I am still working with duplicating the batch of around 30 cold developed C-41 Color negatives, which turned out very thin. They look so thin, that you would never want to make a print out of them. In the digital world of things however, it seems that I am able to salvage quite a lot of negatives from these films - with better results than I would ever expected. The shift in colors are not particularly "bad", if any at all - but the colors or original much fainter, and so is the contrast.

 

It still works out

Yet, As you can see from the images of Salvo, the "beach boy" of Catania - I could still work with the material and get reasonably good images. Though, I confess, I had some extra help in the latest Photoshop, in which you can for example alter the sky independent to the rest of the image. This made it possible to retrieve some of the blue, cloudless skies that were present.

Overall - I am happy that I am able to restore these cold developed color images, instead of totally being destroyed. So, things could be worse, and I am not as hung up on my mindless accident of cold processing a whopping 30 rolls of film years ago. What was I thinking...

 

Mamiya 6 underexposure issue

In the mean time, I addressed the issue with the almost 2 stops underexposure issue of the Mamiya 6 camera - so it doesn't give me any vastly underexposed negatives any longer. But then again - what took me so long, to understand that ?! I guess, I never expected the camera to divert by such a large margin of almost 2 stops. As I mentioned before, when I use an ISO 400 film, I have to set the camera to ISO 125 or ISO 100 instead, in order to get normally exposed images. That's a pretty steep deviation - but it works.

I don't think I have any analog camera which requires to lower the ISO by 2 stops. Only my Canon EOS 1V HS, which has the infamous 2/3 underexposure error (the model is known to have it, but not all EOS 1D HS do it). Anyway, you got to compensate for it.

So, when I have an ISO 400 film, i put ISO 200 into the camera (+1 stop). Problem solved. That, back in 2011 when i bought the camera, I didn't know, and was wondering why some of my negatives came out a bit thin... Once I read about it later, I corrected it accordingly.

Every camera has its quirks... There is simply no perfect camera. It's a myth. Some cameras are worse or trickier than others. And sometimes you get a lemon which is more tricky than it's model siblings. And sometimes you forget acquired knowledge, and have to experience the consequences the hard way.

Photography can be demanding, when you have many models, different cameras... There is also the risk that it feels tedious, creating a sort of resistance to use camera models, because you start to loose some of the knowledge, how to deal with it, and the quirks attached to each model.

 

Double pancakes

About the thin, cold developed color films - in addition to that - some of them were made with the underexposing Mamiya 6 (my model), which made it even worse: Thin and underexposed - where you can barely see anything in the negative. Some of those images are therefore almost hopeless to restore.

So, those negatives are far more tricky, on the verge of impossible to restore. But even here I was still able to manage to get out images...

 

A bit tedious to deal with inferior negatives

To scan these overall thin negatives, is a bit tedious psychologically, because they look so incredibly thin... makes me almost wanna skip them all. But I don't - and therefore work with that batch of films, scanning 2-4 films a day or so. This way, the progress goes forward after all. Until they are all gone.

Another funny thing is, trying to play "Sherlock Holmes" - because every film roll - needs a date, when those were taken. This creates quite often a longer search, trying to figure out, when those were taken. Occasionally I get it wrong. I try to look at details of Sal, his type of glasses or neckless he was wearing, or was there a birthday, or any other special event, that can help me to restore the correct dates.

 

Salvo from Catania Beach

is a pretty unique individual. He is the classic "beach boy", the kind of Italian guy, who when you experience him, seem to be this power nature of youth. Unaffected by the city, and just living his life at the beach (and all the work attached to having a gym facility and restaurant at the beach - so he is constantly working, day after day). But his way to be, is like a tornado of youth - and not something you often experience in a city in Northern or Middle Europe.

Very special guy, I must say. Hard to pinpoint. But you believe you experience these kind of young man much more often in the last century in Spain, Italy and Greece. Youth that only lives local, near the beach, half or whole of their lives. There is a spontaneity and "innocent" attached tho those lively, "pure", guys. I am not saying they are "pure", or want to put them on a pedestal - they too do shit. But (usually but not always) in a more innocent way. Often there is no ill will behind.

We westerners of today, in touch with so many quirks of society, and the powers which gradually from behind, shape our minds, tastes, sexuality etc - quite often in a nasty way over generation.... makes many people of today, become much more calculating and driven.

And Salvo from Catania's beach, is the total opposite of that. Unspoiled kind of young man. I have on occasion also met similar types outside of Lisbon, too. Guys without any attitude, and showing genuine curiosity kind of guys. No matter their looks. I remember a couple gay guys, who looked like one of the most attractive models you could think of - but behaved like simply normal guys - without any attitude.

I often thought, man, if you meet a guy like that in a city, they are so full of themselves. Outside of Lisbon, it was kind of the opposite. (I am not saying everyone is like that - but it startled me back in 2006-2009) that you meet guys with absolutely stunning looks, and they were just like normal guys, like you and I, like totally normal without any attitudes what so ever.

I felt that was an interesting phenomena.

 


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