As with the Kodak TMax 400 that Kodak Alaris sent me, I tested the Kodak Tri-X 400 in a similar way by taking photos of my favourite subject - the litte details. Again I’m reminded that I could easily change my blog title to ‘lovely light and little details’ and it would pretty much sum up what I do here haha.
I’m not sure why I’m so drawn to taking photos of these style signposts but I had to keep catching Thomas up on our walks haha. Perhaps to remember where I’ve been?
Either way I’m quite taken with the results of these photos. The first photo especially has a rather luscious grain I think. Its not quite as smooth as the romantic TMax 400 but I think I prefer it. My eye sight is pretty shocking (I won’t tell you my prescription lol) and one of the reasons I’ve continued using film for so long is that I find it so perfectly represents how I see the world.
Film: Kodak Tri-X 400 - sent to me by Kodak Alaris and developed by The Latent Image (not for free, I would just highly recommend them) Location: Around Reeth, The Yorkshire Dales Camera: Canon EOS 750
There were so many sheep in the Dales and as we went on various walks around Reeth, I got to take all the photos of them. I was definitely in my element during our few days away.
Can you spot the second sheep in the last photo? Its looking straight at the camera if you can find it. I liked that it was sassy.
As with the other photos that I shared of this film earlier this week - I didn’t have to edit them after I scanned them using Epsons B&W setting and again, I am swooning over the way that its captured light.
Film: Kodak Tri-X 400- sent to me by Kodak Alaris and developed by The Latent Image (not for free, I would just highly recommend them) Location: Reeth, The Yorkshire Dales Camera: Canon EOS 750
After sharing Kodak’s TMax 400 film last week, today is the turn of Kodaks Tri-X 400 - and my initial thoughts from this first film are WOW! Look at the way its captured the light in these photos. And unlike the TMax 400 - I didn’t need to edit these photos after scanning them, I didn’t even tweak the contrast… which I am amazed about because I’m a confessed contrast tweaker when | scan films.
Compared to the TMax 400, the Tri-X 400 has a stronger contrast, which is definitely helping with the gorgeous light here and I find the contrast really pleasing. After doing a bit of research and looking at other peoples photos with these two films, I thought I would prefer the TMax - as it does have a lovely grain and I love the mid tone greys as I mentioned last week.
However, now that I’ve used it myself, I’m finding that this film perhaps reflects my eye and vision more than the TMax 400. As much as I would love to be a fine grain photographer and someone with a sharper style, my true love is capturing light and these photos have such a lovely quality of light to them that makes my heart skip a beat.
On one hand the views like the ones above in Keld - are an easy sight to take glorious photos of, but on the other, if I’d used a different film then perhaps it wouldn’t have been captured as wonderfully. I definitely prefer these to the ones taken on my phone (which I guess isn’t really a surprise to anyone lol).
I’m looking forward to trying more of both films to see if my initial thoughts are reflected in different situations and in different places.
Have I ever told you that I love sheep? I know I’ve shared sheep photos before, but have I ever specifically mentioned that I love sheep? I don’t remember. But if you didn’t know - then you know now haha. I don’t even know what it is about them, but Spring with all the lambs - I love it. Though the lambs were too little when we were in Reeth this time and all in the farms rather than out in the Dales.
Can you spot the sheep in the last photo? It looked much closer in real life, so I’m a bit sad its so small here but its still pretty cool.
Film: Kodak T-Max 400 - sent to me by Kodak Alaris and developed by The Latent Image (not for free, I would just highly recommend them) Camera: Canon EOS 750 Location: Reeth, Yorkshire Dales
I mentioned in my last two posts that the results straight from my Epson V370 photo scanner when scanning the Kodak T-Max 400 film from Kodak Alaris ended up being different from the edit that I made to the photos. So I thought I would share the comparisons and the initial scan versus the changes that I made. I don’t often talk about scanning as I find it a little bit laborious - but the truth is that its totally changed my outlook on film photography - and its changed my photos too.
For the first six years of my film photography journey I was very reliant on who was developing my films and scanning them - and at the time I didn’t even realise how important that was. But now that I scan my own, I know there is a whole added step to getting from an analogue negative to a digital image. So lets explore that step and what I’ve done withKodak’s T-Max 400 film today.
Whilst we were in the Yorkshire Dales for a few days we stayed in the village of Reeth - which for a small village has three pubs which still makes me smile. Yes we tried them all, and they were all great. I love a Yorkshire pub.
Anyway, as I was using Kodak’s T-Max 400 film which claims to be “The sharpest, finest-grained 400-speed black-and-white film in the world” I figured the best way to test this out would be to focus on my favourite little details and see how the film coped with those.
I think its safe to say that T-Max 400 does have a lovely grain to it which compliments the depth of field in the photo above rather deliciously.
I really love how the film captured the light really wonderfully too and the delightfulness of the old signs (I’m such a sucker for those). I tried to find photos with textures, light and a variation of tones to really put this film through its paces and I’m really pleased with the results and that the nuances in the grey tones came out. On initial scan, the film felt quite flat, which I think was more a result of the automatic Epson settings than a result of the film itself, so I was very relieved when the film found its depth through some small tweaks.
I’m not sure what the technical term for this would be for film, or if there is one - but in lighting (I’m a lighting designer too) the ability of a lamp to show the colours within a scene depends on the colour rendering index number. I feel like this film has the ability and finesse to capture a large variation of mid tone greys that I haven’t quite seen in other films I’ve tried (admittedly I haven’t tried loads) even my beloved Kodak BW400CN drew me in by its contrasting darker and lighting tones. And although it seems funny to get excited about mid greys - grey is grey right - when you think that a black and white photo is essentially all grey (with true black being nothing and true white being all colours) then the importance of being able to show as many greys as possible seems quite important for a black and white film haha.
Did I just accidentally get technical? Is there a technical equivalent for colour rendering in black and white film? Is film indexed that way like lamps? I have no idea! Anyone?
Film: Kodak T-Max 400 - sent to me for free by Kodak Alaris(thank you so much!) and developed by The Latent Image (not for free, I would just highly recommend them) Camera: My fave Canon EOS 750 Location: Reeth, Yorkshire Dales.
I’m so delighted to be sharing these photos with you today as they are the first within a group of posts, not only sharing photos from the beautiful Yorkshire Dales - but also in the search for my new favourite black and white film.
As some of you may remember, I have waxed lyrically about Kodak BW400CN often and I am still so sad that it was discontinued (find my many photos here). Amazingly, Kodak Alaris contacted me about trying out some of their other black and white films in an attempt to fill the void. So, on that note, I am obliged to tell you that the film used in this blog post was sent to me free of charge (yes, that does happen, and wow, its happened to me - I still can’t believe it). I did however have to pay for the developing - which I had done by The Latent Image and then I scanned the films myself. The views in this post are my own.
So, first up is Kodak TMax 400 - I asked for the 400 films specifically, one because Kodak BW400CN was a 400 ISO film - but also because the UK Spring is more like the UK Winter just with a bit more sunshine. I find 400 ISO film very versatile in the UK and used a lot of it during the months that weren’t summer for my 2016 366 project. I do wonder if I use this film in the Summer how it will fair and that is definitely something I plan to test and share with you later in the year.
I’ve been a little conflicted in how to share these photos with you as I’m aware that now I scan my own photos, the presentation of this film may not be how others present it. So I decided to be fully transparent and tell you how I did it - I initially scanned these with my Epson Scanner (V370 photo) to the automatic black and white settings and then I edited them to how I wanted them to look. This mostly involved tweaking the mid tones to be a bit brighter and then upping the contrast.
The reason I edited them afterwards is that the photos weren’t singing to me with the initial Epson scan when I looked at them. I’m going to write another post showing the before and after but my ultimate goal with this film was to see if it made me love it. I wanted to get photos that felt like a punch in the chest when I looked at them and I’m happy to say that this film definitely gives results that do that for me. I tried not to edit the photos too much as I didn’t want to take the images too far away from what the film can do and luckily it didn’t take too much work to get the images to how I wanted them to feel.
The photo above is a great example - the speckling of the light against the different shaped stones in the wall tugged at me when I took the photo - and I’m really pleased the the depths of the black in this photo offset against highlights of the beautiful light that we had that day.
This photo also, I just love it. Not only do I love the texture of the wall against the grass, but I love how it captured that Yorkshire Dale gritty greyness - I know, I know its a black and white photo - but the weather had turned on us by this point and although it was cold, there was something so lovely about being in the middle of the Dales, with no one else around (we saw on person on a bike eventually) and the hills fading in the distance as you looked around. This photo captured that ‘ness’ of the location somehow and I really like that about it.
I’ll be sharing more thoughts about this film (and others, Kodak Alaris have been amazingly generous, I’m still pinching myself!), the process, the scanning etc - however I am not a technical photographer or reviewer - as I mentioned above, I want my photos to make me feel something - so I guess I’m an emotive, intuitive photographer? However, if you’re looking for more technical information on this film, definitely look on the Kodak Alaris website and also check out the articles and posts on Emulsive about this film - they like the technical details over there!
Film: Kodak T-Max 400 - sent to me for free by Kodak Alaris(thank you so much!) and developed by The Latent Image (not for free, I would just highly recommend them)
Camera: Canon EOS 750 (mine, bought for like £5 in a charity shop - bargain of my life!) Location: Reeth, Yorkshire Dales (which was delightful, I want to be there right now)
It feels like its been ages since I shared some flower photos (though it probably isn’t really) so here are some lovely ones that I spotted in Tropical World in Leeds. I have other photos to share but I had to share these first of course.
No surprise that I’m particularly taken with the yellow ones especially - and actually I’m really pleased that I got the colour ok with the scanning of that photo too.
I recently shared a photo on social media of a rusty gate saying that I didn’t know what it was about the photo but I loved it so much. Luckily one of my photography friends on Twitter (Hi Lorraine!) said ‘wabi-sabi’ and after looking it up I was like ‘YES’ and also ‘why didn’t I know this term before?!’.
For those who also haven’t heard of it either, wabi-sabi is the Japanese philosophy of the acceptance and beauty of imperfection. “Wabi” is said to be defined as “rustic simplicity” or “understated elegance” and “Sabi” is translated to “taking pleasure in the imperfect.”
SO many of my photos have this concept about them and now I know, I’m a little bit giddy haha.
So it turns out I’ve been celebrating the perfectly imperfect without even trying all these years. I’m totally starting a new hashtag on Instagram for it - #wabisabionfilm - what do you think??
Camera: Minolta X-500 Film: Lomography CN 400 Location: Around Norfolk, England