It was about 7 months back that I started my tryst with shooting photographs in film after giving a gap of a decade. The first two rolls I shot were B&W in a wedding and it was great experience for me.
Later I shot a roll of film in Kodak Portra 400 and it turned out to be a bad experience. The local lab in Chennai where I gave the film to get developed did a shoddy job in both development and handling. Apart from dust there was a lot of chemical residue left on the film which spoilt the pictures I shot.
Parallely I did shoot a roll of Kodak TMax 400 on my Pentax K1000. There were a few times I missed my focus with this camera as this doesn’t have a split prism focus aid. Instead the K1000 uses micro prisms which are sometimes difficult to use both in bright direct sunlight and in low light conditions.
This time I gave my film to be developed with “The Analog Geek” Mr. Thasin Jeelani. While I preferred to have this film developed with Kodak TMax or D76 as the developer, Thasin told me that he only had the Illford DDX in stock. I agreed to go ahead with Illford developer. Soon after a bad experience my hopes on using film was going down. This is when I saw some lovely pictures come out. This gives enough motivation to pursue with film.
Developer : Ilford DDX 1+4 for 8 minutes @ 20℃
Others: Ilford Rapid Fixer & Ilfotol Wetting Agent
Thasin scanned the film on Epson V600 and sent these files to me over google drive. Even while I was on travel, it was great joy to see these images on my mobile. I vouch for him on developing and processing 35mm B&W film rolls and scanning with a flatbed scanner. When it comes to scanning I felt the contrast could have been a little lower. I still love these images. sharing some of the images below.
While I am in way settled with finding developing and scanning solution for my 35 mm B&W films, I am yet to find a good developer for colour films in Chennai. I hope services for photographers using film as the medium with proliferate in future. With Illford officially distributing film in Chennai via Shrishti and Kodak on its way, I feel we ‘ll soon have a set of good service providers for analog photographers in Chennai.
While I a will continue to shoot 35 mm for posting pictures in social media, I am eagerly looking for a wedding assignment that I can completely document in film. I am also planning to shoot portraits in medium format analog cameras. Please leave your suggestion in the comments sections below. It really helps me.
I thank my friends Archana, PV, Maddy, Deepa, Anbu, Arul Mozhi, Thasin & Nara for helping me with advise, equipment, processing and most importantly posing for me :) I will be posting my pictures regularly from now at the following instagram feeds:
Note: If you are new to films and want to rent analog cameras, you can do that at www.kitkarma.com