Expensive Snapshots, pt. 2: an expensive mistake

This is actually the first 4×5 snapshot I snapped, the piece of film I burned that day, but it wasn’t the first time I’ve made this same mistake

So a reminder to me first, again, again, again: when you are itching to shoot and the handiest thing around is a 4×5 holder that someone else loaded probably 10 years ago, and you go off to just shoot, do yourself a favor and check your settings first…

In fact, even if you’re shooting digital and only have battery life and shutter actuations to worry about, even if just pulling out your phone to take a quick shot: please, please, please check your settings first. It’ll only take a second or two, and it’ll save you much chagrin later.

And of course, checking settings is exactly what I didn’t do… I just grabbed the camera and went for it… as much as you can with a Graphic View film camera, anyway.

I set everything up on this largish plant we inherited when Mom moved. The light meter app I use (Pocket Light Meter for iPhone and Android) showed 8 seconds at f/4.5 and iso 125. So I set the shutter to T, then clicked once to open the shutter, counted “one Mississippi… two Mississippi” all the way up to eight Mississippi, then clicked a second time to close the shutter. “One down, one to go,” I thought.

I then carried the camera downstairs and set up for another shot. I had a good deal of difficulty seeing through the ground glass, but got focus close, and took a meter reading: 1 second at f/4.5 and iso 125.

I went around to the lens and dialed in 1 second and tried the shutter. It’s “1 second” was a bit more like 1.5 seconds, so I figured I’d chance the bulb mode instead, and that’s when I noticed there was a ‘b’ and a ‘t.’ (I hadn’t noticed the ‘t’ the first time.) I played around a bit and figured out that b keeps the shutter open as long as the trigger is depressed and with t mode it’s click once to open and once again to close.

Anyway, it was then that I noticed the aperture setting… f/16. :facepalm:

What to do?

Well, I already knew I was just burning film, so why not go double exposure?

I opened up to f/8 and just guessed at two second shutter speed.

Here’s what I got out of it, after a fair amount of time in Capture One Pro 8 and Lightroom 6.

Looking at it now, I realize that it’s backwards, which means I scanned the base side… Oh well, shot’s not going to win any awards anyway, but I might re-scan it and maybe try to get a brighter pop on it, see if I can cull some more detail.

With all the fun I had with the other, (almost) properly shot version, let’s see what Capture One Pro 9 can do with this one.

It took me awhile, but the luma curves and more intelligent clarity slider helped pull out a bit more detail, I think…

Not bad… not bad at all. I kinda like this picture somehow. There’s loads of stuff to look at/for in it, but nothing really to find. And it allows me to recommend Capture One Pro again.

Oh! And I did try out the new airbrush and did a bit of masking to get rid of those two dots on the film… Not much to say: Airbrushes tend to annoy me, but it worked well for this particular application. I think those dots came from my monobath-coated fingertips… I developed both negatives at once, in two different plastic sandwich containers, and the second one that went into the soup got treated to a couple of spots of monolith for an extra. Yes, I should wear gloves with this stuff, and no it wouldn’t have made any difference, or I don’t think it would’ve.

Oh! and the scratches at the top are from the binder clips I use to hang negatives… I tried the film squeegee again (and found that the finger squeegee is better again) and the tugging on the film with the squeegee caused some bits of emulsion to tear off. 4×5 negatives are tough once they’re dried, but fragile when wet.

I finally got the color rolls shot through, so expect some further comments on my new workflow system in the coming days, and hopefully some decent color pictures too.

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