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April 22, 2014 / Aware of the Void

Vikings Killed my Film

Mamiyarb67_Cr200_xpro770 - 2014-04-22 at 20-41-41

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”

Mamiyarb67_Cr200_xpro766 - 2014-04-22 at 20-34-21Mamiyarb67_Cr200_xpro767 - 2014-04-22 at 20-35-36Mamiyarb67_Cr200_xpro772 - 2014-04-22 at 20-45-59 Mamiyarb67_Cr200_xpro768 - 2014-04-22 at 20-39-24 Mamiyarb67_Cr200_xpro771 - 2014-04-22 at 20-44-57
Mamiyarb67_Cr200_xpro769 - 2014-04-22 at 20-40-25 Mamiyarb67_Cr200_xpro765 - 2014-04-22 at 20-32-56


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.

Mamiyarb67_Cr200_xpro763 - 2014-04-22 at 20-26-15 (1)


Leave a Comment
  1. Photobooth Journal / Apr 22 2014 10:02 pm

    They are definitely not failures but I can see why you were disappointed. Most enjoyable post, thanks!

  2. Denis O'Donovan / Apr 22 2014 11:03 pm

    Good stuff Brendan. Love the flowers too 🙂

    • Aware of the Void / Apr 22 2014 11:21 pm

      Thanks Denis, some cool digital shots taken with L glass and a 5d mkii over on my FB page if you can be tempted back there :p

      • Denis O'Donovan / Apr 24 2014 10:20 am

        🙂 Might just sneak in via Lorraine’s fb,,,

      • Aware of the Void / Apr 24 2014 4:20 pm

        (y) just for old times sake 🙂

  3. christian harkness / Apr 22 2014 11:33 pm

    I love your ‘better failures.’ And I have to smile ’cause it is one of those photo mistakes we all have to make at least once…I wonder how many of those there are, would be fun to start a list.

    • Aware of the Void / Apr 23 2014 8:26 am

      Thanks Christian, I suppose in a small way the failures are just as important as the successes. I learn a lot from them and from a personal point of view if I can shrug and move on it helps.It also gives me words to put on my blog 🙂 I probably have 20 goods posts about where I done it wrong.

  4. edmooneyphotography / Apr 23 2014 11:07 am

    I missed out on film photography and know little about it, but I admire the fact that many brave people still shoot with film. Its something I would like to learn in the future. That said I do like your shots and will check out your FB ones aswell.

    • Aware of the Void / Apr 23 2014 11:42 am

      Well Ed if you ever fancy giving it a try just let me know. The basics remain the same – point camera at interesting stuff and push the buttons.

      • edmooneyphotography / Apr 23 2014 11:51 am

        LOL, I might take you up on that. Its the darkroom stuff that intrigue me. Some of the lads in the Kildare camera club are big into it. One of the older lads is a total film nut, he is always slagging off digital and photoshop, a serious character 🙂

      • Aware of the Void / Apr 23 2014 12:13 pm

        I think it would not take too many guesses for me to figure out who that is 🙂 its a small community.

        I think we can set something up re the darkroom. once you have shot a roll you can stop by my place some evening and try printing a couple of frames.

      • edmooneyphotography / Apr 23 2014 12:21 pm

        LOL, it sure is. That would be great

  5. Kasia w Krainie Deszczowców / Apr 23 2014 12:49 pm

    Brendan, great photos, really! Both here and on your FB. I went to St Anne’s Park on Saturday to see the battle as well 😉

  6. fatfreddysproject / Apr 23 2014 4:29 pm

    I love the way the images turned out, suits the subject pretty well

  7. David A Lockwood / Apr 23 2014 5:39 pm

    Good series – error or not.
    At least you had! film in the camera………. long story, but very embarrassing admitting that I actually don’t have the images I was asked for. When I first got my Bronica 🙂


  8. aafke / Apr 24 2014 10:24 am

    interesting. thanks for sharing

  9. kathryningrid / Apr 28 2014 4:18 am

    I apologize for my naughty ancestors’ interference. They meant well with all of their rampages and pillaging, I’m sure. 😉

    • Aware of the Void / Apr 28 2014 11:21 am

      No harm done, pretty much the same people on both sides of that battle and the ultimate winner was genetic diversity for the Irish 😛

      • kathryningrid / Apr 29 2014 12:24 am

        Glad you’re so forgiving, Cousin! 😉


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