Black and White film processing

I shot a roll of Black and White film last week. What a strange feeling – kept looking at the back of the camera. Nikon f2, Tri-X , with 50mm 1.4, 24mm 2.8 and 35mm 2.8 and no LCD! Battery was dead so I shot by feel, nice to have the latitude of film as I’m sure that I did not nail every exposure. Focus might be my worst enemy especially close up with the 50/1.4 wide open.

I’m getting my film processed and scanned today and am finding that this delayed gratification thing is kind of neat. While digital has brought the process of photography home and provided instant feedback this whole analog process is bringing back some cool feelings. Like patience!

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So why am I going on about black and white film processing? Because I’m getting a contact sheet with my processing.  It was once an integral part of black and white photography – process your film, sleeve it and contact it. The term contact came from the fact that the negatives would be placed directly on top of photographic paper and exposed to light – in direct contact.  Your contact sheet told a story of your roll – a collection of images shown in the order they were shot that helped show the story you were trying to tell.  It also told you some technical things about your exposures, you could see if you nailed the focus (or not) and you would also use it as a reference to find your negatives. And you could hold it.

We’ve faithfully re-created the contact sheet digitally and you’d swear it’s the real thing. Starting today and going through May, if you get a roll of Black and White film processed and scanned we’ll also make a contact sheet – for free!