Breaking Eggs to Make Omelettes. Recent Mistakes I’ve Made with Film.

Mistakes can be frustrating… incredibly frustrating.  But hey, I’m not a doctor and we’re not playing with people’s lives here.  So if I make a mistake, no one dies.  That’s a good thing, because I make a fair bit of mistakes with my photography.

Here are three mistakes that I will not* make again.

Mistake #1) While developing in front of the TV, I grabbed the fixer instead of the developer.


Impact: Ruined two rolls of 120mm film completely.  😦

Lesson Learned: Pay more attention.  Only bring out the developer when you are developing.  When it’s time for the fix, bring out the fix.  Don’t watch TV (the fact that I watch so little means that when I do watch it my eyes get glued).

Mistake #2) While cutting up my film to be developed, I lopped off the side of a photo I liked.

Image  (3) (3) (2) (2)

Notice the lower left hand corner missing.

Impact: A corner of the shot is no longer there… Of course I can crop the image to get rid of it that diagonal edge.

Lesson Learned: Only cut film when it is hanging up.  This will keep the film straight.

Mistake #3) Overexposure of a building I liked.

Image  (3) (3) (3)-6

Impact: Loss of detail in the negative due to overexposure.

Lesson Learned: Metering in the shadows isn’t the same as metering in the sunshine.  Think about aperture and shutter speed.

Same shot but with exposure brought down 3 stops:

Image  (3) (3) (3)-6-2

Mistake #5: Constantly adjusting my photos in TIFF format instead of JPEG.

Impact: All photos you see on my blog are basically impacted. The above shot was probably reduced in exposure further than 3 stops because of the conversion to JPEG format.  When I adjust for exposure to showcase some of my photos, they are adjusted for what’s best while viewing them in TIFF format.  This is a non-compressed file whereas JPEG is a terrible, compressed web format. Another example, the reflection of the kids face in the second photo above (with the big word GOLD in it) was exposed enough to notice it.  But because all of the fine latitude of black and white film was stripped away due to the conversion to JPEG, his face is underexposed and lacking detail.

Lessons Learned: Increase the exposure in my photos.  But honestly, I get to look at my photos in much finer and better detail than could ever be showed on this blog.  Sorry for you ;-).

Mistakes suck of course but at least they keep things interesting.  I’m going to keep shooting regardless.



One thought on “Breaking Eggs to Make Omelettes. Recent Mistakes I’ve Made with Film.

  1. I’m always making that kind of mistakes.. forgot to fix, open the tank main lid instead of the small one, switching chemicals.. but you definitely learn with your mistakes 😛

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