FOR THE LOVE OF A FILM ROLL
Lens Magazine|March 2021
A QUEBEC PHOTOGRAPHER DECIDED TO IGNORE THE MODERN DIGITAL CAMERAS. INSTEAD, HE TURNED HIS EYES TO THE OLD FORGOTTEN CAMERAS. A SMALL ROOM INSIDE OF HIS HOUSE BECAME "THE DARKROOM."
CATALIN CROITORU
The beauty is that I can do whatever I want with a negative film. - Jean Lapalme

In an era where the digital camera creators are competing with each other in a matter of megapixels or sensor sizes, some photographers decide to go back in time and give a new life to the old dusted analog cameras. In the last two or three years, taking pictures on a 35 millimeters film became, little by little, a trend and as pandemic as the COVID-19. All over the world, people were captivated by this new photographic wind and started to search, buy or sell the grandfather's old cameras. This trend soon became a profitable business; the so-called vintage cameras were started to be sold at so much increased prices that sometimes their value was pumped up up to ten times compared to the initial selling price.

Consequently, the rolls of film, the classic size (35 mm) or medium size, started to pop-up for sale everywhere in the world.

That increased demand brought on the market even the expired rolls to be sold, some of them long time past the warranty date printed on the label. Sellers from the former USSR, or Poland, or God knows what country in the world offered outdated film rolls from the '90s or even the '80s; it didn't matter – the freshly analog camera users bought them as it was fresh bread… And everybody everywhere started to take pictures on film. A click here, few other clicks there, and the roll was done. Once taken out of the camera, a big dilemma arises for anyone: what to do next? For the color negatives, there still existed those processing centers, where for the equivalent of around $12, you could have your negative developed and your creation exposed. But for the black-and-white films, it was quite a dead-end. Soon, the monochrome lovers discovered that they have to process such rolls by themselves. And that 'do-it-yourself' job sounded frightening; to mix some chemicals in a specific order at for a sharp concentration, to wait a precisely defined amount of time, to wash, or to fix the film roll – that entire job seemed to be harder to do. Because it sounded confusing and because it had so little room for errors.

Jean Lapalme, a Saint-JeanBaptiste resident, was among those many others who re-discovered the film photography's beauty.

I started when I was 16 years old to take pictures with an old camera, but I stopped to do it soon after. The time passed by, and I started to do pictures again on a film about 7 years ago, he confessed, And I never gave it up ever since!.

Because all that film developing procedure might seem complicated, he offered to explain for the LENS MAGAZINE readers, and film rolls lovers a step-by-step tutorial about what to use, in which concentration, and for how long of a waiting time the substances in order to process a black-and-white film. He arranged the darkroom in a small room of the house and what has the role of a table to put on the glassware necessary to the mixing and processing is nothing else but the washing machine.

THE PATIENCE IS EVERYTHING

If you had the patience to choose your subjects and take the pictures, then it worth having that patience one more time to process the film roll you have finished, said Jean about the film developing procedure. It takes around 20 minutes altogether, and you will have to mix substances, to dilute substances, to wait, to rinse, and to repeat.

The Quebec photographer knows that each substance has a particular mix for each kind of film roll.

For a Fomapan film, you will have to wait 6 minutes to develop it, and for a Kodak film, for instance, you will wait another amount of time. Some tables are easily found on the Internet about the mixing proportions and about the waiting time.

But for any brand of negative film (black-and-white and color as well), there are three significant steps to be taken, in the same order, every time that film is processed: the developer, the stop bath, and the fixer.

Always start with the developer. This mix will wash away the parts of the film that were not in contact with the light, revealing the negative frame of what we pictured. I am using Kodak substances for this procedure that requires certain sharp proportions to be mixed. Some other brands on the market apart from Kodak and each brand ask for a certain dilution. Personally, I do prefer Kodak because it will give me more contrast on the negative at the end of the process.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM LENS MAGAZINEView All

FRIHA ABDELMAJID: RURAL LIFESTYLE IN MOROCCO

FRIHA ABDELMAJID: RURAL LIFESTYLE IN MOROCCO

1 min read
Lens Magazine
March 2021

Old Fashion and True Moments

Film Photography is a big world of its own, with various techniques, cameras, and actions. Old-time photography is priceless; it is a living testimonial of rich heritage.

3 mins read
Lens Magazine
March 2021

REVEL & REVOLT - Beau Patrick Coulon

Revel & Revolt is a new photo book by Beau Patrick Coulon, a co-edition with Burn Barrel Press and Defend New Orleans' imprint: DNO books. Coulon presents his straightforward-yet-personal visual documentation of protests, parades, and the punk scene in New Orleans from 2013 to 2020.

3 mins read
Lens Magazine
March 2021

DEAD END TRACK

On February 5th, was the first time I went to the Sanremo train station and got on the train to Ventimiglia, the last stop before the border.

6 mins read
Lens Magazine
March 2021

FOR THE LOVE OF A FILM ROLL

A QUEBEC PHOTOGRAPHER DECIDED TO IGNORE THE MODERN DIGITAL CAMERAS. INSTEAD, HE TURNED HIS EYES TO THE OLD FORGOTTEN CAMERAS. A SMALL ROOM INSIDE OF HIS HOUSE BECAME "THE DARKROOM."

10+ mins read
Lens Magazine
March 2021

John F. Martin – The Early '70s Manhattan

"This series was shot around Manhattan in the early '70s. I was using a Pentax Spotmatic loaded with Tri-X film. I processed the film and printed it. These are scans from the prints and negatives".

5 mins read
Lens Magazine
March 2021

An Exclusive Interview With Nandakumar Narasimhan

The Little Red Train

10+ mins read
Lens Magazine
March 2021

MARK EDWARD HARRIS: The Beauty of SHINRIN-YOKU

The pandemic has forced all of us to look within our own borders for both photo opportunities and mental health breaks.

8 mins read
Lens Magazine
February 2021

MY LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH LANDSCAPES

My relationship with landscapes is one of a love-hate nature.

3 mins read
Lens Magazine
February 2021

DAVID GARDNER: ENERGY IVANPAH THERMAL SOLAR PLANT

Coming over the rise through Nipton California, on Highway 164 into the Ivanpah Valley, the Ivanpah Thermal Solar Power Plant first came into view.

4 mins read
Lens Magazine
February 2021
RELATED STORIES

Creating Trust Where There Was None

Home renovations are full of headaches—but how do you fix an age-old industry woe? Here’s how Jean Brownhill, founder and CEO of Sweeten, built something better.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

LONG LIVE THE KING

JEAN LE CAM WAS ALREADY A LEGEND, NOW HE’S THE UNDISPUTED HERO OF THE VENDÉE GLOBE, WRITES ED GORMAN

8 mins read
Yachting World
April 2021

FUR NAMES

Names. Oh, what an important choice in the life of cat! It is how a cat will be known in the show rings and in daily life. A name can alternate between words of delight or new forms of cursing (especially in this case!). Each name tells a story and this is the story of Toxicate Holy $#&@*

2 mins read
Cat Talk
February 2021

Reminiscing Over Dinosaurus!

“Alive! After 70 million years! Roaring! Walking! Destroying!” (Ad line for Dinosaurus!)

7 mins read
Prehistoric Times
Winter 2021 #136

FROM BRIDGERTON TO BOND?

“Regency royalty. Shaken and stirred,” Bridgerton hunk Regé-Jean Page tweeted Dec. 16.

1 min read
Star
January 25, 2021

NO IMMUNITY FOR SURVIVOR JONNY!

Busted for ripping off own granny

1 min read
Globe
January 25, 2021

‘I am sinking. This is not a joke. MAYDAY'

KEVIN ESCOFFIER’S RESCUE FROM A LIFERAFT ADRIFT IN THE ROARING FORTIES WAS THE RESULT OF INCREDIBLE SEAMANSHIP. HELEN FRETTER SPOKE TO HIM, AND THE TEAM THAT CO-ORDINATED THE SEARCH

10+ mins read
Yachting World
February 2021

Blurbed To Death

How one of publishing’s most hyped books became its biggest horror story and still ended up a best seller.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
January 4-17, 2021

ICONIC WOMEN & THEIR GEMS AND JEWELS

“Food, water, the diamonds, you know the essentials”, is how someone described what life was all about.

6 mins read
Industry Leaders
December 2020

REORIENTING THE CRIME DRAMA IN ‘I'M YOUR WOMAN'

When it’s at its best, “I’m Your Woman” feels like you’ve slipped through a trap door, revealing a hidden pathway in an old genre apparatus.

2 mins read
Techlife News
December 12, 2020