Friday, March 28, 2008

Doubly Exposed and Cross Processed at the Roll End in Tripoli

The D50 is gathering dust whilst I'm experimenting (with mixed results) at xpro with the Chinon CS. I've been doing this half-heartedly until I had a chance to check out what the film processing was going to be like in Tripoli, and I did that last night.

The people in the shop were a bit freaked out by the quality of the pictures, but appeared quickly to accept the aesthetic of cross-processing when I explained it. So far so good, but things went a bit awry when the commercial film scanner they were using also freaked out. So only four of the roll was scanned.

Still, this wasn't too bad: it only cost me 2LD (about 70p) and I've got the developed negs (and not chopped up into manageable chunks the way you get them in Blighty, but in one intact roll), to try again at another shop. Also, the scan is a relatively high res - each photo was about 1.4mb. So that's twice the size of what you'd get for at least a fiver in the UK.

The owner of the shop told me that he'd visited England many times, including Newcastle, and also Bournemouth (twice), Brighton, Nottingham and Hull. Whatever. He spoke very good English which means at any rate that I can discuss my photographic endeavours with him. The shop can't develop 120 or any B&W, but if I develop my own 35mm B&W they can of course scan that.

Anyhow, my first roll of Tripoli xpro isn't a great prima facie success. However, it has awakened me to the possibilities of some of the shapes and contrasts here. Those colonial street lights, the mature palm trees, and the black and white Tripoli taxis.

This is of course all part of my cunning buy-an-m-series-leica plan. I've got four rolls of E6 (one in the Chinon, three in the fridge) with which to experiment and puzzle the Tripolitian film processors. When I've used them up, sharpening the skills as I go, I've got four rolls of B&W to develop myself and get scanned in that shop: three of Kodak Professional 100 Tmax, and one of Ilford Delta 100. If I'm taking canny pics by the the time I get the CD of scanned pics from the Ilford back from the shop, well then, eBay here I come, plastic in hand.

Or something.