Saturday, November 6, 2021

Mea Culpa

So, I build a pinhole camera out of a broken Ensign Selfix. Then, to test it, I load a film I had never shot in a pinhole camera before (long exposures). Once I had taken all the shots, I decided to develop the film myself (for the first time in about 50 years) and to try developing it in coffee (yes, that really is a thing). Of course, what I should have realised, is that I would have no way to tell whether any problems were the camera, the film, my ancient developing skills, or the coffee? One variable at a time, Einstein, one variable at a time.

And so it was that I found myself standing in the bathroom, staring at a wet strip of 120 film, comprising eight, very dark (almost black) frames, wondering what on earth had gone wrong.

Fortunately, Son of Ep, the scanner, was able to see more in those dark negatives than I could, though it was all pretty close to the scanner's own noise floor. Nevertheless, there was enough to see that the camera didn't have any light leaks and that the image was as sharp as a pinhole camera is allowed to be. The film also hadn't been fogged by my clumsy blind transfer to the development tank in an ancient dark-bag.

What I did find, was a combination of over-exposure and over-development of the film. Well, at least the coffee works - just a lot better than I had envisaged! And, to prove the point, here is our local observatory excavated from the dark matter of a black (pin) hole:

Pinhole camera, yellow filter, Ilford Delta 400, 15 mins in Caffenol (much too long).

No comments:

Post a Comment