Updated: Nov 25, 2020
NEWSLETTER TUESDAY 24.11.2020
Hello to all of you, and welcome to yet another newsletter!:)
As one of the purposes of this blog is to show you our learning curve in our relatively new pickup of analog photography(I say relative as in 7 months), I thought it about time to take a look at where we are and what has changed. This will also give me the opportunity to throw out some helpful hints and tips on what we have learned so far:)
The things I will be explaining in this post is only directed to analog photography and equipment, just so there is no confusion about that:)
From one instagram account it has developed into two. Nothing has changed with the.black.of.a.crow account, but blacksnailprints has become more and more environmental and I am just following it as it goes. I really enjoy doing the poetry and pictures to this, so unless I am offending anyone I will keep its pace. Some of it may seem dramatic and angry, but its more of an in your face incentive rather than me going around being some sort of ticking time bomb:) If I can make you think and shock a bit, mission complete...
When I started shooting analog I had a specific plan for each camera. That is one thing that I have stepped away from. I now choose the camera I feel will go best with the film in accordance to what I want to shoot. Also I only have one camera loaded at the time. That way I will finish the film fast, and it won't start to decay. If you don't want to "lomo" it all up that is...
Film actually starts to decay the second you have exposed it to light. They say you are good leaving it for weeks, but for months lying in the camera you will most likely get haze, fogginess and unsharp parts in your picture when back from development. If you are having them for prints they should be developed within a week or two max.
Another very important thing to note is change your film in as dark a place as you can find. A 35mm film is protected by its canister, but it isn’t lightproof. Light can come in through the feeding slot when the film is wound up. For very thin films this is an even bigger risk.
Rule of thumb is: Don’t change your film in bright daylight (this might or might not give you light leaks. Do you want to risk it?). Put the film in a non see through canister. Get it in to the fridge as soon as you can. The cold will slow down the degradation process until you get it developed:)
BRIDGE SHOT FROM THE MORNING WALK (iPHONE)
In the beginning of our analog shooting, I was carrying around 3 cameras. One had black and white film, another color, and the last had lomochrome purple. Kind of covering all the bases I wanted to shoot:). This approach wore off pretty quick, as it gets to be like carrying several lenses. You get a decision problem and you end up doing lens switches instead of shots. With analog it tends to take even longer time to set up and shoot, so in worst case, you will loose your shot. I have said it before, and I say it again; try and define what you want to shoot in terms of film and lens. Decide before you go out the door. That way the lens and film parameters are set, and you can focus on shooting.
In other words, the lesson that was learned is; always bring a camera, but bring just one:)
In terms of what we use for shooting, there of course has been a period of experimenting here. That will just continue, but certain things you like and others you don't. For instance when it comes to film there are just hundreds of different options. Yes, hundreds, but through our testing, trial and error, a few markers are set. The Ilford XP2 Super 400 has been the most beautiful surprise in terms of grain. Both the grain and haze in this medium fast film is something I find utterly perfect. As with all films, it is a personal choice and view. But this one I will continue shooting, and also the slow Fomapans. It has a great look with fine grain for landscapes. We are talking black and white film now yes:) When it comes to color Kodak Portra has amazed. So to sum up film wise;
XP2, Fomapan and Portra are staying:)
THE FIRST XP2 I SHOT, BACK FROM THE LAB
When it comes to care for your cameras, some rules go for all analog houses. I have yet to have an accident that damages my equipment, but make no mistake, it will eventually happen. By passing certain tasks in your routine, you can cut down the number of times this will happen. One of those things are do not EVER leave your camera in the car on a baking sunny day. It will almost certainly kill the glue used on for instance the padding stopping your mirror when it lifts up before the shutter opens and closes. That means that is can stick to your mirror, and you might not get it back down. This goes for a lot of elements inside the camera, where grease and oiled points will start to run because of the heat and cause severe lockups and mess. Only option in these cases is to send the camera in to a shop and have it fixed, if you are not yourself experienced in this. It will be on the expensive side, so don't hesitate, and bring your camera with you while the car bakes...:)
REMEMBERING AUTUMN (iPHONE)
Amongst other precautions are always put the cap on the lens and the camera in its bag when it is not in use. It will eventually fall down(or be wacked down by your children, god forbid) if you don't. Just make it a habit and do this every time. Also keep these cameras out of rain. None of them that I know of can handle rain, and you definitely don't want water inside your camera. When it starts to rain, get under something if its that once in a lifetime shot. If not, pack it up!
KEEP YOUR CAP AND WRAP ON:)
Inserting film or winding back up film has gone pretty good so far, but there are some culprits to be aware of. (I will make another walk through, and maybe even a video, of film loading and winding soon.) One of them is this; When you have inserted your film and closed the back, make sure that the winding knob (the knob you pull up to open the back) is completely pressed down. Or else it might be just off of interlocking with the film cartridge, and will not turn. You will then think, since this is not turning, that the film tip has slipped off and you open the back to give it another go. You will then destroy the beginning of the roll.
So tip is; if the winder knob is not turning when you are pulling the film-advance lever, push down one extra time to check if the winder knob is not completely engaged. Might save you some film:)
LATE AUTUMN SHOOT WITH THE FLEXARET
If you have several cameras, remember to give them a spin now and then. Usually if you have your cameras in a chilled and dry environment(like is easy for us here in Norway to do) you shouldn't encounter any problems. Just to be on the safe side you should advance, open and close the shutter 10 - 20 times now and then. I go through the cameras I have that don't have any film in them once a week, which is probably severely overkill. I do though recommend doing it once a month at least, just so nothing seizes up. Most cameras have a weak spot. The Pentax ME and ME Super are known to have issues with the film advance. So to prevent this, I shoot my way through the 36 numbers at different shutter speeds to also keep the shutter in good condition. So the saying is;
Run your camera without film now and then so you keep every mechanical mechanism in your camera running smoothly.
Hope you found this helpful, and remember to let me know if you have comments, tips or tricks that outdo the ones I mention here:)
Fine art paper option in the shop is a bit delayed unfortunately,
but we will get there eventually:)
Keep masks on and alcohol close as we battle it out.
Take care and stay safe, Sjur
NOT FOR YOU
As you tip the scales dividing rations of their deaths
You forget that us children need them for our breaths
You say we are your future and the most important backbone
With the same voice you give our arctic to Shell and Exxon
Excuse us while we shoot you up with meths
Where, when & how
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The previous weeks artwork will be the pictures used in the newsletter.
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Stay safe, bsp