It seems like Ilford is back from the edge of the dissolution abyss, at least for now. Despite all the anxiety over the “death of film,” it seems to me that it won’t be film that will dry up. It’ll be other parts of the expendables supply chain that will first disappear and make life difficult.
In my own experience, the most problematic supply item has been acquiring decent negative sleeves. And right this moment, I’m completely tapped out.
Six rolls of 35mm Tri-X, Xtol 1+1.
I have to admit that I’d been stalling on processing these rolls, dreading them just a little bit. I’ve grown spoiled by the ease and clarity of digital, and by the tonalities of larger negatives. But I went ahead and ran them and started to slide them into the scanner.
What had I been I thinking? The negs are exactly what I could have hoped for — well-toned, sharp, snappy, clean. Chalk my anxiety up to an infinite fickleness and an easily-suggestible nature.
Over the past few days a number of boxes have arrived in the mail, the result of my mother cleaning her basement. In them, various treasures, like an original unopened Batman: The Dark Knight poster, a manual on BASIC for the IBM 360, and hundreds of photographs that I’d left behind when attending CalArts. I’ve only opened the first box, and hardly begun to even sort them, much less print or scan.
As a comparison, here’s a digital snap I made quickly as an exposure test before making the photos in this post.
Four 220 rolls of TXP, two 120 rolls of Neopan 400, two 120 rolls of TX400 (sometimes you use what yuou can find, on the road…). All in Xtol 1+1.
(Extra note, 14 Jan 2004: see a digital exposure test version of the same shot as a comparison)
As Courtney has wisely reminded me so often, the best gifts are the unexpected ones that you realize really ought to have been on your wish list (though the couple of gifts I received from my wish list are most treasured too). I’d place as a close second the gifts you give to yourself to share. Thus the best gifts of the season have been the trip to see our family in Minnesota, and as a happy side-effect, a chance to make pictures of my parents and brother’s family in their own homes (note to my sister, who lives nearby in Oakland: you’re next!).