Tuesday, 22 November 2011

...on the go (one day)

5am. I could not sleep... 

After a few minutes of looking at the room's ceiling I grabbed my bag and left hotel...City wakes up.  First cars on the street and wonderful smell of coffee from just opened coffee shops. Ten minutes with espresso and a cigarette over the corner ...good moment to load the film as well ;)
Then...there was just a walk through morning mist.

Waterloo Bridge
(Ilford Pan F Plus 50 in Caffenol-C-M)
National Theatre
 (Ilford Pan F Plus 50 in Caffenol-C-M)
On the River Thames bank
 (Ilford Delta 400 in Caffenol-C-L)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Espresso...(tests with Caffenol-C-L for fast films)

Enjoying quiet days after really busy time related to my last exhibition  I decided to do small experiments from my list ;). Alternative ways of developing are on the top of it. Described some time ago Caffenol-C-M became my favourite developer for slow and medium speed films. It gives results unreachable for other developers available on merket.
It is a time for faster films now and Caffenol-C-L. I have a box of undeveloped negatives. Some of them are even 2 years old. Its a good moment to work it out and try new methods as well. I grabbed roll of Trix (135) for a start.
Chemistry is the same as in case of Caffenol-C-M. Proportions are  different and Potassium Bromide (Kbr) has to be added. (all taken from Caffenol blog /please click the link/)

proportions for 0.5l:
- 8g of washing soda (has to be water free)
- 5g of vitamin C
- 20g of instant coffee
- 0.5g of Potassium Bromide (Kbr)

It is stand dev. 70min with 10 gentle turns at the beginning, 20°C. About 5 min of pre-soaking is recommended to promote even development.  I am always pre-soaking (even before using traditional dev methods) so it is kind of routine for me.
Long waiting time to see the results.
Unfortunately all the excitement has gone when i took out completely empty roll from dev tank. What went wrong? ...
Caffenol-C-L is a very strict developer. All ingredients has to be perfectly prepared and measured. I did everything exactly as it has to be done.
I decided to contact Reinhold, author of Caffenol blog .
He advised me to check bits and pieces i wasn't really aware of. One of them it was to ensure a type of washing soda I am using. I tested it in the oven. 100g of washing soda on the tray in 120°C. After a while I noticed a water allover soda on the tray.

washing soda in the oven (with water)
That’s it! Caffenol-C-L require water free soda! To be honest i didn’t know that washing soda I am using has water in it...especially when it works perfectly with Caffenol-C-M where theoretically water free soda should be used as well.
Anyway, after a bit over an hour I took the tray out of the oven. I checked weight of soda again - Only 38g!
There was almost 2/3 of water in it obviously.

washing soda after over an hour heating
After that I repeated all developing process. This time everything went perfectly.
Below you can see result. This photograph was taken about year ago in Wicklow Mountains.

Wicklow Mountains. Nikon F5, TriX 400 (135) in Caffenol-C-L
After TriX I developed roll of Ilford Delta 400 (120), just a couple of months old. The same proportion, time and temperature as in case of TriX.

Killruddery Gardens, Yashica Mat 124G, Ilford Delta 400 (120) in Caffenol-C-L
According to Reinhold's advice I can add relatively more soda instead of drying it. It would be better to have waterfree soda of course but this method works quite well.
I assume the same will be with Caffenol-C-H. Will try it tomorrow. You can follow my facebook  website to see the results. Thanks!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

"Coffee Flavour" - exhibition

"Coffee Flavour" is on the walls of Ranelagh Arts Centre Gallery. It’s doesn't really mean that the project is finished. I will definitely continue to work on it as long as I will have people happy to seat in the front of my camera with a cup of coffee...and they will be ready to expose their minds ;)

Most of you know what this project is about however here you can see a short note from the exhibition:

The idea of “Coffee flavour” project (carried on since 2009) was inspired by film “Coffee and cigarettes” by Jim Jarmusch. Presented series are portraits of personalities rather than people themselves, personalities shown through human thoughts and the moments in which they were born, quiet moments of contemplation.
Time with a cup of coffee itʼs time to focus and clear your mind, to hunker down and get ready for the day. It is simultaneously a wonderful way to relax and to lose touch with reality for a moment, time to slow down and recharge, time for “Coffee flavour “.

All presented photographs are silver-gelatin prints on Ilford Multigrade IV RC Deluxe Pearl paper. Printing itself took over a week which is quite a short time as for 21 prints. I am pleased with the result and appreciate all good feedback I received after all!


phot. Rafal Kostrzewa (three photographs above)

The opening night (07/11/2011 7pm) it was a very special event with lots of fantastic people. Thank you very much for coming in!!!
I would like to thank especially Mel, a good friend of mine for wonderful introduction, Sarah, David, Sara, and Terry from the Gallery, Sylwia, Artur, Bart and Luis for helping me before the opening and of course all models!

phot. Monika Sikora

phot. Edita Malenko

At the end fantastic underground video footage by Andy Sullivan. Thanks for that mate!