Anyone who knows me or has ever been with me while on a road trip, vacation, or out photographing anything knows I have this morbid love of cemeteries. Okay its not morbid to me, but to some its a little weird how much I love cemeteries. Pretty much anywhere I go I’m always on the lookout for a good cemetery, seriously.
A couple weekends ago my parents, my niece & nephew and I all went for a day trip to Jackson, Ca in search of some gold mines to poke around in. While accidentally missing our exit I spotted a cemetery on a hill from afar, it was gorgeous- Ansel Adams’ “Moonrise” instantly flashed into my head while I was passing it all the while clapping my hands and going “OOOOOOOO OMGOMOMG ITS SO CREEPYOMG OOO!” – seriously its what I said, you can even ask my mom. Anyway I happened to have my camera with me loaded with some Kodak B&W c41* film that I needed to use up (I’ve had it since my NZ trip last year) so I asked permission to stray off our path on the search for this cemetery. We kind of got lost for a quick second and ended up on the other side of the darned thing because I was trying to find it by sight but eventually we got there and it was totally worth the detour.
Kodak B&W c41 color 400speed film
Levels & Contrast adjustments in PS
While I’m glad I had B&W film for this, I’ve grown to realize how much I actually loathe this type of b&w film. Its great if you are in a pinch and don’t have access to a darkroom, but its horrible because you are at the mercy of the machine (and operator) which processes it and prints your pictures (if you’re lucky and know the operator ask them to take special care in correcting the pix). Some of the photos scanned in have been auto contrast corrected leaving them muddy and fuzzy and sooooooo grainy its sad. I’m going to have to go and develop those prints later on with my own special touch in the darkroom, or give the guys at ritz SPECIFIC instructions next time. After picking up these photos from Ritz I made a vow to myself to never shoot with B&W c41 film ever again and to only use black and white film that I will develop and print myself- no matter how little time I have to do it. I think I owe it to the photography gods.
*c41 processing is the type of processing that normal color film goes through, Kodak and Illford films both offer black and white c41 film options, for more about c41 feel free to read up on the wikipedia page for it.