I’m down to a few rolls of Fujifilm 400H and its scarcity makes shooting it quite a treat. Half of these mages were captured in and around Craigieburn Forest Park at the base and upto about 1300M off Lyndon Saddle. The other half was shot in the Porthills here in Christchurch along the Craterrim Trail. The camera of choice currently is my Rolleicord VB and I’m still getting used to its character, but focussing is really easy with such a bright (and clean) viewfinder compared to my trusty Yashica635.
I’m currently not shooting critical images as I’m still learning colour development using a Cinestill CS41 kit. I’m pretty sure that the first rolls put through the Dev chemistry being Lomochrome Purple contaminated the bleach/ fix. I was just not thinking right at the start of this learning curve and did not add water between processes to stop and wash away the chemistry. I do for black and white, but the Cinestill instructions did not mention to do it, so of course I followed them. I did see sense, but after such a weird film stock being developed and not rinsed from the canister between stages, the tones on the Fujifilm 400H negatives have purple tones in them, and marks/ lines. Of course you are seeing the edited images with the majority of these oddities removed, and of course the images here are compressed for website viewing so look shit anyway! Haha. Anyway, as mentioned, thankfully these rolls are not project driven work or important portraits, but I guess I’ll need to make up a new lot of chemistry soon or waste more film.
Another note to self is to also watch out for under exposed shadows in my work. I’m usually pretty good, actually, really good, but if they are not exposed correctly (a few stops over in shadows) this Cinestill chemistry is very un forgiving and yields some muddy grain for my incompetence. I sound like I’m beating myself up over these images, but overall I’m really happy with the tones, composition, colours and details, but I’m keen to fix up the niggles I see. I guess this is part of the joy of film for me though, that I’m always learning and its not as easy as just pressing a button and that’s the whole process done. Not to take away skills for digital image making, but film is a hands on process with multiple steps from the start to end, and that’s why filmies love it so much!
Update. Scanning a series of images today I noticed that the sharpen image setting had been ticked on my V550 scanning software (the Epson one). This in turn yields ugly digital grain and shitty shadow tones with noise and explains the results. Every roll is a lesson!