Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Feeling deflated

I went out this evening after work with the intent of taking some long-exposure nighttime photos (for the photo comp I participate in that I’ve mentioned on here a few times). I took the Bronica loaded with some HP5+ with the intent on getting some light trails from traffic a busy road. I’d have preferred to shoot colour but I wouldn’t be able to get it developed in time to meet the end of the month closing date.

I drove out to the location, set up the Bronica, used my digital camera to work out a suitable exposure time and set up everything, including screwing in a cable release. It was too dark to focus with the waist level finder so I just set the focus to infinity and chanced it. Because the exposure was going to come in at a few seconds, I attempted to allow for reciprocity failure, deciding on an 8-second exposure. Feeling happy with all this I took three pictures. The first one I forgot to use mirror lock-up, so re-took it, just in case. Then the third shot I took was a different composition.

After this I packed everything up and set off back. It was only when I was almost home that I realised that I’d not removed the dark-slide when taking the pictures, meaning all three of them are going to be blank wasted frames! This was even more annoying because, normally, the camera won’t fire if the dark-slide is inserted, so I can only assume that using a cable release bypasses this somehow. Whatever the cause, I’m feeling somewhat pissed off about it. Partly because of the wasted film, but mostly for the fact that I now have to repeat the exercise again tomorrow.

Here’s a picture of some balloons I took earlier this month. I feel like the middle one right now.

Stages of deflation

Bronica ETRSi & Zenzanon 75mm f/2.8 PE & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9 mins @ 20°

Taken 5 February 2023.

4 thoughts on “Feeling deflated

  1. That’s frustrating, but it happens to everyone. However, maybe I’m missing something, but you said the film is wasted… Why would that be? Should it not still be unexposed and perfectly usable?


    1. It’s the first three frames, and there is no easy way to rewind it in the ETRS film back. I could try removing it and unwinding it in my changing bag, but there’s a risk I’ll mess it up and lose the whole roll. For the sake of three frames, I’ll just count the cost as a lesson learned for next time.


      1. Gotcha. I’ve accidentally blown past a frame while winding my Holga before. It bothers me so much to waste a frame that I made a note of which frame I skipped, opened things up in my changing bag, rewound the whole roll by hand, reloaded it into the camera, and then wound to the previously skipped exposure. Haha, I know—perhaps that’s ridiculous, but film is just so stupid expensive now that I can’t take wasting even a single frame.

        Liked by 1 person

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