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Young, new and broke!

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by James B, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. James B

    James B Member

    Hi, I'm a 16 year old aspiring photographer, have just joined this forum, and was hoping to pick your brains. Having just brought the B&W special AP, I've decided to give B&W photography a try. Reading around, it seems like all you guys have amazing, expensive equipment, so I feel a bit left out. Lately I have started building up a small collection of equipment, I'm using a Canon EOS1000 with a Canon 52mm, 35-80 zoom lens 1:4-5.6. I have a couple of Hoya filters, a Manfrotto tripod, a Cobra dedicated flash and that's about all. So far I have achieved some reasonable photos on it so I haven't been put off too much, however as I want to get more into the portraiture side of things I'm wondering where things are going to go from here. As I mentioned, I want to give B&W a go, and look forward to receiving my Ilford Delta Pro film, however, everywhere I have read talks about processing and developing it yourself, and for someone who has not done this before, can anyone advise me the cheapest and easiest way to do so???

    Any general advice, pointers about my equipment, what you recommend etc, would be greatly appreciated. James.

    Wannabe Photographer
     
  2. Happy Hens

    Happy Hens Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum James.
    I have done my own B&W processing in the past, but I started at the Edinburgh Photographic Society as they had walk in darkrooms that members could use day or night, so it would be worth checking your local camera club. For details of camera clubs near you look at the Websites Of Interest section.
    Another possibility is to buy a C41 process monochrome film (films that can be processed in colour chemicals but come out monochrome) such as Ilford XP2 Super, Kodak 400CN and also a film highly recommended by one of the forum regulars is Kodak B&W 400 Select, which has been said gives truer B&W prints on colour paper and this way you won't have to pay the high cost of B&W developing.
    If you want to know more information on B&W developing then look at the Websites Of Interest section and you will find links under Photography.

    Billy

    FRIPN
     
  3. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Or the other possibility is Agfa Scala, a B&W slide film. Only suitable if you have facilities for slide viewing or scanning, and a bit pricey, but an excellent film.

    Nick BSRIPN
     
  4. James B

    James B Member

    Thanks for your advice, I've done a bit of looking around, and found an Art Centre down the road from me that offers use of their darkroom for £5 for a 3 hour session, including all the chemicals, paper etc. This sounds good to me, is it the norm? And how long would it take a beginner with some guides to develop a 36 exp. film?

    Wannabe Photographer
     
  5. rkilpin

    rkilpin Well-Known Member

    as long as all your chemicals are all sorted out and your conifident at loading your film on to a spiral, shouldny take any longer than 25-40 minutes to dev the film (well, it took that long for me to do my first ever one on tuesday afternoon!)
     
  6. Lounge_Lizard

    Lounge_Lizard Well-Known Member

    You don't need a darkroom to develop the film. In fact, the safelight in a normal darkroom will fog the film. You WILL need a changing bag to load the film into a tank. Practice loading the spiral with a scrap length of film in daylight and then practice doing this in the changing bag by feel alone. If you've never loaded a tank before, this is the trickiest bit and will require practice.

    As for the rest of it, it's all quite straightforward to mix up the chemicals, get it to the right tempearture and splosh them into the tank. Best get an experienced photographer at the local darkroom to show you first time round. The dev, rinse, fix and wash steps will take at least 45 minutes and then you have to allow the film to dry - does the darkroom have a drying cabinet?

    David
     
  7. Lounge_Lizard

    Lounge_Lizard Well-Known Member

    You don't need expensive gear to take good photographs. Your camera is more than adequate. A good photographer is one who knows about composition and light - it is NOT the photographer with the most expensive equipment.

    Understand photography, know your camera, look at other people's pictures to see what works and what doesn't and develop your own 'style'.

    David
     
  8. Happy Hens

    Happy Hens Well-Known Member

  9. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    you sound like me james,well,the broke bit anyway,lol
    i too have an eos camera,an eos 300,with one lens,well,technically 2.
    id like to try medium format,get a cheap TLR,when my finances pick up.

    click,whirr,i got a free roll of Jessops HR200 and im not afraid to use it /img/wwwthreads/wink.gif
    Larry AKA Boz
     
  10. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    thats true David,some of my best photos were taken using my first SLR,a Zenit TTL.It was awfully basic,heavy and slow but thru that camera i learnt about photography and exposure.If id been given a state of the art jobby id prolly wouldnt have learnt so quickly.

    click,whirr,i got a free roll of Jessops HR200 and im not afraid to use it /img/wwwthreads/wink.gif
    Larry AKA Boz
     
  11. Raz

    Raz Well-Known Member

    Are you at college or school?
    most colleges or schools have some form of darkroom, my old secondry school had a cubord with an enlarger in it, its was poor, but its what got me seriously started. and if they dont, why not speak to head of art and see if you can get one? fund raiseing possibily?
    B W printing, C41, or regular B W on the high street is terribly poor. and getting the results of your first films, it will proboly put you off for life.
    but i would recomend getting them processed in the high street, then spending your time in the darkroom printing. or scanning and doing it digitaly.
     
  12. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Sound advice from Raz there which I would agree with 100%. There is no substitute for "doing it yourself" in the darkroom. High street processing of black and white is shite and you will do a far better job yourself.

    BigWill
     
  13. James B

    James B Member

    Thank you guys for such an enthusiastic response! There I was thinking you lot would be dreading yet *another* new kid! I'm going to ask my mates dad, a professional photographer for the local paper to come along and show me the ropes of developing B&W. Thanks for the advice on the C41 process B&W films, I won't bother at first then, as I had almost decided to go for this as a start...



    Wannabe Photographer
     
  14. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    The developing is Ok James (we are talking about chromogenic C41 black and white film here), it's just that the printing is naff and better left to yourself. Have your films developed by a high street outlet by all means but make your own prints from your own enlarger. The enprints you get from the high street developer will serve as reference prints.

    BigWill
     
  15. Glenn Harper

    Glenn Harper Well-Known Member

    I've rarely ever been in more agreement with anything on this forum than with this. It seems an obvious argument from one skint like me, but nevertheless this advice cannot be overstated.

    I continue to try and improve my pictures and develop ideas, but improvement so far definitely came about almost solely through looking at thousands of pictures and trying to understand their effect. Basic technique is easy. Buying expensive gear is easy for the wealthy. The great leveller is always the final image, and I continue to try and learn on this front. Don't think about beating other people's pictures - study the pictures of those that you admire, and those that are better than you. A lot of photography is about pure honesty, and knowing when you've got things right or wrong.

    I'm probably at an advantage because I'm thick - can't concentrate on reams of photo text so I'm naturally drawn to the photo's themselves !!!!

    And James, should you wish to produce pictures every bit as sharp as those with the £1000 lenses - the answer is around £40-£50 away in the form of a 50mm lens.

    Harper, professional waffler and purveyor of idiocy. /img/wwwthreads/smile.gif
     
  16. Mario

    Mario Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the site! I started out with an EOS500 and a 28-80mm lens. Slowly slowly I added to my kit and this was one the most enjoyable times in photography for me! Now I can buy what I want it's not really as exciting!! Photo wise you will be able to achive brilliant shots from what you have... a better camera doesn't automatically mean better pictures. Practice and get to know what you have and for the moment I would stick with the 50mm lens. This is a good quality lens and it will make you think about composition and moving around the subject rather than just zooming in! Anyway look forward to see you results and best of 'photographers luck'!!

    BTW: Holly is quite an attractive lady... not quite as nice as Pammy but a nice thought all the same!!

    Mario Greppi FRIPN
    www.dreamphotos.org
    www.streetphotos.co.uk
     
  17. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    well,as for not using fancy cameras,im going back to basics.the batteries are low on my eos so am borrowing my gf's dads cheap Bierrete thingy,no meter,totally manual,guess the exposure.it has a 45mm f2.8 meritar lens,aperture from 2.8-22,shutter speeds from 30-125 &B and a focus ring,have to guess the distance or stop the lens right down and let the films latitude take care of it

    click,whirr,i got no film left :(
    Larry AKA Boz
     
  18. James B

    James B Member

    How did you know about Holly? For those of you who don't know, I run Holly Valance's official website at http://www.hollyvalance.net/

    My photography website that I am developing at the moment is at http://jbphotography.vze.com/ however so far I only have images on there that I have taken on my cheapy digital camera, better photographs to come when I manage to borrow a scanner...

    Thanks for the advice about a lens, I was looking to buy a new lens, was thinking about a 300mm zoom lens but will look into a 50mm lens also now.

    Wannabe Photographer
     
  19. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    who is holly valance?

    click,whirr,we got our scanner working!
    Larry AKA Boz
     
  20. Mario

    Mario Well-Known Member

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