Thursday, July 31, 2014

Underexposed Kodalith

I got a couple of rolls of expired (2004?) Kodalith in 35mm from Hungry Mike over on Filmwasters. I threw one into my Nikon N2020 and set the iso to 100. I couldn't remember what iso was recommended to shoot this film and I was too lazy to go look it up. I figured 100 would be in the ballpark and the film probably had enough latitude to compensate if I was under-exposing. Now the other thing I forgot was that Kodalith is a VERY contrasty film to begin with. So if you under-expose/over-develop (push process) you are going to get even MORE contrast. I didn't consider any of these things when I was shooting this film and I guess that I part of my 'experimentation' process. I tend to forget details and then when I get the photos out of the tank/scanner I think to myself, "Well, that's not quite what I had in mind." But then I come back to the photos a week or two later and decide that there is some artistic merit there and even if it wasn't what I had envisioned when I pressed the shutter, I can still appreciate it. So I was doing a 2-3 stop push on this film and many of the shots were just too dark to really make out what the subject is. These two photos however, were composed with enough light/highlights that the image is clear. The increased grain and contrast work in these cases and I have come to like these images. So the lesson here is that 'experimentation' will probably yield something you like and it will definitely teach you something about your art or your process. I'm not one to really hope for "happy accidents". I would rather know what I did, so that I can do it again if I like the results, or not do it again if I don't like them.