Exploring Oak Openings 

With a four day weekend this past week I had the opportunity to explore some more of a local Metropark in the area. It’s hard to believe that I only live 25 miles from here and have only walked it’s trails less than a hand full of times.  

Below are images from my walk that day. All taken on Ilford HP5+ shot with a Nikon F4. I developed the film in ADOX Adonal at a 1:50 dilution as per the Mass Dev Chart. 



With Spring just about sprung it was time to get out and do some shooting. A couple of weeks ago when Makayla said she wanted a session I jumped on the opportunity. Having shot her a couple of times prior (including her Senior portraits) I knew the images would be fantastic and the conversation would be interesting. 

While our initial location was shut down for repairs due to some vandalism, we relocated a short distance away at a State Park that we both know and love.  

As in sessions past, Makayla was great in front of the lens and offered great conversation which made our two hour shoot fly by.   As much as I enjoyed this seeing with her I very much look forward to her next. 

Nikon F4 Test Complete!

Don’t shoot me but I have finally finished a test roll through my “new to me” Nikon F4.  All I can say is Wow!  The images below were shot on CineStill BWXX and developed in Adox Adonal as per The Mass Dev Chart and scanned on an Epson V600.  The only caveat to this test is that the film is rated at ASA 250 but I shot it at 400.

I am very much looking forward to using this camera as my primary film camera. If these results are any indication of future performance, I’m sure I will be happy with my choice.



Arista EDU Ultra 200 Success

After developing a roll on Sunday with pretty good results I was emboldened to develop another roll.  While I was pretty happy with the results, I knew that I could do better.  You see, my goal is to go 95%+ all BW film by the end of the year and use digital only for those times when ultra high ISO is required.  So with this goal in mind I knew I had to do better.  Not that the shots were bad, I had quite a few on that roll that I am quite proud of.  So yesterday I decided to kill an hour or so and develop a roll of Arista EDU Ultra 200 to see how it would hold up to stand development.

I decided that I would put to test that all film regardless of ISO (ASA for us old folks), can be developed the same.  So into the tank went the film and developed for 1 hour in Adox Adonal at 1:100.  When the film came out I was very impressed with the results to the point of wanting to shoot some more of this film.  In fact I have reloaded my F100 with one of my two remaining rolls.

Here are two shots from that roll.  I’m sure you will agree that the results are most acceptable.  So what’s next?  I’m going to test the notion that stand development breaks the “One ISO for an entire roll of film” barrier.  This should prove fun.


Arista EDU Ultra 200 stand developed.

Arista EDU Ultra 200 stand developed.

Arista EDU Ultra 200 stand developed.

Arista EDU Ultra 200 stand developed.

Arista EDU Ultra 200 stand developed.

Arista EDU Ultra 200 stand developed.

A Start In Stand Developing

From the first time I heard about a technique where you could let your film sit in developer for an hour (or longer in some cases) that yielded usable negatives I knew I wanted to try it.  It couldn’t be simpler, really.   My method for one roll is:

  1. Mix 500ml water at 20C with 5ml of Adonal (this gives me my 1:100 ratio) and set it aside.
  2.  Start my timer for 1 hour and pour 400ml (my tank requires 375ml for a single roll) of water (at 20c) into the tank and let it soak for a couple of minutes then drain.
  3. Pour the 500ml of Adonal mix into the tank then give it three inversions.  I tap it on the counter twice to dislodge any air bubbles that may have developed on the film.  Then I set it on the kitchen counter.
  4. At the half-hour mark I give three inversions, tap on the counter twice, and return the tank to the counter.
  5. At the end of the hour I dump the tank, rinse for 6-7 minutes.
  6. Fix for four minutes normally.
  7. Rinse for a couple of minutes in photo flo.

Here are two images that resulted from the above technique.

Nikon F100 shot on Arista Premium 400

Nikon F100 shot on Arista Premium 400

Nikon F100 shot on Arista Premium 400

Nikon F100 shot on Arista Premium 400


I am quite pleased with the results from this roll and am sure that each successive roll will get even better as I refine my method. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and as always I’m open to any an all comments.

So What’s Been Going On?

So here I sit wondering what to blog about.  I know that I want to tell you about the changes that have happened during the what is now nearly a year since my last blog post.  One would think that in that time I would have enough material for two blogs worth of material.  And perhaps I do, however being able to express it in words is not exactly my strong point.  I am more of a visual person rather than a written word person, hence photography appeals to me much more than any other media of communication.

One thing that has excited me tremendously this year has been my return to shooting film.  Shooting black and white film in particular.  It feels as though I have come full circle with the exception that I now possess much more knowledge than I did all those 35 years ago.

Mom and Emma - 2013

Mom and Emma – 2013 YashicaMat 124G | Tri-X 400

Emma - Film

Emma shot with the Nikon F100 | Arista 400 film

I got my first digital camera (a Nikon D40x) in 2008 and subsequent upgrade to the D90 in 2009, both of which have taken nice shots for me.  However over the last year or so the magic just wasn’t there.  I mean the excitement of seeing instant results on the back of the camera had worn off leaving me feeling flat and unfulfilled.  It was during this time that I decided to revisit some of the cameras that I had packed away in my closet.  First to come out was the Nikon F3.  It had been literally 15 years since I had held it with purpose.  The feel of the metal body as opposed to the plasticy digitals and weight difference sent a thrill through me.  I knew then that I had to return to film.

So last year I purchased and/or acquired a couple of film cameras that I wanted to work with: a Nikon F2, Nikon F100 and a Nikon N8008s, along with a Sekonic handheld light meter.  I ran a roll through each to ensure that they were still functional and was very pleased with the results.  So as the new year approached I decided that 2014 would be the year that I shoot more film than digital.  I’m sure I’ve made the right decision as I feel the joy of holding a camera grow stronger and stronger each time the shutter fires.