A Slow Return

Looking back through my negatives, it dawned on me that the last time I really did anything serious with photography and that was in May 2021 and it’s now November 2021.

It’s hard to explain in words why that is but I guess we all need a break from time to time but the danger in that is whether we return to where we left off.

I walked past my cameras daily, looked at them, thought to myself, I need to make some exposures but then walked away because the enthusiasm  I once had just wasn’t there anymore.

I knew deep down that if something didn’t change soon, this could be the end for photography and me so today, I decided to push myself and see if I could make an exposure on film, develop it and have the same interest as I have had in the past.

As I opened the darkroom door, I could see the developers sat on the shelf which had been previously mixed and were just sat there dormant in brown glass bottles.

The one at the front was some Kodak D23 which I had mixed around June and was using it replenished.

Now this developer only contains 2 chemicals, Metol and Sodium Sulphite and although the Sulphite is supposed to help the Metol from oxidising, I had no idea as to whether it was still active or not so this was going to be my test.

I grabbed the 35mm bulk loader and rolled a few frames on Ilford HP5 onto a spool and loaded it into the Pentax Spotmatic and proceeded to make an exposure of a simple still life.

After a quick look in my notebook for the development times, I went ahead and developed it for 7 1/2 minutes at 20 degrees.

Eggs In Nest HP5 D23
Eggs In Nest - Ilford HP5 - Kodak D23

You are probably saying… you could have picked a more. interesting subject and you are probably right but the whole exercise to me was to see if I enjoyed the process or not.

As I stood in the darkroom looking at the negative drying, the first thing that went through my mind was that the D23 was still working just as good as it was when I first mixed it.

Still early days but if I am honest, I still believe I have the interest in me to make more exposures both on 35mm and 5×4 and maybe even some with my Mamiya C220.

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