Vikings Killed my Film
There was a massive re-enactment of the Battle of Clontarf in my local park recently. It was the millennial celebration of this historic battle and it saw tribes of vikings invade from all over Europe. St Annes park was transformed for a few days into a viking settlement and there was a tremendous sense of pageantry. There was food stalls and craft shops selling all manner of Viking paraphernalia from honey to broadswords.
I live pretty close to the park so managed to visit the madness a couple of times over the weekend and I took a fair few shots and have posted some of the digital ones on my FB site. On the last day of the event my plan was to return with my Mamiya to try and get a few nice Vikingseq portraits.
This began the film selection process. I considered Ektar but my instinct told me that with a few clouds gathering that the weather and general grey backdrop would not suit the rich tones. Portra160 seemed like an obvious choice but I only had a couple of rolls left and have been saving them for a particular shoot. Looking for inspiration I went rummaging through my film stash and found a roll of digibase CR200 film. I have shot a few rolls of this and I really like how it looks cross processed. I decided that the murky day and the browns, deep reds and mustard colours that I had seen worn by the Vikings would be well suited to this treatment.
But in the end I decided that I would like to print some of the shots so loaded my camera with Kodak Tri-X set my meter to 400 iSO and set off to find my first subjects. My crazy plan to bring the biggest camera I own with me worked. The venue was still pretty busy when I arrived but as soon as people looked at the mighty Mamiya the crowds stepped aside letting me compose my shots. I can only guess that when they looked at the camera they assumed that I was some sort of official photographer.
I managed to get thought my roll pretty quickly but was selective in my subject choice, I picked subjects that I thought would work well in black and white so you can imagine how amazed I was when I got home and discovered that I had in fact shot a roll of colour film. As a result of underexposing the colour transparency film they are even more gritty than I had hoped for. I am still not sure how I managed to switch the rolls but I am posting the results for two reasons, one it will serve me as a reminder to double check what I am doing and two, I kind of like the results. In my mind I am filing this under “better failures”
All shot on my MamiyaRB67, cross processed in C41 chemistry and scanned with my Epson v600, and to give an idea of how this film can look if exposed and cross processed correctly here is some pretty flowers.