Week 52 – 52 Roll Film Photography Project – Complete!!!

Yahoo!!! 52 rolls of film shot! In a year with only a couple “bumps” in the road. I fully expected them… just not quite the ones that happened.

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When I started out… I was shooting 6 rolls, sending them to a lab via Canada Post, then waiting a couple weeks for scans. That made January into March. I should have posted my last roll mid March. I was happy with that arrangement too.

But fate had other ideas… my lab needed to close temporarily… I had rolls to develop and I seriously considered giving up, like pretty much every photography project I ever attempted before. But… dang it I had 5 rolls waiting and one in the camera… I didn’t want to give up!

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Plan B right? Find another lab… that really did NOT work out and I had friends saying “just do it yourself, its not hard.” Ummm… yeah… it is… I know nothing about this stuff! What does all the confusing stuff even mean? So… I looked at my bad negs from the lab and thought can I do worse?

Step one, get a scanner… I didn’t make a great choice there… budget model… the Epson V600 (in case I can’t do it. I can always re-sell it right?) My first scans were fairly bad, but better than the lab did… I just needed to learn. I did end up upgrading for 35mm film and using the Epson for medium format only, so it worked out in the end.

Step 2, buy some chemistry… hello Unicolour c41 kit! I mixed it up… then it took a week to build up the courage to try developing. I was sooooo scared, what if I’m doing it wrong? Oh… put on your big girl panties and just do it!

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Film sweats!!! Thanks to my friends who encouraged me… seriously, I never would have even tried without that encouragement!

Roll one is in there, the chemistry is in there… oh darn! I spilled blix on my favourite sweater! Am I doing this right? It looked easier on YouTube! So its time to open the tank… I don’t want to… I’m sure I screwed up… there won’t be anything there. Holy Dinah!!! There are photos and the negatives, they look ok! I did it!!! Happy dance.

Fast forward to the harvest from hades and Dad’s illness… I tried to shoot, but didn’t quite finish a roll per week… but it is OK, I allowed myself some slack. It is supposed to be fun, not extra pressure and right now I have a LOT on my plate… breathe… relax…

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Now it is January… and I finished shooting my 52 rolls. What a year, so much happened, I grew as a photographer. I even gave B&W a try and successfully developed that! In all honesty the B&W was more difficult than colour… all in all I did ok. Its not perfect, but it is complete and I am happy with it.

My next project is the Frugal Film Project, it has been a blast so far! The other photographers are amazingly talented and diverse. 2019 is going to be amazing. P.S. I know it will be Arpil when this is published…

Sherry

14 thoughts on “Week 52 – 52 Roll Film Photography Project – Complete!!!

  1. Congratulations Sherry on developing at home! I have a couple questions, did you upgrade your scanner for 35mm, and if so what to? Also, what about B&W did you find more difficult than color?

    1. Hi Sara, yes I did end up buying a dedicated 35mm scanner. A pakon (it’s amazing!) But the plusteks are pretty good too.

      I did find B&W much more difficult, not the process so much as choosing exactly which dilutions to use and mixing the ratios were more of a challenge! Unlike c41 it matters what film stock you are processing too!

      1. Ah okay that makes sense, there are a lot of options for b&W, what did you go with? What did you think the major differences are between your epson and pakon scanners? Right now I currently use a epson v600 for both my 35 and medium format.

      2. I chose hc-110 for B&W, mostly because of the shelf life and I can mix small amounts as needed. That’s perfect for me, because I’m a colour shooter for most of my work.

        Epson v600 does well in MF, but for 35mm I found it very time consuming and the scanner seemed to struggle with consistent colours with the 35mm. Even with different software (I’m using silverfast now) I could live with the slow speed but the colour was different on every frame and I spent a lot of time correcting it. Since I shoot a lot of 35mm… I decided to upgrade and I am happy I did! The v600 does a better job on the larger 120 negative and I will continue to use it for medium format. Hope that helps.

      3. I shoot much more medium format than 35 these days and mainly black and white. I am fairly new to a hybrid darkroom (about 2 years) so I always like to hear other peoples thoughts. I am much more comfortable in an actual darkroom, but that isn’t feasible currently. I have been developing my own film for over 10 years, it’s a part of the process I really enjoy, scanning egh not as much!!! lol

      4. That’s awesome! I’ve only been scanning a year and started developing June 2018. Total newbie!!! I really want to learn darkroom printing in the future too…

  2. Oh the darkroom is just pure magic. With film you do the steps and you see a finished product, in the darkroom you see the magic! It took me having too many bad experiences with photo labs to finally cave in and set up a digital darkroom. I have all the equipment for a darkroom just no real space. Someday! If you have a local community darkroom you should check it out. Nothing beats a silver gelatin fiber print! 🙂 I must say you are a bold newbie-most people are terrified to develop C-41 at home, hats off to you!!!

    1. Sara, there are zero film resources here… even finding a good lab was really difficult! That’s what prompted this madness.

      I just didn’t want to give up. Space is an issue for me as well, but I have a 2 year plan and have slowly been gathering the equipment. I was super terrified to try it… but seriously, the worst thing that could happen is I mess up a couple rolls of film!

      1. Well truth is the more that you can do on your own the better. As you get more comfortable you can get as technical as you want. Push, pull check out the infamous zone system. Its really a much better way to be able to get your own style and produce work that you know inside and out. Every time I had a lab do something I could do I always asked, could this be better. Keep shooting Sherry as I for one am a fan!

  3. Congratulations on finishing the project! You’ve accomplished so much in a year, from learning home developing to scanning, that’s really amazing. I don’t think I have the determination or patience to do a 52 rolls project.

    1. It was a challenge for sure… I’m glad I did it. Probably won’t do it again though…

      1. The main reason I joined in on Frugal Film Project is because it’s with a group . I have yet to finish a photo project, every year I’m always keen on starting one but never actually completes it. I seem to lose motivation to continue as I’m halfway through. With FFP, knowing that I have other people that can encourage me, and also learn from, eases some of my concerns. Also, seeing other members’ photos is exciting.

      2. I know right? It’s been so much more fun than a solo project!!! I’m glad you joined too… I love seeing what everyone has shot!

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