I love my pictures with story, much more than I love my pictures that come out well. I'll tell you the story of my first (ruined) Earl Grey, shot and developed by me with a long-time-no-see friend (and later scanned by me with a new friend, the Cat).
My friend Serginho went to Spain a few years ago and we totally lost contact. I had forgotten that we share a very strong interest, photography. Lately, we managed to get closer again and that’s very cool ’cause he is really a unique person and we talk a lot about many things. We used to have a good friendship back in college years and, guess what?, analogue photography brought us closer together again (ok, maybe the wine helped too)!
I had never developed a film before in my entire life and Serginho has some experience with that. He does it in a basement he rents with people that share with him other big interest, music. So, it was in a music studio that I developed my first films and made my first prints. I can never forget doing my first prints by myself with that cool red light while he was playing guitar on the other room… I love when my life looks like a movie. :)))
But before this lab experience, we needed some exposed b&w film. So we decided to go for a photography walk along the river Tejo on a Saturday night. I had ordered some Lady Gray and Earl Gray. I gave Serginho a 400 ISO Lady Gray and I wanted to save the rest for the Spinner and the Supersampler so I decided to go for this night session with 100 ISO Earl Gray… yeah, the mistakes start here.
We had wine and we had a tripod, that I only used once (the tripod, I mean). I felt ridiculous with my tiny LC-A+ on top of such a huge thing… but I obviously should have done it more often.
It was a really nice evening! I don’t get out at night as much as I used to and certainly not on Saturday night, my least favorite night to go out (as a friend used to say, Saturday nights are for amateurs!). But strolling along the river with a tripod and a bottle of a wine, always near the bars and discos but never getting in, chatting occasionally with people we meet along the way… was a very different and cool night. After all, it seems that Saturday nights are for photography amateurs! ;)
So, after ending the film on an afternoon walk (also) along the river (also) with Serginho and on my vacations, it was time to develop it! I had already developed one film, a Lady Gray shot with the Spinner. Serginho was with me in all the process and the results were wow!, amazing! Is it really that easy?!
Now, this happens to me a lot, I have beginner’s luck. Of course, my second film, the cursed Earl Gray, I knew it wouldn’t be that simple… And Serginho decided to leave me by myself while he was playing… and the s*** happened. I wasn’t really that sad because I was expecting it. And because I only noticed how much it was damaged when I scanned it.
Before I scanned the Earl Gray, I made some prints at the studio. I was really surprised, the process is like taking a picture again! You can make so many pictures out of a picture, depending on the time, aperture and filter you chose…!
I never managed to get the same result I did at the studio when scanning this picture. In the print I made at the studio, after some attempts, the double exposure of the bridge is perfectly clear but I couldn’t do it with the scanner.
This is where the print I made at the studio should be. I left it there drying and Serginho told me that it was a bit burned after all. While making the prints, we broke the recently bought lamp for the red light and decided to proceed anyway. I mean, why not ruin ALL the process?? Of course now Serginho is not capable of saying where did he put that print! I’m sure one day I’ll see it again, but I can’t say when…!
Getting to the end of all this process… scanning. I hate scanning. I only like to scan Spinner pictures, maximum 8 per film and Digitaliza is the best! And I’m not careful AT ALL with my negs, shame on me, they are always full of dust. My cat, that 3 month old little blue-eyed terrorist, isn’t really careful either. I mean, he carefully walks over the scanner filling it with fur, that’s for sure… :/
I don’t want to leave any mistake behind… did I mention this was probably when my LC-A+ started complaining about lack of batteries and I totally ignored it? It was really obvious in the next two films… :/ Oh, and what about this “stupendous” use of the splitzer, hum…? Looks so easy when others do it…
Thankfully, I’m not aiming for perfection! :D