Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Experiments in Black & White

The rolls of film that contained these images were shot by me over two years ago. Since then, they have waited patiently in a box in the fridge - waiting to be developed and reveal their secrets. 

Street signs at my local reclamation yard.

Shooting film is a waiting game, but so is the developing. I left this mixture of chemistry and magic to my boyfriend, who turned our kitchen into a lab and spend heroic amounts of time unwinding film from cases, mixing, shaking and sluicing until the developed negatives could be wiped and hung to dry in the bathroom - weighted at the bottom to prevent curling.

A rusty and abandoned tractor makes an obliging subject.

There, blowing in the breeze from the window, I first glimpsed the images in reverse - dark becoming light and light becoming dark. Until that point, I hadn't fully appreciated both the work that goes into acquiring a roll of pictures, or the magic of the moment of truth. We took our negatives to a scanner and held our breath...

A collection of old cart-wheels at the reclamation yard.

Some things are worth the wait.

All images by me.


  1. Yes they were worth the wait. I used to develop photos with my brother in our basement bathroom. It was like magic.
    However, dear Laura, these chemicals are toxic. Please be very, very careful when you use them anywhere near where food is being prepared or consumed.

  2. That man deserves a prize! Lovely work by both! I especially like the wheels. I have film sitting here waiting to be used. Better hop to it.

  3. Hi Ingrid - It is a magical process, I agree. Not to worry about the chemicals etc - my boyfriend has been doing this for years, so knows to be very careful.

    Catherine - He does, doesn't he?! The wheels are my favourite, too. I'm really pleased with the depth in the tones. Let me know if you get out there to use your film!