Self-Portraits at 2am

I had a bad case of the restless and can't sleeps last night. So I decided to give my Dektol+Film thoughts somewhere to go.

I loaded a roll of Arista EDU 100 into the Lubitel 166U, added a Holga Close Up lens attached with some rubber bands, measured my focus zone and tried to get my arm trained to hold camera at that point, then metered for light. I used two of my softbox lights which are pretty intense and very focused so they make hard light on whatever they hit without diffusion. There was also a single lamp on in the room. My metering told me I needed 1/8th of a second at f/4.5, but as I moved it around, so it could meter the darker areas it went well into the 1-4 second shutter range for that aperture. I am pretty sure I was way more stops under then I thought, mentioned above. The 3200 was a guess. Thats at least 5 stops pushed, then maybe close to that in push for the development.

I knew I wanted to push the film at least 4 stops to see what Dektol would do in that kind of situation. I ended up shooting at (somewhere around) 3200 metering for 100 film... and pushing the film about 3-4 stops. And I still got images which blew my mind. If I had left them in the soup for another few minutes who knows what I'd have gotten out of it.

I pushed the Clarity on these up a bit so the grain tends to really pop, but I love how Dektol slams the film right in the face with it's hard core super dark blacks and contrast. Aside from the focus issues, these shots came out better then I hoped.

My actual focus area was literally a space of 1-2" and I did all of these by hand, guessing I had them at the right location, set to f/4 (just beyond the last measured aperture on the 166U) and at 1/60th of a second shutter speed.

I think I need to measure and mount the camera on a tripod for this and do it again with a little more usable light.

Fun shoot, entertained me when I couldn't sleep. And I want more Dektol.


  1. andrus_n
    andrus_n ·

    Really great ones!

  2. alienmeatsack
    alienmeatsack ·

    Thank you!

  3. avola
    avola ·

    I love your self-portraits!!

  4. gepo1303
    gepo1303 ·


  5. alienmeatsack
    alienmeatsack ·

    Thank you! I take them mostly to learn how light, films and developers work. But I also am the only human I have instant and willing access to, so that helps too.

  6. why-yu
    why-yu ·

    great result and job!! )

  7. raapstelenstamppot
    raapstelenstamppot ·

    Wow, this is such a great and powerful portrait. I love the focus, framing and your facial expression. And, of course, the monochrome, but I think I always love monochrome.

  8. alienmeatsack
    alienmeatsack ·

    Thank you very much. I am told I look angry in all of my self-portraits, this roll was actually upset/angry and I was trying to get my mood into the photos. Taking pictures of yourself is a lot harder then it seems, all those cell phone selfies with a screen to help frame the subject make it so easy. I did think these came out well and captured my mood.

  9. alexyz
    alexyz ·

    love this!

  10. buckshot
    buckshot ·

    Very Ernest Hemingway...!!

  11. alienmeatsack
    alienmeatsack ·

    Thanks all for the comments and likes!