first among many

first among many

Originally uploaded by kaiyen

This is from my second batch of tests to find a “holy grail” of b&w film and developer. This was taken just last weekend while hiking through Alamaden-Quicksilver Park in San Jose. It’s a great park in that it has a lot of different trails, several grades for variety, and the sun moves in and out for the most part. I took a slightly different route this last time and will be doing a review of that route soon.

As for the photography…one of the great benefits of 35mm film is that the cameras are small and portable. The downside is that with a relatively small negative size you need excellent sharpness to stand up to enlargement. And with sharpness comes grain.

My goal has been to find a film and developer combination that will control grain yet give me good sharpness. Certain developers (in this case, Perceptol) are very fine grain, dissolving it, but at the expense of sharpness. When you dilute such developers, you increase sharpness. My hope was that using such a fine grain developer, diluted, would give me a sharp, fine grain developer.

Well. Guess not. Sharpness is good – excellent perhaps – but the grain is still more than I had hoped. I will try this with some slower, finer-grain film (this film isn’t fine grain to begin with – I was hoping to tame it) but will also move onto other developers.

It was a beautiful hike regardless.

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