom.
Loading digital image files from the camera to a computer and seeing them pop up on your screen really isn’t the magical moment that accompanies looking at film out of a developer tank and seeing something emerge from nothing. There’s a moment of joy and anxiety in processing film (“did I get that development time right? was the fixer still good? did I have the lens cap on?”) where you suddenly land on one emotion. You pull the film out of the tank, look at a bit of it, and realize immediately a sense of pleasure or frustration.
Don’t get that emotional roller coaster with digital.
It is amazing how tolerant some film is of poor handling. I’m starting out with rolls of B&W I was given, age uncertain but at least 10 years old, most likely kept in a drawer somewhere. The first roll I processed turned out like I remember higher speed films looking – grainy, moderate contrast, nice tones.
Not that I’m planning to abandon digital. Not really interested in the printing part of film, wrestling with enlargers, densitometers, paper types, developing trays, etc. No, I simply scan the negatives and drop them into my workflow like any other digital image.
Here are a few examples from the first roll. I’m still looking for intimate landscapes.