one day at a time

to the east

© Verena Fischer 2013

Berlin | © Verena Fischer 2013

© Verena Fischer 2013

Berlin | © Verena Fischer 2013

© Verena Fischer 2013

Berlin | © Verena Fischer 2013

© Verena Fischer 2013

Berlin | © Verena Fischer 2013

© Verena Fischer 2013

Berlin | © Verena Fischer 2013

All pictures taken with: Zorki 3C and Jupiter 8 50mm f/2.0.
Ilford HP5+ souped in Rodinal (stand development).

The day before yesterday I decided to head east to check out the planetarium. The show inside is supposed to be really lame with animations from the 70s, but the building is just cool. It also made total sense to go there because I was heading out with my Zorki. Where better to go with a soviet camera than a place that made kids dream about being a cosmonaut?

To get to the planetarium I had to take a tram to Bornholmer Straße, and change there to the S-Bahn. I can’t remember having seen that station from the inside before, and I have to say that I quite like it. Picture 2 and 3 were taken inside and the first picture out front. The planetarium itself lies at Prenzlauer Allee and is surrounded by a little park. It was a rather sunny day, so I took a stroll in the park and filled up my roll of film there. I was practicing zone focusing and I was also shooting without a light meter for the most part, so a lot of the pictures in the park were actually quite overexposed. This doesn’t matter much, because one can do a lot in post processing, although of course in the darkroom it would result in a lot more grain. I’m trying to develop a feel for light though, so this was good practice. Now I know that on such a bright and sunny day I should either stop down even more (I was mostly at f/8.0) or use a higher shutter speed. Zone focussing worked well though and most pictures were sharp enough. My Jupiter 8 doesn’t seem to be the sharpest lens anyway, so it was as sharp as it gets.

When I got home that day I almost immediately proceeded to develop the film. And speaking of mistakes: I probably didn’t put the spool in correctly, since when I opened the tank after fixing the spool wasn’t at the bottom of the tank. Definitely not good enough for stand development. It didn’t end up too bad though. Maybe 2 mm of the top of the images are murky, but the rest is fine. Next time I’ll make sure to push the spool all the way down. Well, it’s all a learning experience.

By the way, in case you’re wondering: Scanning the pictures takes up much more time than developing. It took me about an hour to make the raw scans, which was followed by another hour going over the negatives one by one, selecting the ones I want to edit and doing basic sharpening on them. After that I roughly edited the ones I liked the most and picked the ones I wanted to show to you here. Finally I went over this final selection and removed dust and scratches with the clone stamp tool. This is boring stuff, but when you work with film, dust is unavoidable, even if you use antistatic solution and wipe the negatives before scanning. You see, it involves a lot more hassle than the digital workflow. However, it’s also rewarding. It feels like there is a lot more skill needed, starting with my fully manual camera, development and finally scanning, which seems to be an art in itself as well. In my photography course I have also been making prints and this again takes a lot of time. When at the end of 2 hours work you get to take a couple of nice prints home, it feels like you achieved something though.

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