I don’t like winter. For those who know me, that is the definition of an understatement – I was the one who posted “I am already sick of winter” on my Facebook page – back in October.
I have photographed in the single digits (Fahrenheit) and the low hundred-teens, and my cold weather images are no more special than my comfortable temperature images, so I tend to do more printing in the winter. This being an unusually cold winter, my darkroom has been in the upper 50’s, so I finally fixed that by getting a decent space heater.
Recently, a friend of mine, Dave Stovall, with whom I will be sharing space along with a couple of other large format photographers in a show late next month, gave me a lifetime supply of Kodak E100VS. He uses this film, with its highly saturated colors, in the large format size to create intense photographs of the American vernacular. The film he gave me is marked as bad because it is either fogged or has lost the characteristics he requires for his photography.
I love it when I get something like this, which is why I purchased a small freezer to store the paper that has been given to me by people who have switched to photographing completely digitally. I loaded a few film holders with the film, put it within my pinhole sieve camera, and gave it several minutes of exposure from the front porch of my house. Using straight Dektol I developed the film and loved the results.
This is an easy example of one person’t junk being my treasure. I need to now work with the film to see what speed I will actually get with it and how to best use it, but the mere fact that it works gets me excited even more for the winter to be over.