I’ve no idea when I fell out of love with developing my own film.
At first it seemed like magic; the images appearing in chemicals. The mindful, mindless, meditative process of mixing, rinsing, drying and scanning.
Recently, it’s just seemed like hard work.
I think part of it, is that the more you learn, the more you know can be done. Steps are added to the process, which becomes longer, more time consuming.
When I didn’t know better I could process, scan and edit three rolls of film in a night.
Now, I know the care and attention to detail that each image could be worthy of.
But, in the end it all comes down to that old aphorism, attributed to Voltaire:
“Perfect is the enemy of good”
And don’t get me wrong, there are times when I aim for perfection. My two exhibitions have only had 4 images each, and I of course wanted each to as close to perfection as possible.
But with stacks and stacks of negatives either developed and not scanned, or not even developed, it was time to try an old process.
Around a year ago I bought a flatbed negative scanner. Every image you’ve seen of mine since then has been scanned using that scanner. It renders beautifully detailed grain and amazing contrasts.
It also takes me around an hour to scan one roll of 35mm. A roll that I might only use 2 or 3 images from.
So in order to work through my massive scanning backlog, the flatbed was put away, and my tiny old 5mp scanner came out of the cupboard. Is it good? Weeeellll…. It was good enough for my first book, but I guess no, in comparison it’s not great. But it has a great thing about it, and that is that I can scan a dozen films in an hour.
These images would never see the light of day if they waited for the flatbed.
And who knows, maybe this post will encourage me to scan and edit these photos “properly”.