Saturday, October 1, 2011

Memories on My First Film

Back in college, I took up Basic Photography class as part of my curriculum. It was one of those subjects I dearly enjoyed and missed - the assignments, the fun and frustrations while shooting our subjects in focus, the  growing excitement to see the developed prints and my first clicks on my first ever manual slr, a Nikon FM10 model. Unfortunately, I only got to take joy of the newly gadget for a brief 2 months time because it was stolen during our shoot for our Drama Film. It took me weeks of continued stress before I could actually get over and move on (imagine enduring the anger of my parents, the pressure to find the cam and the crook all while studying for my finals and working til dawn for my major projects in Media Production). 

Kodak Black and White Film
Still feeling blessed, I managed to get myself back on track and pass the said subject with flying colors and still was able to enjoy my last year in DLSU-D despite the unlucky incident. My group was awarded the Best Narrative Film for our short film "Cuckoo" during the annual student video competition, it was definitely one of my proudest moments. Working behind the camera is one of my passion that ultimately helped me land a job in ABS-CBN.

Going back, I was recently looking for something on my deserted files when I glanced at a white film cover that says B&W Film. I opened it and thus the instant flashbacks. This Kodak Black and White Film was developed in a Dark Room by yours truly. It was our class' first try of developing our own rolls of black and white film. I remember how excited I was to enter the Dark Room after being briefed by our professor (I tell you, it takes heck of a skill and lots of practice to handle the film from taking it out of the camera to carefully putting it into a reel just merely touching the edges of the film and not practically see a thing). As we enter, I can't help but take notice of the strong chemical smell. The first part of the developing process needed to take place in the Dark Room because light should NOT touch the film and so we're all practically blinded. Taking the roll out of the camera was easy but putting the roll to the film reel was quite tricky - it should be properly inserted from the very start and should not overlap one another making sure that my hands are not touching the surface of the film. After that meticulous process, I then placed the film reel into a film tank where chemicals will be poured. Thankfully, we can already turn the lights on for this particular step. Watch the video below to see How to develop a 35mm film (again, all are done in a freakin' dark room)      

Left: Leaning Tower of Pisa? Lol
we use masking tapes to serve as a guide to know which images we want to be printed out

After the chemicals are poured in and out of the film tank, it's now time to take the roll out and see if my first film developing would indeed be a success. I was becoming more nervous as one by one my fellow classmates were gushing their disappointments over their films. My eyes glistened as I unrolled the film and realized all the images were developed! My African-American professor congratulated me for a job well done. Pure bliss!  In photography, doing it right on the first actual try saves us students a few hundred bucks.
part of the film roll
And here's the final print! (scanned)
Aklatang Emilio Aguinaldo in Black and White (my favorite tambayan!) 

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