Catastrophe in the Dark Room

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Well, in the film-changing bag.

I have the Paterson set-up, with adjustable reels, for home developing of film.  My first round of developing was smooth and easy, using 35mm black and white film.  This time, though, was awful.  The Paterson reels are plastic and adjustable, and I like them for the 35mm – but did not like them at all for the 120 film.

The reels are harder to load than I realized for 120, and as soon as I got the film in the bag (without any practicing), I knew I was in for trouble.  I couldn’t do it.  Neither could my husband.  The film was bent, spindled, and mutilated.  As I had already poured out my chemicals, I just went ahead and jammed the film in, figuring the practice in developing wouldn’t hurt, and since things were already a mess, what the hell.

The film here is Ilford HP5+ used with the Holga GCFN 120 camera I got for my birthday last month.  I kind of like what happened, but don’t want this experience to be my usual for 120.

The funny thing is, there are some pictures in here I actually like, but will need to do some work on to get them where I find them acceptable.  Contrast adjustments, cropping, whatever.  In particular, out of this sea of mistakes, I like the leaves – I’ve never thought about deliberately doing double exposures, but the double exposure of the leaves are pretty cool.  (I also have some Kodak Ektar 100 I double exposed in another camera that I also like.)  So, even though there was catastrophe, Pandora’s box is not all dark.

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