Processing Film in Coolsville, Man

Ok all you digital photo snots, move aside, photographer coming through.

In order to be a good photographer, you need some of that rhythmic agitation movement. Your tunes of choice helps with the developing action.

Our good friend Ansel Adams used to talk about filling his darkroom with classical music prior to rolling up his sleeves, putting on his darkroom apron, and getting to it. Taking his advice, I dug out my classic iPod and put on some very classical music. Neil Young's Change Your Mind from 1994 seemed to fit. Pumpin' up the volume seemed like a good idea too, come to think of it. There. Ready for some stinkin' film, man.

I've got a magic formula for negatives. It's an ancient photographic formula bribed from a creaky old alchemist living in a mountaintop cave. Well, ancient in the history of photography anyway. It is finding the film of your choice and processing it with the magic developer called Rodinal. It was made by Agfa, a venerable German company and has been in existence for over 100 years. It really is magic because it does something that other developers only wish they could do when they grow up. It develops highlights and shadow areas differently, like it was smart enough to know where to amp it up and hold back a bit. As a result, you got better contrast between shadow and highlight areas. Nice, nice stuff.

I could use techie terms like Dynamic range, but who really cares? I want to see the magic, man. Slap those prints on the table and let's see what you got.

Oh, I almost forgot. These are the negatives from the Global Climate Change Fellowship. I couldn't be happier with the results and now it is off to edit, scan and otherwise rework them to fit my visual aesthetic. I'm going to use what my artist friend Susie Silook and I call "Power Tools," which are actually quite ancient.

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