Experiments in low-light film photography
As you may have seen in previous posts on my blog, I've been experimenting with black and white a bit lately. Until recently this was entirely using my GF1 - either by using a custom black-and-white square cropped setting I have set up; or by converting to black-and-white in Lightroom.
I decided to change it up my experimenting with black-and-white film. One of the more useful properties of film is that it's more forgiving of under- and over-exposoure, especially if it's done deliberately and adjusted for during developing.
When you deliberately under-expose a roll of film, then develop it for longer to compensate, it's called "push processing." The benefit of this is you can shoot in much lower light, the side-effect is that both grain and contrast is increased.
The lack of light introduces a number of other challenges, the primary one being that it's really, really hard to nail the focus. Check out this shot below - exposed nicely, but focused on the wall instead of Brian and Megan.
The other challenge is that under-exposure leads to a muddy mess, but I guess this is no different to the usual challenges of film.
However, when you nail both you can get some excellent results.
In the name of experimentation, I shot two different types of film. The first roll, which most of the photos above a from, was on Kodak Tri-X. As this needs to be processed differently to usual colour film it ended up being a bit more expensive to process and scan. The next roll was Kodak BW400CN which uses the standard C41 process and is therefore cheaper. The results, however, weren't as good.
I still got some good results from the roll, though, even though the results had much higher grain and much lower contrast.
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