My First Earl Grey - Proudly Ruined by Me.


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 loooove this picture, it’s soooo Serginho and it stands in the middle of two totally ruined-at-development pictures – it’s an analogue miracle! :)

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. :)))

Credits: saidseni

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.

I got addicted at stupid light painting, can’t control myself.

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.

The first one is shot with the tripod, too much time but at least the lights are still. The others obviously, weren’t shot with the tripod! The second one is a boat trail, I was obsessed with it (but didn’t use the tripod… why?!?). Oh, and I love horrible #3!

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! ;)

Credits: saidseni

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?!

Credits: saidseni

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.

These are the best ruined-at-development pictures, some I didn’t even upload…!

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.

Scanned from the negative with Epson V500.

[Blank space]

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… :/

Star trails and cat fur.

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…

Credits: saidseni

Thankfully, I’m not aiming for perfection! :D

Earl Gray must be an amazing film, after all my efforts at totally ruin it, some pictures are really nice, love the vignetting.

written by saidseni on 2012-11-07