Film: Check. No Negatives: Check.

I found a stash of older 35mm color negative film in a box above the basement stair–a dozen rolls, mas o menos, some a little past the expiration date but not by much. I shot some of it around town and finished off the last few rolls in–yes, you guessed it–Buenos Aires. Took ’em all to the pharmacy. A week or so later I picked up prints and A CD–NO NEGATIVES! This may not be recent news, but it came as a shock to me. I suppose most folks never look at their negatives again once the prints are made, and the “free CD” more than compensates for the missing film.

PSA: Many Film Processing Services No Longer Return Your Original Film

Despite and still, here is a link to films in current manufacture (possibly [likely] incomplete:

We still don’t know what happens to the processed film. All the more reason to DIY.

Printing The Positive

Here is a fascinating relic from our Armed Forces.

#1. Crumple!

#2. Fix for 8-10 minutes, or for 15.

#3. The siphon washer keeps prints separated during washing!

#4. How many more arresting details can you find?

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Jane Jacobs Meets Brian Eno: Jerry’s Map

In the grand tradition of local daily papers reviewing art exhibitions in the last week of the show, we now recommend you take the Blue Line to Chicago Avenue sometime during the next five days to see Jerry’s Map at Intuit Gallery.

“Gretzinger paints and collages pieces of the map based on randomly-generated instructions drawn from a special deck of instruction cards. When an instruction card is drawn, a modification is made to the specified panel, depending on what card and instruction is drawn. The original panel is scanned and filed, and a new panel takes its place. Rules could call for the addition of a new panel, new painting or collaging on an existing panel, the creation of a new facility or feature, or even the addition of a “void”-a white space removing what is underneath that can only be stopped by a defense wall card.”

Jerry’s Map



Who’s Making Film In 2020?

Lots of folks! Likely, this list is incomplete (there must be others in China and India); even the statement that Fuji and Kodak are the only manufacturers of color film seems to be suspect. Despite and still, what an array, eh?

Al Fresco Exhibit at a Football Club

Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires hosted an international cultural event in early December comprising more than 50 cyanotypes from workers in South and North America (and a few points beyond). The list of participants was so inclusive that chances are you know someone who exhibited.

XTOL, Who ARE You?

Eastman Kodak’s ultimate film developer was formulated in 1996 by Sylvia Zawadzki and Dick Dickerson. “Ultimate” in the sense of not penultimate: it was meant to be universal for all manufacturers’ films–Kodak even published processing information for other companies’ films, at a variety of exposure indices and working dilutions–and self-replenishing.

The Barrington Huge School dilution was a minor miracle: 1:1, diluted 1:1 for use (effectively 1:3) also was a hedge against underexposure, and it never failed in an open container.

Small packages of the powder (to make one quart/liter) proved not to be practical, supposedly due to a difficulty in consistent mixing. There was also “sudden death syndrome,” wherein the developer died without warning. Now, lumps occur in bag A, perhaps from air getting into the bag, resulting in the same fate.

Think about Eastman’s difficult past: Fred Sommer’s 8×10 film with uneven emulsion; the huge Henry Wilhelm Ektacolor class action suit, and TX 120 recent paper backing fiasco. When quality control goes awry, it does so bigly with Kodak.

But this kind of unreliability doesn’t happen with Pyro, or FX- (add your own number here), or Harvey’s 777, or Rodinal(-type) developers. Now there are alternatives: Fomadon Excel, EcoPro, and even Mytol. In our lifetime narrative arcs of buying and ruining film, most of us need no enabling.

Lynda Barry’s Lesson Plans

Give away copies of this book to friends and colleagues.

From an interview with NPR: