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5 Frames With… Kodak Tri-X 400 (EI 1600 / 120 / Hasselblad 500CM) – by Michael C. Duke5 Frames With… Kodak Tri-X 400 (EI 1600 / 120 / Hasselblad 500CM) – by Michael C. Duke

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”.

~ Michael



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.

You can submit your article in one of two ways: using this form, or via this page.

Finally, don't forget that this series is being produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent Head on over to read the other half of these stories.


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About The Author

Michael C. Duke

Michael C. Duke is a journalist and street photographer based in Houston, Texas. He works in both digital and analog film formats, and has taught photography workshops for children and adults. Whether teaching, traveling on assignment or documenting his own community, Duke approaches photography as a means of storytelling.


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  1. Really terrific, thanks for sharing !

  2. This is really lovely.

  3. Wow, what an amazing woman and such powerful images to match

  4. Awesome. Love the story AND the accompanying photos. You really captured this well. The TriX is perfect. Thanks for sharing.


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