Last week, I got my hands on a fair amount of Kodak Ektachrome 320 Tungsten film. Being aware of the quirky results tungsten film can give you when cross processing, I had high hopes for this film. Little did I know how this adventure would turn out.
When I got these 2 rolls of 30m bulk film I was thrilled! Everybody knows how great tungsten film is and what results you can expect when exposing the film in daylight and developing it in C41: crazy pinks and purples! So as soon as my package had arrived I immediately loaded up two cartridges and headed out to shoot them. A couple of hours later I was back home and ready to let the chemicals do their crazy work known as xpro. It was an exciting 15 minutes and a thrilling moment when I opened up the tank. But what should have been a glorious moment turned out to be a very disappointing one. One glance at the film was enough to realize nothing wacky was going on here. Nonetheless, I scanned the film and even though the pictures weren’t as tungsten-like as I had hoped, the results weren’t too bad either.
At first I thought, oh well, at least I have a decent slide film, next time I will just develop it in E6 and we’ll see what happens. At least the film is still good, despite the 1994 expiration date, so no losses here.
That very same day we had a lovely sunset. And my fingers were itching to go out and shoot it. When I was looking in the fridge to find the best film to use my eye came across the second roll of Ektachrome 320T I had popped in there for the time being. And that’s when I came up with this ultimate mix-up that would eventually lead to the blueprint experiment. What would happen if I redscaled this tungsten film? Had it been done before? A quick search didn’t make me any wiser, so trying it out myself would be the quickest way to an answer!
Not wanting to waste too much film I just spooled about 10 frames from the bulk roll into a canister and headed out. I shot the film, went back home, and did my second run of developing that day. However, this time when I opened the tank, I did jump with joy! Check out what the film looked like…
Unlike most slide films, this film had kept its transparent base when cross processed. And since I had redscaled the film and developed it in C41, the complementary color of red was the only color visible in positive view, which is cyan blue. What I was looking at looked so much like blueprints I decided to scan this film as slide film, i.e. in positive mode.
The first time these blueprints happened almost by accident, but a happy accident! So happy I decided that it was worth trying to improve the results and see how close I could get to actual blueprints. So I repeated my endeavor, this time exposing the film at iso50 rather than the iso100 I had used before. This gave me slightly darker images in positive mode.
Obviously, because I had crossed them to C41, these aren’t positives but negatives. So out of curiosity I also scanned them as such, inverting the colors. And what I got were some very nice redscales!
So if you want to make a blueprint of your favorite building, you know what to do!