Old Lock

Old Lock. (Click on the photo for added detail.)

Last week I promised Leanne Cole, whose photography blog I have been following for some time, that I’d try to find a photo to share on her regular Monochrome Madness series. Right now my computer is in the hands of the shipping company, hopefully finding its way home, so there is no way I can process any new photos. Instead, I’m sharing something that has been a long time coming.

I took this photo at Nymans gardens in West Sussex, surely one of our favourite places in South East England. This was more than a year ago, when I was playing with black & white film. This is the roll that was not correctly developed, so frankly it’s surprising there is an image to share at all! The error resulted in a lot of grain, in what should be a silky smooth film stock. Thankfully, given the subject I shot, this unplanned effect actually added something to the mood of the images themselves, and they quite worked out, I think.

For this photo I used Ilford Pan F Plus film stock, with a 50mm lens, I think at its largest aperture (f/1.4). I took this handheld on my Elan II camera. The film was developed in Rodinal 1+50 solution, though something went wrong here (likely a chemical contamination in the developer solution) and the film developed very thin. I scanned the negatives and did the rest digitally. Post processing involved mostly scratch and dust removal, as well as correcting away some Newton rings. As usual I used curves layers to adjust contrast. Eventually I retook this image digitally at a more recent visit – I still need to process that, and when I do I’ll share that for comparison.

Click on the photo for a larger version; comments welcome, and of course feel free to share the link.



  1. There’s is something special about the “look” of film isn’t there? The texture of the grain and how it plays with the tonality is great in this photograph.

    • Thanks! Yes I think it worked out all right in this photo, even though it was unintentional. I find film to be much less “harsh” than digital in terms of tonality, more forgiving.

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