Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Last week, there were several aptly scenarios for a 'Final Destination' headline, what with the Wimbledon Championships also, going on a stones throw away at SW19. Over the warm and sunny weekend, I found time away from sipping Pimms No.1 on my tiny balcony watching the river activities before me, to clear my second bathroom. You see, this 6' x 7' box conveniently called a bathroom, with no window had been my perfect 'darkroom' for many years, from 1999 to around 2006. Since I have practically 'gave up the Ghost' on using film, I decided to re-visit the shelf where one normally stacks half-emptied shampoos and conditioners, and bubble-bath (yes, I do have my fetish..) bottles, to clear out the 'other' inhabitants there : Agfa chemicals.
I primarily used Agfa Rodinol, Sistan and Agefix on Fujifilm Neopan 400s when I was that way inclined. It seems they are all pass their shelf lifes by now. How sad. I still have several boxes of Ilford 12 x 16 paper and some fantastic artpaper from Eastern Europe to which I have forgotten the name of for now. My Axomat enlarger and baseboard (again, Eastern European) still occupies space in my wardrobe, amidst the other rubbish I have gathered over the years.
(PS>Anyone wants a brilliant Meopta Axomat enlarger with a Nikkor lens, please email me!)
I do not actually miss hand-processing film and printing. The setting up and prep were a real pain. Also, the amount of fresh water used in the washing process was insane and unjustifiable in my mind. I used to fill up the bath tub with cold icy water and used that as a dunking bath for the prints straight from the fixer tray which sits on a large MDF board over the bath tub. And then there's the clearing up and washing afterwards. Of course, not breathing the chemical fumes also add years to one's lifespan, they say.
Now where's the Pimms...?