What have I done?
Here are the images from my first test shoot for my T&P 2B project (so far unnamed). Here I have taken my images on a Zenit 11 35mm film camera using Ilford HP5 plus 400 ISO black and white film. This shoot was to test that the camera worked properly and also to see if the camera would cooperate with the studio/flash. I then scanned the images in and slightly changed the levels on Photoshop. Also as it was a tester I did not use a make up artist as I thought this would be a waste of time if the images did not come out the way I wanted them to. Overall I am really pleased with the images, the camera worked really well and I was quite surprised with my ability to focus the lens, as I am (shamefully) use to using auto focus on my digital. To dress Kerrie for the shoot I collected different jewellery that I thought was 40s style, as this is what style Kerrie will be made into on the actual shot.
What have I learnt?
From this tester shoot I have learnt a few things about using film, as I am not very familiar with film cameras and even struggled to load the film into the camera. The first problem I faced with the Zenit 11 is that the camera I have is quite old, and so the exposure metre does not work anymore. Obviously this was a slight problem but not one that couldn’t be overcome, I simply downloaded a light meter app onto my phone which worked perfectly fine, however in the studio I used a light meter I had borrowed from stores. The second problem I faced was the big scratch that was on the cameras view finder, and I was unsure whether the scratch was actually on the view finder or inside the camera somewhere. Luckily the scratch did not turn up on the images so I can only assume it was on the view finder.
To use the camera with the studio flash I used a hot shoe and a sync lead which worked perfectly well. The aperture I used did not change a whole lot throughout the shoot, a steady f11 was all I used, with just a few slight rearranges of the lights. I also faced a problem when coming to develop the film, as the chemistry was a 17 degrees and I needed it between 20-23 degrees. To heat the chemistry up I had to block the plughole and fill the sink up with hot water, this way the chemistry heated up slowly whilst I checked it regularly. I used the chemistry at approximately 22 degrees, and developed the film for about 7 1/2 / 8 minutes. This was plenty of time and the film developed perfectly, apart from 1 image which seems to have either some chemistry or light leak on it which has blackened out part of the image (seen below). I also didn’t use a wetting agent on my film so when I came back to view the images, there was dried chemistry on my images. However this was easily fixable as I just rewashed the film and made sure I used a wetting agent! And then finally I just scanned in my negs and played around with the levels. I had to correct the images as I had had the shutter speed set too high (1/125th) so the film caught the shutter on the image causing a light to dark gradient on the images.
I also realized that when scanning my negs, there is a lot of dust and finger prints on them. This is something that I need to be careful as, however when it comes to the dust and ‘scratches’ on the images I think they add to the vintage style I am looking for in these images. Unless the dust distracts majorly from the subject matter, I will probably keep it in.
Tomorrow I have my official shoot with Kerrie, who will be dressed as a 40s woman, and Mel, who will be dressed as a 60s woman. I am collaborating With Make Up Artist Matthew Mcknight to make sure my models have the right style and make up. Tomorrow I shall be slowing down the shutter speed to 1/60th of a second to prevent from getting the light to dark gradient, apart from that there is not much I would change about the images. I will also be remembering to use a wetting agent to get rid of all the chemistry on my negs.