Sunday, 24 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #31

Finally we are at the last day of the 31 days project. What a journey it has been. It really opened my eyes to the small and beautiful things all around me everyday. There is a picture in everything, you just have the see it through your 'lens-eyes' to open your eyes and see what makes each picture one worth taking.

This photograph is taken at the Shootcase Pinhole Photo Booth event on the NWU Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa. The students could write with chalk what film photography means to them on the black photo booth. It was in preparation of the World Wide Pinhole Photography day to raise awareness under the students of this fun medium to tae pictures in. Check out some of the photos documenting the event earlier on the blog.

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #30

The photograph of day 30 is taken on the rooftop on the NWU Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa. I took a picture of my boots while sitting. The wind blew my hair in front of the lens on the lefthand side. I took the picture with my 50mm fixed lens which has a small focus. I focused on the boots and for this reason my hair is burry and almost look like a light leak.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #29

This photograph is taken in a wood next to the Mooi River in Potchefstroom, South Africa. I used the freelensing technique. This is the reason for the blueish lens flairs. I took the photograph with my fixed 50mm lens but because of the freelensing technique, I could take a macro picture. This is also the reason for the small focus and the blurry round frame seen in the bottom lefthand side.

Friday, 22 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #28

The photograph of day 28 is a picture of SW Theron, one of my friends. This photograph is very grainy. I think it is because I took it in a dark room with only a lamp for the light source. The photo also has a greenish overlay which I think might be because of a greenish object inside the room from which the light reflected. This is what I love about film, you cannot control the outcome as with digital. It always surprises you when developed.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Developing 35mm film at home

What makes film photography such a fun medium to shoot in is the whole process from choosing and loading the film, shooting the pictures and the satisfaction of developing the film yourself and seeing the images, a long time waited for, appear right in front of your eyes. 

To develop your own 35mm black and white film at home you will need the following: Your exposed 35mm film, a film developing tank, a film cassette opener, a funnel, scissors, a developer, a stop bath, a fixer, a wetting agent, two clips for hanging the film, a sink of running water and a pitch black room because photos are formed with light and even more exposure to the already exposed film will cause a over exposed or totally washed out picture. For this reason you can exchange household bulbs with photo-safe red or blue bulbs. Purchase the specialized lighting at a photo retailer; novelty painted bulbs will ruin film during the developing process.

If you have access to both hot and cold running water with adjustable temperature controls, you're on your way to developing 35mm film at home. A small bathroom can easily be turned into a home film-processing lab with a few minor modifications to lighting and the shower area. While converted to a film developing area, the bathroom will no longer be usable for showering. If the home only has one bathroom, consider converting a laundry room or rough plumbed basement room into a film processing area.

First make sure you have your film cassette opener, scissors and developing tank in the light tight room with you. When attaching the film popper, make sure you get its teeth securely under the lid. Once open, slowly apply pressure to the top of the cassette opener as if you were opening a bottle. Remove the film from the cassette by turning the film canister upside down. Handle with care and try to keep your fingers away from the center of the film.

Unravel the feeder from the film; you may know this feel of this from when you loaded it into your camera. Hold the feeder in between your index and middle finger and cut along the feeder next to your fingers. You can either cut it straight or angled.

Now you need to find the spool from the developing tank. Position the spool so both of the tabs are next to each other. This process is fairly crucial and I recommend practicing with some old negatives in the light first. You need to feed the film underneath both tabs until they have reached the tiny ball bearing or it’s about halfway around the spool. Once you have fed the film into the spool, you then need to crank the spool in a ratchet motion, which will drive the film into the spool. Make sure you do this smoothly.

Once you have reached the end of your film, reposition your index and middle fingers with the film in between them and cut off the film spool. You don’t need the film spool from now on anymore. Once you have your film on the spool, you can put all the pieces back together again. Make sure to screw the lid on tight, and to get the film rod the right way up. Once the lid is on, you can leave your darkroom. Do not open the lid until the film has been fixed.

Make sure you mix or prepare all chemicals in a safe place, with utensils that are only for the purposes of developing or printing the film.  Remember that every different film and developer combination produce varying times. Please check the back of your develop to find out the time, temperature and dilution is needed to develop your film. 

Agitate (turn the container in a circular movement) your film constantly for the first minute, and then for the first ten seconds of every consecutive minute. Every developer is different, some you can use multiple times after making a stock solution and others need to be mixed per film. Check the back of your developer for this detail.

Once you have emptied the tank of developer, give it a rinse under a tap, remembering to check the temperature first because varying temperatures can alter the negatives. Once rinsed, pour in the stop bath. Keep the stop bath in for 30 seconds to one minute, but always check the back of your own bottle for details. Keep rotating the container while it is filled with the stop bath. When the time is up, pour the stop bath back into the bottle. Most common stop baths change color, usually from yellow to blue when the time is up.

Fixer is slightly different from the developer, as it has a base time according to brand but this base time is applicable to every film. It is usually about five to six minutes. Rotate the fix the same way you did with the developer. When finished, it will become obvious when the fixer has had enough as the film will occasionally get yellow streaks and you will notice that it isn’t fixing as well. You can pour the fix back into the bottle.

After pouring the fix back into the bottle, you need to rinse it and then add wetting agent. The thing with wetting agent is that you only need a few drops in there with some water. Wetting agent lowers the surface tension of the water on the film and helps reduce drying marks. Rinse for 20 minutes.

Unscrew the lid off the container and pull your film out. If it is covered from bubbles from the wetting agent, give it a rinse under the tap. You now need to pull the film off the spool. There is no need to use the ratchet motion like before, just put your thumb and index finger on the end and pull the film away from the spool gently. Attach a heavy clip to each end and leave it to hang in a dust free room. Once you have it hanging up, give it one clean swoop with the squeegee from top to bottom.

There is nothing more satisfying than waiting to see how the pictures you took came out. It is as if you take the journey with your camera all over again. With film the result is never the same. Light leaks, lens flairs, graininess and color overlays are common but surprising. I love film photography for this reason that what would have been classified as a faulty digital photograph, is just what makes a film photograph unique.

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #27

The photograph of day 27 is taken in a clothing boutique, Marilyns, in Brooklyn Mall, South Africa. This was also a quick snapshot for the shop assistant kept an eye on me like a hawk :) I used a warming filer which creates the feel of reading a book next to the fire place snuggled up in a blanket. The warming filter also enhanced the old feel of the books. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #26

The photo is taken at Minora Blade at a Nursery in Potchefstroom. We usually do our print work, for my degree in Graphic Design, here. The shop is filled with random antiques and old broken objects which I love to photograph. I like to take pictures from random angles which makes the photograph more interesting Some may feel that the photograph is off balance or have to turn their head to see the photo, but it depends on personal taste. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #25

Day 25's photo is taken in a play park next to the Potchefstroom Dam, South Africa. I love the rusty play horse, showing some of the color through where it is scratched off. I also love the perspective of the photograph, leading the eye into the scene. I didn't use a warming color filter in this photo  which enhances the cool feel of the tree's shadow.

Monday, 18 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #24

This photograph is taken at TriBecca in Brooklyn Design Square, South Africa.  It is the coolest coffee shop ever, transforming you from South Africa to a shop in the streets of Paris. I love the broken wooden tables with the red chairs and photographs covering the walls.

The background in this photograph is a bit too dark but I love the contrasting red chairs and the scene in front that is blurry and emphasizes the the fell of the coffee shop.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #23

The photograph of day 23 is taken at Warterkloof Shopping Center, South Africa. The picture consists some of the tables outside of a coffee shop. I am not allowed to take pictures inside of clothing stores or restaurants, because they are affraid that I might steal their design (and for that reason it is why I use a 50year old film camera, yeah right). So I hid behind a pillar, framed the shot and pressed the shutter. Usually I frame for a few minutes to take the perfect picture because it is film and I am allowed to take just one photo, not ten and choose which looks best as with digital photography. I am quite surprised at how clear and sharp this photo came out.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #22

This is definitely my favourite photo of the 31 days. It is taken in a wood next to the Mooi Rivier in Potchefstroom, South Africa. I love the lens flair and the orange color overlay. The focus is on the branch with the sun right behind it. One of the reasons I love film is that you can shoot right into the sun without the photo being totally washed out or over exposed by the light. I used a brownish warming filter to enhance the warmth of the sun.

Friday, 15 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #21

The photograph of day 21 is taken on the NWU Potchefstroom campus, South Africa. The two girls in the photograph is my friends Alexa Swart and Iske Conradie. It was autumn in South Africa at that time and the whole campus was buried under warm colored leaves. They are two free-spitited girls and playing in the heaps of leaves captured a way of seeing life from out of their point of view. 

The photograph did come out a bit too dark, although my shutter was set to a forth of a second and my appature set all the way up to 16. Maybe it was just a bit too dark in die shadows of the trees. What I love about this photo is that Iske's hand, the girl on the righthand side, forms a kind of dove-like form, the only bright white spot in the photograph. I also love the movement of their hands. 

Thursday, 14 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #20

Looking at this photo I feel like a child again. The photograph of day 20 is taken in Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria, South Africa. I love the red light reflecting in the steel, emphasizing the color of the nicker balls even more.  

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #19

The photograph is taken in a play park at the Mooi Rivier in Potchefstroom, South Africa. The dappled shadows on the merri-go-round is what intrigued me to take the photo. The guy in the photograph is SW Theron, who usually joins in on the photographic adventures. In this photograph it was his time to be in front of instead of behind the camera.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #18

This photograph is taken in a wood next to the Mooi Rivir in Pochefstrroom, South Africa. I love the angle of this photograph, emphasizing the hight of the tree, leading the eye up into the air. I also love the complementing colors of red and green leaves. The leaves almost start to look like colorful butterflies swarming in the air.

Monday, 11 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #17

This photo also came out a bit too dark. It is a photo of an old fashioned steel clock taken by lamp light in my bedroom in Potchefstroom. I used the fisheye as well as freelensed in this photograph. The reason that I used more than one lens on top of another might be the reason for it being a bit too dark.

I like the reflections of light from the steel clock and the greenish color in this photograph. It would have been great if the numbers on the clock was visible.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #16

On 18 April 2012 Shootcase hosted a pinhole photography photo booth on the NWU Potchefstroom Campus in preparation for World Wide Pinhole Day on 30 April 2012. For more information on this day visit 

I built a photo booth from a refrigerator box and painted it black. I also built my own pinhole camera from a matchbox to take the portraits with. There is a step by step post earlier on the blog on how to build your own pinhole camera from a matchbox. Check it out and enjoy the fun of pinhole photography. 

In this photograph I took a picture of the writing on the photo booth on the lefthand side. I allowed the students to write with chalk on the photo booth about what film photography means to them.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #15

This photograph came out a bit too dark. It was taken at night by lamp light. The picture consists of oil color and paint brushes lying on a piece of cloth.  

I used the brownish warming filter in this photograph, but maby the photo would have worked better without the filter, letting through a bit more light. But I'm not sure.

Friday, 8 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #14

This photo is taken in a wood next to the Mooi River, Potchefstroom. I wanted to capture the shadows the trees casted over the autumn colored leaves. I used a brownish warming filter to enhance the warm autumn colors of the leaves. 

In the righthand corner there are shoes lying in the leaves. I wanted this to be my focal point with the shadows of the trees leading the eye to it, but unfortunately the shoes is not that visible between the bed of leaves.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #13

The photograph of day 13 is taken in our garden in Pretoria. The girl in the picture is my sister, Marelize Jansen van Vuuren, clothed in her autumn wear :) I used a yellow filter to take this photograph, enhancing the color of the autumn leaves lying on the bench in the foreground. 

Once again the focus is on an object in the foreground leading the eye to the blurry figure in the background. In this photo it worked better than in the photograph of day 11.

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #12

Photograph 12 is taken on the NWU Potchefstroom Campus. I like the perspective n this photograph. The lines leading the eye to the focus on the chain and lock. I also love the texture of the paint tearing off.

I took the photo using a warming filter which contrasts with the blueish color of the wood and steel. These two colors creates a nice atmosphere. The warming filter also enhances the brownish dust on the wood. 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #11

This photo is taken at sunset on the rooftop of  building. The girl in the picture, Iske Conradie, is one of my good friends who is always ready for  photography outing. 

In the picture I focused on the textured wall leading up to Iske. Afterwards I thought it would have been a better photograph if I'd rather focused on Iske instead of the wall. On the other hand the picture captures an essence of her personality. I dreamily person who is always in her own world. I also love the sun shining through her hair.

Monday, 4 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #9 & #10

Day 9's photo is once again taken in my room. In this photograph I experimented with freelensing and the fish eye lens. The dark circular form on the righthand side is due to the side of the fisheye in front of the shutter. The photo has a greenish look, but I didn't use a filter at all. I assume it is a greenish color that reflected from some object inside my room.  

The photograph of day 10 is taken in a field next to the Mooi Rivier in Potchefstroom. I also used the fish eye lens in this picture. I usually kneel and crouch into different, weird positions to take the picture from out of an interesting perspective. On this specific day we have a visitor, peeping from behind I tree. It was so weird. Moral of the story: Never go on photographic adventures alone, the journey is meant to be shared.

I love the small appature, focusing only on a very small part of the dandelion. 

Saturday, 2 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #8

This photograph was taken in a small forrest next to the Mooi River in Potchefstroom. The trees are all painted in red up to the blue sky. The figure in this photo is Alexa Swart, one of my good friends who usually joins in on the photographic adventures.

This photo is taken with a brownish filter, which enhances the feel of autumn and the warm colored leaves. What I love about this photo is that there is only an implied  form of a person in the photograph and that it is taken from a very low perspective, tracing the path leading up to the figure.

Friday, 1 June 2012

31 Photos in 31 Days: Day #7

Photograph 6 is taken ind-side my room. The day was so hectic, the sun went under before I knew it. In this photo I used the technique: Freelensing. For this reason there is a light leak on the upper right side and a very small focus. 

What I love about film  is that the photo has a green overlay without me even putting a filter over the camera. Film always surprises me. You see the picture through the view finder for the first time and when it is developed, it is a whole new photo all over again.