In November 2017 I signed up for EMULSIVE’s 2017 Secret Santa gift exchange. Luckily for me, my name was drawn for one of the super secret sponsor gifts, in addition to a Secret Santa match. I had no idea what would be arriving in the mail. I expected maybe some stickers or a roll of film. To my surprise, a package arrived all the way from the UK from which I found five rolls of Kosmo Foto Mono 100!

This was super exciting since I had just completed an introduction to darkroom class at a local community college and already planned to do all my own black-and-white developing, scanning, and printing at a newly opened community darkroom near my house. All I needed was a reasonably lit day in the winter here in Portland, Oregon, to test a roll.

I’d been wanting to do a shoot at one of the historic cemeteries in town and all the varied grey of the tombstones would be a great test of the tones of this emulsion. There are a number of historic cemeteries maintained by the regional governmental agency. For this shoot, I chose Multnomah Park Cemetery.

Spending some time in the cemetery put me in a contemplative mood. I wondered who were these people, who loved them, what became of their families, where are their families now? Walking around I thought about how I wanted to be remembered, what I wanted to leave behind in this world, and who would remember me.

I shot this first roll with my Pentax K2. Metering was done with the camera’s meter set for EI 100. Since it was a typical Portland overcast day, most shots were at f/4 or f/5.6. The lens was an SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4.

Developing was done at The Portland Darkroom with D-76, 1:1, 20°C for 9:00. Scans were made on an Epson V550 with the Epson Scan software at 3200 dpi, 16-bit grayscale, and no unmasking. The TIFF files were imported into Adobe Lightroom for cataloging and keywording. Images were straightened and mildly sharpened before exporting to JPG. No other postprocessing was performed.

~ Benjamin Chan



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