A day spent with photography is a great day!
We spent the first day of this year in the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, the huge Volkswagen museum right next to the VW factory.
They are very photography friendly there, especially if you're there almost by yourself. January first is not traditionally a day where the Germans go to car museums. So instead of the thousands of visitors that have usually entered the premises by noon, in some of the exhibit houses we were amongthe first ten. And the employees even helped us get the best pictures by adjusting the lights and getting out of the way.
We made two major decisions upfront: analog only and medium format. The third decision was dictated by availability of film and the fact that most of the photography would take place indoors:
We had no choice but underexpose and push the films. By quite a bit in some cases.
At this point, instead of saying anything to those who keep going on about how much you're going to lose out of an ISO 100 film when pushed by three f-stops using Rodinal, I'd just like to show you some pictures (click goes big):
The other film I had with me was the good old Ilford HP5+, which I used to shoot a lot with back in the 80s but kind of lost track of. I'm glad I gave it a shot the other day, and I'm glad I did a one stop push, the tonal distribution that came out is just wonderfully creamy, and the push development managed to give it a nicely steep-ish gradation curve.
Some of my learnings of the last two days:
a) I'm turning into more and more of a fan of push stand developments using Rodinal. With the right film the results can be wonderful.
b) In order to push Efke 100 by three stops, you'll have to make sure to get the exposure spot on, as you won't have much to play with later on.
c) Spending a weekend with photography, playing and trying out new things and learning lots in the process is FUN FUN FUN!
For those of you who want to give this a go themselves, here is some information on the films and the development:
The first three pictures were shot on Efke 100, underexposed by 3 stops, stand-developed in Rodinal 1:50 (for Sean: that was 12 milliliters for a 120 film) at 20 degrees Celsius for 70 minutes, 30 seconds mild agitation at the beginning, 10 seconds mild agitation 35 minutes into the development. Stand development means that after the first agitation you do not even think of touching the development tank. Hands completely off until it's time to agitate again.
The last three pictures were shot on Ilford HP5+, underexposed by one stop and developed in Rodinal 1:25 (24 milliliters) at 20 degrees Celsius for 8 minutes, 30 seconds initial agitation, then a few light swirls each minute.
All pictures were taken with the Pentacon six and an almost uncoated Biometar 2.8/80mm lens. Exposure metering was done using an iPhone 4 with the free Pocket Light Meter app.
Monika wrote a German blog entry here with more pictures from the same day, that she shot with her Pentax 6x7, which we call "the beast".
Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear from you in the comments!