Friday, January 21, 2011

110 Film!

Today I write about getting my 110 film processed and printed. I also discuss my continuing fun shooting with the Fuji Instax 210 and the Hipstamatic iphone camera application.

I raced out to catch the moon setting between banks of clouds. I'm not much of a morning person and had barely started into the Blend 101. I squeezed three off the Instax 210 before I realized the focus was set to near as it always is at power on. Bummer. The sky seemed big as the sun crept over the coast range to the west and the moon dropped. Southwest
Ophir moonset morning, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/11
The Instax 210 sideways has a really tall aspect ratio of 1.6 (4"x6" is 1.5). Looking through the plastic viewfinder inspired the Sony '3 up' mosaic, here cut in two for effect. The "Amy Lyn" was crabbing right off shore. West
Sony DSC-H1 with Tele adapter has trouble focusing on Ophir moonset, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/11
Ophir moonset morning, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/11
The moon passed below the clouds before I could get the old Sony to think about focusing on it. After all these years, the H1 has a 'point and pray' vibe to it that has grown old. The coffee was cold on my desk upon return.
Sony DSC-H1 with 1.7 tele adapter struggles to focus on setting moon, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/11

Instax interlude
A comment came in last night that got me thinking about holding filters onto the lens of the Instax 210. I have a step up filter adapter and a uv(0) filter (that I'm still unsure what, if anything, it does). It appears the ring adapter will affix to the lens fine. Glue and tape? It sure scratched the plastic in the mean time. It will be cool; I was thinking of turning the exposure to "lighter" and using a stronger polarizing filter. There is certainly much near-forgotten knowledge about shooting on instant film to be found.
Instax 210 with ring adapter for future filter attachment. Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/11
Instax prints are puffy. I experimented with cutting them and photographed that bit. Slicing down to uniform edges can be done.
Instax 210 print's puffy edges removed. Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/11
Instax 210 print's puffy edges removed. Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/11
The emulsion layers do not seem to peel apart to lift the image out. It was worth a try.
Instax 210 print's puffy edges removed. Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/11
On edge view after the resection.
Instax 210 print's puffy edges removed. Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/11

Begin 110 film discussion
110 film and processing and prints. Andrew D. Barron ©1/22/11
Two rolls of very expired Kodak 110 Gold 400 shot in a Minolta 440E arrived in a handwritten processing form and package.
110 film and processing and prints. Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/11
Last night I spent forfreakingever scanning Instax prints with a friend's HP all-in-one thing. Reminded me of scanning 12" vinyl album cover art for the Guy Clark website I made in 1999. Things haven't changed much. Between my increasing alienation from MS OSes, Windows 7 idiosyncrasies, a poorly suited photograph scanner. . .inventing a workflow for digitizing the prints. . .well I learned a lot. Such as: a digi snapshot will just have to work (for now).

The 110 prints are 4"x5" (10.2x12.65cm), with a finish between matte and glossy, leaning more towards matte. The photo paper is not branded. I'm amazed a 1977 camera with 2001 film produced an image. The service from lab was superb and Kendal spoke with me for a while about how to proceed after the negs came out. This wasn't a cheap experiment, forking out $43 for 45 prints, including the film and two way shipping. It was a fun first time in a long time to use a film lab. At about $1 per shot, I'm in the familiar land of pricey shots with a super cool vibe that also carry much intangible value. I'll likely shoot more instant film than 110 in the future. The pros here are mainly image size and the 'negatives forever' thing that can be scanned or printed again. Qualitatively, the Instax 210 image are about 2/3 the size of these 110 prints. Also, they are not at all comparable in terms of image aesthetic, nor should they be. It just so happens that my 110 & instant film stuff is happening all at once.
110 prints. Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/11
110 prints. Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/11
From the northeastern side of the Patterson Bridge over the Rogue River, Gold Beach, Oregon. This was shot on 1/3/11, just after I perused a book of photographs by Roger Dorband at the Wedderburn store. See that blog.
Patterson Bridge over the Rogue River, Gold Beach, Oregon. Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/11
These three shots are the best of the 45 with the 110. There's another 5 that are good, too. That's close to a 20% success rate on film; better than digital for me. There are another 20 that are a "C" grade; passable. The remainder were failures because of focus, film speed/lighting and not knowing what the Minolta shot well. The negs contain more image area than the prints and show my 'as shot' framing. I will be glad when I scan the negs eventually. I see a lens rig for $30 that uses the sensor in a digital camera to image slides. Maybe it will work for negatives too?

The process was a great experience. Shooting with a 110 inspired much album dusting and photo viewing from friends. Other conversation enforced a nostalgic sentiment that times have changed. Some long for the old days.

It was a nice sunset. The light was poor at the beach but the sky was beautiful. Here's some Hipstamatic shots until I bust through the Nikon's images. If I do. I have been writing too many blogs.
Ophir sunset, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/20/11
Kaimal Mark II on Pistil
Ophir sunset, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/20/11
Kaimal Mark II on Ina's 1969
Ophir sunset, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/20/11
Helga Viking on Ina's 1969
Since I am new to film photography, there's some difficulties sharing the images on the computer. It is completely backwards and ridiculous to try to communicate film in a medium that is stripped of the very essence of what analog even means. So forgive me while I stumble through this process. There's definitely no 'film vs. digital' thing happening for me, but rather, 'photography through the ages' as life spirals into the unknown.

Efforts to communicate analog photography with digital approximations for these 'consumer grade' prints is a let-down. Film photography can become the 'other' one-of-a-kind art for the 5 people on Earth (give or take) who care about or would want the kind of thing I am working on here. I can see that owning one of these experimental prints (that's you) would be interesting. Others could have their stories from the past come back to life standing in front of one of my '110 prints as art' from 2011. Interested? Operators are standing by. :)

I'm glad I did it. There's much worse things to waste money on. Would you do it again? Yeah. Why not 35mm? I don't have one. I don't think I want one. My collection of digital cameras captures nearly every image I seek. I long to shoot big, beautiful landscape images inspired by the likes of Mr. Adams Mr. Clifton, and Mr. Neill. The most reasonable solution is 4x5 shooting. I'd rather look towards large format photography before I look to 35mm seriously.


  1. gosh ... i am so in love with your sky photos. My favorite photo was the very last picture .. "the sunset". Was that taken by instax?
    I wish the weather would get warmer so I can take my instax out. Its -6 degrees in the morning - and Ive read that instax pictures dont come out as well on low temperature weather.

  2. Even here (not -6!) I put the film in the house or the car immediately after ejection from the 210. Most of my bad experience with instant pack film was because of the cold; this type of instant film is different and you will have to test it to see. I would bet that cold fingers, cold camera, cold film....well. I'm convinced of the tiny-but-important aspect of 'camera shake' and shoot my instant film cameras braced on a tripod.

    The instax is fun to shoot indoors. Self portraits are funny because the camera itself makes me laugh out loud looking at it.


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