5 Frames With… Kodak Tri-X 400 (EI 1600 / 120 / Hasselblad 500CM) – by Michael C. Duke
My 94-year-old grandmother, Jeanne Samuels, lives a fully independent life. Her independence, however, was threatened in early 2017 after she fell in her home in Houston and broke her right kneecap. The injury required surgery, then intensive rehab at a residential facility to aid the healing process.
I visited my grandmother most days during her month in rehab. She allowed me to photograph the entire journey, from her initial trip to the E.R., to the day she drove herself back to work. (Yes, she still works.) The story of her recovery is told through a select series of 80, chronologically arranged images, all shot on 120 film.
The five images here, were made on a single roll of Kodak Tri-X 400, pushed to EI 1600. The sequence records my grandmother being transported from the rehab facility (by bus) to her first, post-surgery doctor appointment with her orthopaedic surgeon. During that appointment, she had the staples removed from her incision, followed by an X-ray of her knee; then, she returned to the rehab facility and walked 50 feet for the first time with help from an O.T./P.T. nurse.
The camera used for the series was a Hasselblad 500CM with an early version of the Zeiss Distagon 60mm f/4. Given the fact that most of the series would be shot indoors (and entirely hand-held), I needed to push my film a couple of stops. Doing so played to the strength of Tri-X 400 and added even more contrast, and hopefully emotion, to the images.
As my grandmother was relearning how to walk, I was teaching myself how to shoot and develop black and white film. Thankfully, my grandmother did make a full recovery, and I encountered few technical problems in the creation of this series, which I titled “Fall & Rise”.
Get involved: submit your 5 Frames With
Getting your 5 frames featured couldn't be simpler: all you need to do is send over 5 frames shot on a single roll of film using the same lens and camera combination. Large format shooter, not a problem! As long as the shots all came from the same film stock, camera and lens, you're good to go.
Finally, don't forget that this series is being produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories.
Write for EMULSIVE
The driving force behind EMULSIVE is knowledge transfer, specifically creating more of it in the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas to inspire others reading these pages.
Take action and help drive an open, collaborative community: all you need do is read this and then drop me a line.
Lend your support
Like what you see here? You can support EMULSIVE by helping to contribute to the community voice on this website (see above), or by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and considering financial support from as little as $2 a month.
As if that’s not enough, there’s also an EMULSIVE print and apparel store over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique prints of photographs made by yours truly
In short, I want to continue building this platform and I’d love your help to make that happen.