Part of this article's title is a tribute to my preferred progressive rock band: Jethro Tull. Here some shots of ice skating from the Italian Novice Championship, with some tips on "stand development" of black and white films!
Do you need to take some photos of an indoor sport, with low light conditions, high speed movements, and you don’t have a fast film roll? Well, don’t worry and read below a tipster about extreme pushing!
Winter sports are fun, and in the case of artistic ice skating, they are full of grace and harmony! So, why not take my trusty Praktica MTL 5 with two tele lenses, a Pentacon 135/2.8 and a Pentacon 200/4 to take some photos of Italian Novice and Junior’s Championship of Ice Skating in Como? There was only a problem: the light was not enough to take photos with normal speed films, and I didn’t have with me high ISO rolls as Kodak T-Max 3200 or Ilford Delta 3200. So, I used two medium speed films: Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP5+ (both 400 ISO).
How to make a “hard pushing” to 3200 or 6400 ISO without considerable increase in contrast? Well, I remembered this link which explains how to use the “stand developement” to make this extreme pulling. R09 is a new name for the famous Agfa Rodinal, now discontinued. This liquid has very interesting proprieties which depend on its diluition in water.
So, if you use this delevopment liquid in a 1+25 solution you obtain sharp and pretty grain with high contrast (good effect with slow speed films as Ilford PanF+ or FP4+), while a 1+50 solution is more compensating (good for example when you use an Ilford FP4+ film in a bright day, to avoid excess of contrast). But this liquid is a great compensator in a 1+100 solution.
If you make an extreme pulling of 3 or 4 stops, the development time becomes very long, from one to one and half hour. To avoid excessive contrast, the agitation must be minimal. I use only few inversions every 15 minutes. You can see other similar recipes in the Filmdev website.
I applied a similar recipe to my Ilford HP5+ pulled at a more extreme ISO; in this case, I exposed the film at 6400 ISO! More grain and more contrast, but this is good for me because from the second film I wanted the silhouettes of the skaters.
Both films are still printable, and I printed some photos with my Durst M301 (an old condensed light enlarger) using a Ilford multigrade glossy paper (gradation 3), with good result.
Information for this article was sourced from Filmdev.org, a website with many recipes to develop your black and white film!