Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

Trials and tribulations continue as I endeavour to get back into film. However, today it is not medium format, but good old 35mm I’ve chosen to frustrate me.

Picture of topiary at Temple Newsam, Leeds

There have been some suggestions that people might be getting tired of pictures of the autumn colours; I can’t really believe that but anyway my wife wanted to go somewhere wooded on Saturday so she could take some autumn pictures. I bought her a Lumix GF1, the same type as my ‘work’ camera, some time ago as although she would probably think hyperfocal has something to do with one of her hyperactive school kids she does have a good eye and the GF1 on auto everything does a good job. We can also share the lenses. She won’t wait around for me while she takes several hundred shots on a morning trip so taking a Mamiya Press would have been a disaster.

We went to a lovely park with a magnificent Tudor-Jacobean house, gardens designed by Capability Brown, just the other side of the city of Leeds – Temple Newsam – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Newsam. It was a wonderful, crisp autumn morning and much of the woodland still wore its autumn colours despite the wind.

I decided on a black and white autumn and chose the Voigtlander Bessa T, loaded with Kodak Tmax 400 and fitted with the 35mm Color Skopar. The topiary in front of the house seemed a good subject for this week’s Photo Challenge: Geometry. So although I had a digital picture that seemed right for the challenge and posted it on my grumpytyke blog, I would like to get into regularly meeting the challenge with film on this blog.

Back home, developing the film, in D-76, went reasonably OK and it was great to see the negatives come out of the final wash. I’d used a very old Johnson Universal Bakelite tank to develop the 120s earlier but thought I’d use a single roll Durst tank I’d dug out of storage for the single 35mm. I couldn’t remember how to load it (it is more than two decades since I used it) so tried to feed the film in like the Johnson, in a dark bag, but it stuck half way. I then remembered what the funny little spindle thing was – it feeds the film in to load from the centre outwards; getting something into the dark bag when the film is no longer in the can is not to be recommended, but I managed and finally the film was in the tank.

Scanning is something else I’m having all sorts of problems with; seems to me that making enlarged prints in a wet darkroom, dodging and burning and all, was a lot simpler! But I’m slowly coming to terms with VueScan – this time with an old Minolta Dimage Scan Multi II.

However, somewhere along the line I managed to get quite bad scratches down the centre of the film. I’ve a feeling it might have been the film cutter but must investigate more. Anyway, it gave me some practice with the Photoshop clone tool so hopefully the scratches are no longer obvious in the picture.

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