A tale of woe, by Oliver “ya clumsy git” Hitchen.
Film photography hasn’t been smooth this week. Last Tuesday I took delivery of a gorgeous Bronica SQ-Ai medium format film camera. After running (and losing) two rolls through it, finding the niggles I was spurred on by early successes. Took it out on Saturday and got some nice photographs of the renovated Wigan Pier Quarter, but on Sunday the film back popped open. That wasted half a roll. Bugger, but never mind - just another lesson. Got home, dropped my thermometer into the developer bottle. Crap. New developer made up and new thermometer quickly ordered. It’ll be a few days until delivery though.
In the meantime, on Tuesday I shot a ruined mansion in the woods on a roll of Ektar. I’m really looking forward to developing these ones up, more than the ones from Bickershaw on Sunday.
Fast forward to today. I heat the chemicals, and develop the two rolls from Sunday. They’re hanging in the bathroom drying. One half is ruined from the light. Never mind. Chemicals back in to heat ready to develop a Tuesday’s woodlands. Spend 40 minutes reheating the chemicals and when at precisely 38c I pre-wash the film. That’s simply putting the up-to-temperature water into the developing tank to soak the film. This softens the emulsion ready for developing. Go to the sink to dump the water, and as I tip the water out, off pops the lid. Damn. I hadn’t tightened the top of the tank when I loaded the film. The light instantly destroyed the photographs and I’m left with a soggy strip of film in the sink. Sigh.
Ah well, at least I got a new thermometer!
Pic is my Bronica, shot on my Nikon Z7 in Brinscall Woods.