With the start of a new year comes an urge to try something different. It's an excuse to challenge ourselves. Over the Christmas holiday I began thinking about attempting a 365 photography project. Many others I know through Twitter had already begun or would be starting on the 1st January. I have been shooting a lot more film over the last year with the acquisition of the Leica and Hasselblad. I really enjoy shooting film but there is no question that it's an expensive hobby. 

With this in mind I decided to use the 365 as a way of teaching myself more about home developing and scanning. So I decided to embark on a 365 project which involves shooting at least one image per day and then developing and scanning the b&w film myself. I have limited myself to only using my Leica M6 with the Summicron 50mm f2 lens attached and shooting ilford HP5 400 film. I realise I won't be able to produce a great image each day, some days not even a mediocre image. But for me its really about learning more about the process of shooting film and being able to develop and scan myself. I also want to be able to shoot more without having to rely on a light meter.

Now almost a month into the project I can safely say, its been hard. I have set myself the target of shooting at least 1 roll per week (often more) which I then develop and scan over the weekend. This makes it more manageable. I have however struggled to write about each image and to post on a daily basis. This is why I am now sharing January in one post. I will add the last two days into the next post as we fly out to Iceland tomorrow and I wanted to get this up before we leave.

So far I have learnt a lot about the do's and don'ts when developing film. Having now developed a handful of rolls successfully I feel fairly confident with the process. It hasn't been all smooth sailing though. I have managed to ruin one roll by not fixing it for long enough and scratch part of another roll as one of the ball bearings had slipped out of the spool, causing it to get caught when winding on. As frustrating as this has been I realise it's all a learning curve and I won't make these same mistakes again.

Going forward with the project I hope to be able to post more consistently. I also want to try and get some thoughts down for at least some of the images I post. Anyway here is the first batch. The good, the bad and the ugly!



Home developing... Take one

I have been really keen to have a go at processing my own film for a while now. After seeing others on twitter getting good results I finally decided to give it a go. I have recently acquired a bag of old Olympus OM camera gear from a relative which was perfect timing.

I was up early last Sunday as the weather was so good. I headed out to the local park and canal to shoot a roll of Ilford HP5 on my OM-1n fitted with the super sharp Zuiko 50 1.8mm lens. It was really enjoyable using the OM-1, it really made me think about the shot before pressing the shutter.

I have to say processing the film was a lot of fun. I was excited and anxious to see if the film was exposed correctly. Pulling open the tank to reveal a near perfectly exposed roll was such a great feeling. 

Below is a selection of my favourite shots from the roll, there were one or two duds. I scanned the negatives on an Epson V600 and did some curves and contrast adjustments in Lightroom.

Overall I am really happy with how well they turned out. Ok they are not the most exciting shots, but I do feel they have a certain quality to them which I have never got from my X-Pro1.

Now to shoot another roll!