This morning I was sifting through a file on a hard-drive titled ‘Misc 120 B&W negatives’.
This contains a group of 120-size negatives that I exposed with my father’s old Rollei Model T in late 1986 and early 1987.
Unfortunately these were unlabeled because at the time, because I’d fouled up the processing and deemed the negatives ‘unprintable’.
There were multiple failures on my part during development;
1) I was using stainless steel tanks, which had the unfortunate characteristic of leading to an edge effect when the room temperature was substantially different than the developer temperature. In this case, the darkroom at college was too warm, and so the short-edges received more processing than the center of the image area.
2) I had my developer mix wrong and too cool, so the overall result was under processed leading to these negatives appearing very thin (light).
3) The combination of ineffective agitation and relatively cool developer combined with the warm tank sides resulted in streaking and low contrast.
Because I was dissatisfied with my results and at the time I felt the subject matter was ‘common’, I simply put the negatives away. (But I didn’t throw them away.)
While I have detailed notes from the trip, those notes are stored in Massachusetts. I am in New Hampshire.
If I recall correctly, this was late December 1986 (Dec 28?) and I was traveling with Norman Yellin and John Peters: we had photographed at Conrail’s Cedar Hill Yard, Amtrak’s engine facility in New Haven, before proceeding west along the North East Corridor. Late in the day, we paused at Fairfield, where I made these images along with some 35mm color slides.
Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!