Second experiments

The next time I went out shooting film this was a lot easier than previously. This was because I had made lots of mistakes on the last experiments, from this I was able to change and learn from them. So far I have developed the film and it is drying but from what I have seen so far on the negatives looking at them in front of the light they already look better than last time.

I am just waiting to go back and make contact sheets as that is when you can really see if the film has been developed well and if the pictures have been exposed properly with the right shutter speed.

The problem with this time shooting film was the processing of the negatives. This was because I found it hard loading the film into the spindle and the tank was broken. This made me worried about whether the film would be eddected and not be properly developed. This is another reason to why I need to make a contact sheet and then go on to making prints. This then will show me whether the film is correct and if the pictures will come out correctly.

The actual shooting of the film however was a lot simpler and easier as I had practiced with the camera and looked up tutorials and other blogs which gave explanations as well my own previous experimentation and figuring out when I made mistakes. This made me better equipped to be taking pictures and made me calmer when taking pictures as i knew more about what I was doing.

For this second set of experiments I took pictures around my garden as well as around Plymouth town centre. This was another thing that got better after the first experiments, my confidence with taking pictures out in public. Instead of being shy and taking bad pctures because you do not want to be obvious and get stared at but because of this project I have gained confidence and have been able to take good pictures because the pictures matter more than what people think of me. This means that the overall quality of my pictures have improved.

There is still a while left for this project and I still have experiments left to do before the project is over. Over this time I hope that my knowledge and techniques are a lot better and film processes come more naturally.



For this brief we have to create 4 black and white film prints, in the first experiments i worked out that exposure is key. If the aperture is wrong then your prints could be ruined and nothing will come out they will either be too light or too dark appearing either white or black. For me i over exposed my film and most of my pictures apart from a few came out black, barely recognisable if at all. This is so unlike digital which i am used to using, i found this hard because in a digital print you can see the image straight away after being taken and decide whether or not to re-print it. You could even take lots of pictures to make sure you get the right shot which can be looked at closer on the computer afterwards. This is very different to film which i found frustrating.

I don’t like waiting to see whether something worked or not. I am one of those people who take lots time taking lots of pictures just to make sure it is right, where as with film its like shooting blind! Not being able to see the final image until the very end, and even when the final image appears you cannot edit it without scanning the image in and digitally editing it.

After this first exercise i came out with a lot more knowledge, knowing more about aperture especially. When i was doing my A-levels i knew nothing about film cameras, the camera guy gave me a film camera and put it on an aperture he thought should be suitable for what i needed it to be, then i hoped for the best when developing my prints. Since starting this project i feel a lot more comfortable putting film into the camera; taking it out; taking the pictures; developing the film ready for printing, i do however need to work on the next section of actually making the print. I have made contact sheets which i seem competent at, but have not developed a print in a while, which makes me nervous. This though i hope will be the same as shooting the film and like most other things, after a little experimentation and practice, developing film should start  to become easier and I hope the prints will start to become better.


How to develop film…

  • go into an absolutely pitch black room and put your unprocessed film into your developing tank, once closed shut you can take it out into normal light.
  • Add 150ml developer and 150ml water into the tank – this process takes 13 minutes – rotate for the first minute and then the first 10 seconds of every minute after that until the 13 minutes are up. Now you pour the liquid down the sink.
  • Next you add 300ml of stop and continuously rotate for 30 seconds, you can pour the stop back into the bottle.
  • After you can now add the 300ml of fix, this is similar to the developer except it is for 5 minutes, rotate the tank for the first minute and then the first 10 seconds of each minute after until the 5 minutes are up.
  • When this is all done the film is now safe to remove from the tank, the spindle should now be put into a bath of water which should be flowing continuously throughout for 20 minutes. This can be left for longer if wanted.
  • After this is done you can now take the film out of the spindle and either put in a heated dryer or be left out over night to dry – just make sure that the film is completely dry before making your initial contact sheets.

Equipement for making contact sheets…

  • Devere 504 enlarger
  • Neg carrier
  • 35mm apature
  • 50mm lens
  • contact printer
  • Dev tray and tongs

Medium format camera

Medium format cameras are film cameras that use a larger film format. it records images on film larger than 24mm by 36mm(full from) (used in 35mm photography) but small than 4 by 5 inches. From the film being larger the picture quality is a lot higher. Most medium format camera take ‘120mm’ film which is 60mm wide which is larger than the typical 35mm film being 36mm wide, ‘220mm’ film is also used in medium format cameras this is the same width as ‘120mm’ film but double the length.

A well known film camera which is one that i would like to try out for this project and research more into is the Hasselblad camera.


HASSELBLAD CAMERA – made by the Hasselblad corporation of Sweden, and use the German made Carl Zeiss lenses. The Hasselblad camera first came out in 1957, this was one of the first system cameras, this meant that almost everything within the camera was interchangeable. Cameras before the Hasselblad were delicate and prone to breaking but Victor Hasselblad wanted a camera which could be used in all conditions, they were strong and reliable as well as durable this is why if well maintained a Hasselblad camera can still work perfectly fine after 40 years.

Using a Hasselblad camera had 3 rings  (from front to back) – the first ring is focus – the second ring is aperture for controlling the diaphragm – the third ring is for shutter speed, from 1/500 to 1 second.


Before writing this post i had absolutely no idea what a medium format camera was, after wring this post i can’t wait to start using one and taking some pictures. I love using film and since researching it in more depth it looks more challenging than regular 35mm film but still fun and i can’t wait to start using it to see the differences and resemblances.

Camera obscura

Camera obscura – latin for ‘dark room’.    –


An optical device that led to photography and the photographic camera. Camera obscurer consists of a dark room or box with a hole in the side. When light from outside of the box comes through the hole is projects onto the opposite wall. The picture is as accurate as if you were looking at the outside itself, the colours and perspective are the same except the image is upside down. This is due to the fact that light travels in straight lines and when the light passes through the small hole turns the image upside down. This is the same as our eyes except our brains put it the right way round, you can do the same with camera obscurers except this involves mirrors.

If the hole is made smaller the image becomes more defined but dimmed from light but if the hole is made larger the definition becomes less and the image becomes brighter.


Camera obscura dates back to 390bc in the writing on Mozi a Chinese philosopher, he correctly asserted that the image is flipped upside down because light travels in straight line. It is a known fact that in the 17th century painters used camera obscurer to paint accurate portraits, it is thought that Johannes Vermeer painted ‘Girl with a pearl earring’ using a camera obscura although it is not certain. In 1490 Leonardo da vinci there was 2 clear descriptions of the camera obscurer in his notebooks, showing that he too as a painter used this device. Although at the time other artists saw this as cheating so use of the camera obscurer was not widely appreciated.

How to make a camera obscura –



C. 1835 William Henry Fox Talbot, national media museum collection.                                                                                                                  –                                                                                                                         –

The worlds earliest surviving negative – taken 1835 by William Henry Fox Talbot from a mousetrap camera, also known as a Talbot mousetrap camera as he created one of the very first photographic images to survive.

latticedwindowlattice window at Lacock Abbey – first image created by Talbot in 1835 now preserved in archives in Bradford.

1833 Talbot was honeymooning in Italy when he started to think about camera obscurers and what if you could find a way to fix the image instead of just using it as a drawing aid. “How charming it would be if it were possible to cause these natural images to imprint themselves durably, and remain fixed upon the paper!”

Once back in England he started to experiment with light sensitive paper, which was done by covering the paper in silver salts. He started with negative silhouettes of leaves and lace produced by contact printing, he called this ‘photogenic drawings’.

He then attempted to capture images from nature first hand by placing the light sensitive paper inside of a camera obscurer but his failed due to the insensitivity of the paper joined with a limited aperture lens  led to there being a very long exposure to capture an image. This was fixed when Talbot realised that exposure times could be shortened by having a large aperture lens and a small image size.

m198202370004 Mousetrap camera

To make the mousetrap camera he used lenses out of telescopes and microscopes which he cited into cubes of 2-3inches. The name came from Talbots wife written in a letter, from when Talbot used to place the boxes around their house and wait for the sun to work it’s ‘little bit of magic’ and she referred to the boxes as mousetraps, since then the name has stuck previously stated also known as Talbot mousetrap cameras.

    • Joseph Nicéphore Niépce – born 1765 into a middle class family. He had a career in teaching and the military. in 1801 his interest in science began which is when he started to experiment and make inventions. It is possible that as early as 1793 when they started to discuss light to produce images. Although the experiments did not start until 1816 because of other interests such as combustion engines for boats. Niépce died in 1833 dreaming of recognition, but in 1839 Daguerre’s daguerreotype overshadowed Niépce’s heliograph.
    • Jerry Spagnoli – born 1956 he began working on the daguerreotype in 1995 to focus on broad information filled views. He thought that ‘daguerreotypes render things with a sense of real space and volume produces with a feeling of palpable reality.’ Spagnoli is one of the world foremost contemporary daguerreotypists shooting street scenes and portraits but in a very postmodernist way.gallery2a
    • Daguerre – Dagurreotype  – Louis Daguerre began experimenting with the effects of light upon translucent paintings in the 1820s. He formed  relationship with Niépce to improved Niépce’s process where he already created the first permanent photograph. After many years Daguerre had created a more convenient and practical method. The Daguerreotype was the first ever commercially successful photographic process. Each Daguerreotype is a unique image on a silvered copper plate. They were very expensive to make so only the wealthy could afford them. are very detailed and accurate and sharp. Because the material it is made out of they are very fragile but also very vulnerable and fragile.
    • Chuck Close – born 1940 – collaborated with Jerry Spagnoli together they produced a series of self portrait daguerreotypes as well as close up front and back nudes.’my work is all about focus and scale.’ Close is best known for his large scale photo-based paintings. Hung in London’s portrait gallery as well as many others. His work is a combination of painting and photography and printing. They are all put together to create a large scaled painting that looks like a photograph.chuck-close-daguerreotype-self-portrait

  • Brenton West  – trained in the art of silver smithing, inspired by Daguerre he took an interest into Daguerreotypes and now runs the only Daguerreotype workshop in the uk. Teaching people how to make them as well as getting them to make one themselves. The images are created on 999/1000 pure silver sheets.ChristopherBrentonWestRWA.jpg

    • Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky) ( – born 1890 considered a pioneer for surrealist photography, he was not just a photographer but a painter and film maker. He was the first photographer who’s images were more significant than his artistic work which meant her made a significant contribution to the evaluation of photography as an a form of art. Ray was inspired by expressionism and cubism his focus then changed to surrealism and dadaism after he met Marcel Duchamp. Ray created something called the rayograph without a camera but instead placing every day objects like thumb tacks and wire on top of a sheet of photosensitised paper and exposing it to light. Man Ray had created a new way of seeing which excited dadaists. He exposed the paper at least 3 times to create each rayograph, each time with a different set of objects which acted as a stencil on the paper. Man Ray said that he invented the rayograph not long after moving from new your to paris in 1921.Man_Ray,_1922,

  • Dadaism – Dada or Dadaism was a form of artistic anarchy born out of disgust for the social, political and cultural values of the time. It embraced elements of art, music, poetry, theatre, dance and politics.
  • surrealism – Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for its visual artworks and writings. The aim was to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality”.
  • Susan Derges – uses the landscape at nighttime as her darkroom. submerging large sheets of photographic paper in rivers using the moon and a flash light to expose the paper. trained as a painter and then turned into a photographer. it is called camera-less photography because it is creating photographs without a camera but instead using natural materials and processes.5

Jerry Spagnoli – ‘Slow exposures, small size, limited color sensitivities, temperamental chemical reactions and the difficulties in viewing the image on a sheet of polished silver all combine to present the viewer with the experience of having to negotiate the reality depicted.’


To investigate structures, opportunities and working practice of selected disciplines.

To reflect on current personal skills, qualities, experience and abilities, in line with the expectations of the creative industry.

To explore appropriate opportunities producing an action plan to enhance and develop potential progression and personal needs.

To develop effective networking, self-presentation and the production of effective and professional promotional material.

To develop an understanding of soft and interpersonal skills in effective communication and the importance of these skills in acquiring and sustaining employment.


To anticipate is to look ahead; this project asks that you consider an image not capturing a moment from present but creating images ‘already defined’ by the technology you are using. the term apparatus may refer to the equipment used in an experiment. It may also be used to refer to the interrelated discourses that create a particular ‘knowledge’ or practice, How does our understanding of apparatus anticipate the images we make? How do they control what is made? For example, how does a particular style of lighting or the angle of view or lens create a very specific type of image.

You may chose any subject to photograph. However, you must engage wit the subject using technology or technologies and/or equipment and produce creative images of your selected subjects that demonstrate engagement with and competence of the technology you use.

The only formal requirements are that at least one of your images must be created using a medium format camera and one must use controlled lighting.