New 55 Film

A few months ago (well, ok now that I look at it, it was last summer) – August 2015 to be more precise, I purchased some New 55 film.  This was a Kickstarter project to create a modern version of Polaroid’s Type 55 film which was an incredible product that in just a few minutes created a positive print as well as a negative.  The negatives that came from Polaroid’s Type 55 were just about flawless.  Low ISO mean almost non existent grain and having a negative developed instantly meant less work in the darkroom and ease of reproduction.  It was truly a genius invention.  And why all large format film processing didn’t end up like this, I’ll never know.

But now enter New 55, a truly herculean effort to restart this process without any of the original equipment from Polaroid.  The Kickstarter updates have always decried a lack of money to maintain operations and in order to raise some more capital, they started to sell some of their early batches of film.  Even as a supporter of this project through an early donation, I was anxious to try out the film and see how it would work!  I purchased a box to get my hands on some because, as it turned out, my 3 boxes of film promised as a Kickstarter reward would not arrive until just about 2 weeks ago.

So, last August on a warm summer morning, i ventured out with my friend Nori to make some photos in the Delaware Water Gap.  I’ve got some secret spots that I love to use.  And after we got up there and I started setting up the large format camera, I realized that I didn’t have my tripod mount plate.  Without this, I had no way to securely mount the camera on the tripod.  And shooting large format at 1/4 second is something that’s not easily done hand held.

But we had driven all this way to get something interesting and experiment with this early batch of New 55 film.  So, i tried my best to steady the camera balanced on the tripod and give it a go.  I think I shot 2 or 3 of the New 55 film sheets.  After I got home, I was eager to process the shots and witness the magic of New 55.  But my results were truly mixed.  Of the photos I made, only 1 of the New 55 sheets actually produced an image. And, although the scanned negative is somewhat interesting, I wasn’t very impressed with the results I got from the film.

Nori - Delaware Water Gap - New 55 Film

Nori – Delaware Water Gap – New 55 Film

My first impression of the film left a kind of sour taste in my mouth and I hadn’t touched it since.  When I got notice from New 55 that my Kickstarter rewards were going to ship, I was promised that this was version 2.0, everything was much improved!  So I was excited to try it again and had the perfect opportunity with an upcoming workshop I was about to help teach.  I asked each of the models if I could have 5-10 minutes with them to make a photo with the new and improved New 55.  I shot 4 sheets yesterday and brought them home to process them in my darkroom.  When I peeled apart the first sheet, there was nothing.  A bunch of grey goo on the print and a clear negative.  So, it was almost a totally black negative.  Could I have possibly underexposed that much?  Not likely given that I carefully metered at ISO 50 and double- and triple- checked my camera setting.  But maybe I made a mistake when I shot this one sheet.  So, I developed the second sheet, pulled it carefully through the rollers, 2 minutes development time, peel apart and another blob of grey goo on the print and a clear negative.  I was starting to get that sinking feeling in my stomach that I wasn’t going to get much of anything out of New 55 v2.0.  The third negative actually had an image, but there was a large streak across the top of the frame where the paper had stuck to the negative.  It appeared to be a salvageable image, but fundamentally flawed.  I had hope for the fourth sheet, but after processing it was all grey goo and clear negatives.

Floofie - Little Pond - New55 Film

Floofie – Little Pond – New55 Film

I honestly don’t know who these people are over at the New 55 Instagram account that are posting these much-closer-to-flawless images, but I am certainly not getting the kind of results that they are.  A 75% failure rate is certainly disappointing.  And I’m trying to figure out if it’s something I’m doing wrong, or my film holder is flawed in some way.  Or maybe it had to do with the fact that I didn’t process the images right away and waited a few hours until I was back home.  It’s hard to say.  I have one more sheet from my first box and two more boxes that haven’t been used yet.  I’ll continue to experiment and see if I can get better results next time.

© 2016 Scott Nichol
Unauthorized use strictly prohibited
And we mean strictly!


Opening the Vault

Zinn – Cape Hatteras Sunrise

Zinn – Cape Hatteras Sunrise

It’s truly been a while since I’ve posted anything new here.  I hope you’re all not too disappointed in me.  For some reason today I started to think of some old images I shot with an old friend a long time ago.  Almost 8 years ago this week Zinn and I traveled down to the Outer Banks from PA and spent a few days shooting on the beaches and dunes around Cape Hatteras, NC.  It was a time of tremendous creativity and learning for me.

Look for more posts soon, especially celebrating some of my early work.

enjoy!
scott

©2016 scott nichol
all rights held close to the vest.
any unauthorized use will be reported directly to your mother.


Beltzville, April 2014

lest anyone think i haven’t been shooting anything interesting lately, i’ve just been a bit behind on getting posts up onto the blog.

auris and i went out on a truly chilly april morning to one of my favorite outdoor locations. i usually use this spot to start off my outdoor work when it starts to get warm, but on this day, i don’t think it got much above 50 degrees! we were joined by Auris’ cousin who expressed an interest in giving the outdoor art nude a whirl.

Auris - Beltzville

Auris – Beltzville

Beltzville - Michelle

Beltzville – Michelle

both are scans of 4×5 negatives.

©2014 scott nichol
any unauthorized use will be dealt with swiftly.
so, don’t do it.


10am window light

Rebecca - 10am Window Light

Rebecca – 10am Window Light

the light coming into my front room around 10:00am is pretty wonderful.

model: Auris

©2014 scott nichol
no unauthorized usage!


Little Pond Workshop

The Little Pond Workshop is a wonderful opportunity for photographers of all skill levels to shoot with talented figure models in a unique setting on private property.  I will be serving as one one of the instructors along with 3 other very experienced figure photographers: Greg Tapler, Olaf Starorypinski, and Rick Sweitzer.  We will provide guidance on composition, determining correct exposure, training your eye to find the best light, and developing a good rapport with the models so they can help you to achieve your vision. Students should expect to come away with a better understanding of how to integrate the nude figure into a compelling piece of fine art photography.

About Little Pond

Little Pond Arts Retreat, is the residence of a very good friend of mine and his lovely wife. Little Pond is spacious and private. The property offers creative opportunities with natural lighting, textures and tones. Below are some photographs that offer a glimpse of the creative spaces available at Little Pond. To read more about Little Pond, for directions, or to visit their website, please click here.

Details

We are limiting the workshop to 16 so each participant will have the opportunity to work with every instructor and model. We intend to place the instructing photographers in different areas of Little Pond so as to capitalize on shooting time with each model and to allow the participant’s creativity to grow as they move through each area.

Saturday, May 17th
92 S Penn Dixie Rd‎
Nazareth, PA 18064
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
$195 per person (Includes lunch)

Full details, and additional photos of the site can be found at oneG Studio’s web site.

Registration for the workshop can be completed at oneG Studio’s web site.

RegisterToday

Dreams of Copenhagen

Dreams of Copenhagen

Little Pond, Frame 5

Little Pond, Frame 5

Little Pond, Frame 11

Little Pond, Frame 11


be my poem

rebecca - be my poem

rebecca – be my poem

shot in an old, abandoned farm house with my muse, Rebecca.

ilford HP5+, developed in Xtol 1:1, scan of the 4×5 negative

model: Auris


Solarization

Solarization

Solarization

so, i had a minor accident in the darkroom. my setup is mostly a board across my washer/dryer in the basement. it works well, but i still have to do laundry. so, one day after making some prints, i left the tray of developer out just because i’m lazy and tired after i’m done. when i came back, i think the spin cycle caused one of the boxes of undeveloped film to fall into the print developer. i had to scramble a bit to figure out what to do to save the negatives and some were already developed. the others were damp and i thought they might be ruined. so, i just tossed them in the print developer for 10 mins and thought i’d see what comes of them. there was a good possibility that they were already ruined. towards the end of the 10 mins of development, i decided to solarize the negatives (turn on the lights for the briefest second) just to see what might happen. the results were mixed, but i liked this one a lot.

Ilford HP5+ developed in Ilford Universal Developer for 10 mins, solarized, fixed and washed. scan of the 4×5 negative.

model: floofie

©2013 scott nichol
unauthorized use is prohibited


Morning Meditation

Rebecca - Morning Meditation

Rebecca – Morning Meditation

a little morning meditation with a willing muse. natural window light, around 10:00am.

scan of Ilford HP5+ negative, shot at ISO 800, 10:30 in D76

 

model: Auris

©2013 scott nichol
unauthorized use prohibited


Not Like That

Rebecca - Not Like That

Rebecca – Not Like That

model: Auris

Ilford Delta 400 thru my Mamiya 645.

©2013 scott nichol
no unauthorized use.
ever.


Rearranging the Furniture

Rebecca - Rearranging the Furniture

Rebecca – Rearranging the Furniture

model: Auris

Mamiya 645 with ilford delta 400

©2013 scott nichol
unauthorized use prohibited
don’t think about it or
we’ll reupholster your couch