Kevin Bjorke
Kevin Bjorke
2 min read

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Mpls, 2004

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.

I keep grasing at a better definition of why, but in the end I still really love the way black and white film looks, and no digital sensor has yet to match its properties, particularly in tonal range (detail and smoothness, yes — and then some). The whole package: light weight, durable cameras, the feel and smell of it with the fixer on your fingers, the latitude and the grain and the direct physicality of it — it still calls to me in a way that newer media, lovely though they may be, have not yet called.

With that in mind I stocked up this morning on a wee bit of Neopan 1600 for Nicole and Brandon’s upcoming wedding, in February. Courtney & I will be shooting photos of the event, I’m starting to work-through the initial various bits of typical logistical planning: when, where, indoor, outdoor, who is who, what kind of ceremony, which relatives need to be seen, staging areas, electrical power, the whole usual list.

The wedding is intended to be “casual, quirky, fun” — I wouldn’t expect less. Yet how that translates into photos is open question, so the basic banal issues — intended to reduce the number of undesired surprises — are more or less the same as (or more than) a more traditional wedding (of course I’m not expecting a “give me a #2 with an over-the-shoulder of the bride at the window” sort of session… there are plenty of people around who are much more amenable to that sort of thing. But it’s funny how every guest inevitably asks if there are any photos of them with the bride and groom….). The experience will surely help Courtney & I get our own nuptial ducks lined up as well.

I’m still not sure if the event is indoor, outdoor, or mixed — if it’s outdoor the Neopan will get swapped-out for some of the HP5+ I’ve been collecting. It’ll all get used in time, regardless.

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