Kioko – Film Band Photo Session

Shot on Ilford DELTA 3200 Black & White film with no flash.

       

Kit used, Canon EOS 50E Canon 70-200, Canon 24-105

I was invited to shoot a band called Kioko at the Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton on 17th January 2017 as part of the BBC Introduces concerts.

I have already photographed various bands using digital photography so, as there was no direct client, I decided to take the opportunity to shoot on film. Having already purchased a roll of Delta 3200 this was the ideal time to try out this film stock.

The interesting thing about shooting film is you have to shoot sparingly and you can not instantly see the result on a small screen on the back of your camera. This does indeed tend to focus one’s mind more than if shooting on a DSLR. I found the other photographers around me were happily snapping away while I was still walking round having not taken a single shot. I had actually misread the box and thought I had a maximum of 24 shots, where I later discovered I had 36! I shot a total of 33 shots during two run-throughs of one of their songs.

Not having the time to note down individual settings for each shot means I cannot give you an accurate camera setting, But my basic settings were aperture priority, F4 and film speed was 3200 ISO. Many of my shots were in the 1/30th to 1/250 range due to the massive difference in lighting intensity between each shot.

I was back in college on the following Friday and developed the film. I now feel quite proficient when it comes to loading film onto the spiral compared to how disastrous my first couple of attempts were. Using the Ilford chart, I noted that at 20 degrees I had to process it for 10 minutes 30 seconds.

After processing, washing, and leaving to dry, I returned to collect my images and decided to print some of my exposures out. I did a test strip of 3 seconds at F8 then developed it for 2 minutes in some developer that had already been mixed, this was the outcome.

 

Shot in low light and looking at the negatives I expected a much more contrasty look than this, so my second attempt was 5-second intervals F4. I then got this result.

I concluded the developer was spent and so mixed up a new batch, again using 5-second intervals and F4, I did a third test strip.

This proved that the developer was indeed at fault but my latest test strip was now too dark. So I reverted to 3-seconds at F8

This gave me a good test strip and decide to make a print at 12-seconds F8

 

Developed for 2 minutes, Stopped for 30 seconds, fixed for 3 minutes, and then washed for 5 minutes.

I was working on my own in the dark room so turned on the white lights to examine the image. I was very impressed with the quality of the image as I had expected much more grain being a high ISO fast speed film.

There is a quality about film over digital I can not quite put my finger on. Yes, with digital you have much more control over each image, you can instantly change the ISO per shot and you get a reassuring chance to chimp the image on the rear screen. Digital can even be cleaner and sharper than film. But, there is something about how film works. maybe it is that, as a photographer, you have to truly work for each image. From putting the camera up to your eye to loading it onto a spiral in a pitch black room through to washing it in developer in a dark room under red light. The thing is a good black and white film image is captivating. It has a look and charm all of its own, like a fingerprint each print is a one off, that I think digital will never be able to reproduce.

Digital definitely has its place in this modern age but I am glad to say for this photographer, at least, so does film.


A few more from the shoot.