It goes without saying that this past year has been a challenging one in more ways than one thanks to the pandemic and its related restrictions. Nevertheless, it has also been a year where innovation and discovery have taken place – at least for me.
I signed up this year for the Frugal Film Project (FFP), the aim of which if I’ve got this right, is to encourage people to shoot one roll of film per month with a camera that cost the user $50 or less. I love film photography and thought this would be a good way to hone my progressing photo skills in a more direct way, so I signed up.
The camera I chose for this project (Canon AE-1 Program) was given to me and is very special as it was the first SLR camera brand and model that I ever purchased – not this camera specifically but the same make and model, my original is long gone. I am using it was an A2 winder and an FD 35-70mm lens. It works marvelously well and brings back good memories of when I was in the high school photography club.
For the first six months of the year, I decided to work with cheap colour film and found six rolls of Konica VX 400 online. And to share images each month I decided it would be most expedient and efficient to process the film myself. However, I have never processed C-41 film before as it isn’t a film I usually work with.
My primary films are ILFORD for black & white and Fujichrome Provia 100F for colour. Since I already process my own E6 (slide) film I found out that C-41 was a similar process. Now that we are five months into the year, I have some experience processing C-41 colour print film and it’s pretty easy.
After processing several rolls now it became clear to me that this emulsion must be somewhat out of date and perhaps was badly stored, but with some photo software finessing, I was able to submit usable digital files. These are a selection of images made during the first five months of this year – one for each month thus far. One more month of colour then it’s back to black & white.
The kit I use for processing C41 is made by CineStill and the FFP can be found on its own Facebook page.
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