Last Thursday I visited St. Mary’s Church in Saffron Walden with my Ondu pinhole camera and that day shared some digital pictures I took while waiting for my long exposures. Today the postman delivered my developed negatives, so I immediately set about digitising them to see if I’d got anything good. I do this using my Panasonic G9 camera and a macro lens, with the negatives backlit by my iPad. You can see the set up here if you shoot film and fancy trying this yourself. When scanning 120 film negatives I’ve made one little tweak to my set up and that’s to use my G9’s high resolution mode. This shoots several images, with the camera sensor moving slightly between shots. They are then combined in-camera to create an 80 megapixel picture – handy for capturing the details in larger negatives.
My film for this shoot was a roll of Kodak TMAX 400, which expired in 2006. You never know quite what you’ll get out of expired film, but at £3 a roll it was worth a punt. I’m pleased with the results – you’d never know this film should have been developed thirteen years ago!
With a tripod to shoot from, I took my time, seeking out different compositions. I’ve quickly learnt that you really some foreground interest with such a wide-angle lens – around 25mm on a medium format camera. Because of this I sought out places around the church where I could include a architectural detail in the foreground. I took lots of time to compose my pictures, using the framing lines engraved on my camera and its built-in bubble level to help me. This certainly paid off, resulting in more interesting pictures and straight walls too!
Elsewhere in the church I used wider views to create patterns with the arches and these worked much better for taking a slow approach. It took me about an hour to shoot these twelve pictures – definitely much slower than I would have been with a digital camera. However, the result is a triumph as I felt all of them were worthy of sharing – that’s definitely a better keeper rate than I might ordinarily expect!
13 November 2019