For many years – From about 1969 until the mid 1990s I processed all my own black and white photos. I toyed with colour processing and printing, but black and white was my passion. I loved my Pan F and FP4. I carried my Pentax cameras everywhere. Occasionally I borrowed a large format camera (including, a couple times, a very nice heavy Linhof plate camera), but essentially I was a 35mm man. I had access to a real darkroom equipped with a Leitz enlarger.
Ah – those were the days!
Now I have no access to a darkroom, and I confess that I lack the spirit and will to set one up. But nowadays, I have digital photography to amuse me. I have an iPhone SE, which has a pretty good camera, a Pentax DSLR, and a Sony a6000 mirrorless (a lovely digital camera) … and an iMac computer to play upon.
No, it isn’t the same as the good old film days but it keeps me happy, and some of the images are really very good. The shooting limitation of film is gone – a two headed coin. With the ability to shoot hundreds of shots in any session we can get a bit careless, but at the same time good old aunty serendipity can present us with one or two sensational shots from all those many.
And the processing is so simple. There are many apps and the like that let a fella like me do all the tweaking and bending and distorting that I would have once upon a time done with double exposures, maskings, chemicals, solarising, and all that fun jazz.
Yes, it is cheating. Yes, back in the 70s I would have sneered. But now, I’m a happy wee grey haired digital photoist … having fun with a camera, computer, and cup of tea close at hand.
This is a little experiment in duotone digital photography. Image taken yesterday on North Terrace Adelaide, from the passenger seat of our Skoda using my iPhone via the Filmborn App set to emulate PanF. Processed at home whilst consuming Yorkshire Gold tea bag tea – currently on sale in our local Foodland Supermarket.
(Don’t say that I don’t supply the details of my artworks! 😉 )