A few years ago I remember I was scrolling through Instagram when something caught my eye. It was seemingly a video of a black and white paper negative being rocked in a tray of chemicals in broad daylight. Within seconds, the monochrome negative turned to a full-colour positive image before my eyes. I was astonished and set about discovering how this magic trick was done. I had discovered the strange world of RA4 reversal.
Processes, Tutorials & Guides
Many moons ago I was keen to try my hand with large format, as large as I could manage, 10 x 8 seeming a good choice. You can tell how long ago from my pinhole shot of the Humber Bridge in the UK which shows it under construction some 50 years ago! Since large format film was way beyond my means at the time I thought I would try enlarging paper to produce paper negatives which I would then contact print onto more enlarging paper to produce a positive image, just like Fox-Talbot.
When I have nothing else to do, I like to browse the reddit r/analog section, and one day I suddenly saw an image with a very special color, which was amazing. At the same time, I saw a word in the title of the image that I had never heard of before: Trichrome (I have to admit, I didn’t upvote the post thus I didn’t leave a record of which image it was, but it was really a great image, so please use your imagination). After a little bit of Googling, I was instantly intrigued by the concept. What a genius idea to use black and white film to create color photos! The next question was, could I try it too?
I absolutely love long exposure night time photography, for me its a far more spiritual mindful time to shoot and that element of doubt and anticipation of just what you are going to get is heightened. To me that’s film photography in a nutshell, that nagging doubt and anticipation then reward rather than instant gratification and certainty that comes with digital.
Hokkaido is the northernmost and second largest island in Japan. Just off the Siberian peninsula winters are long, cold and harsh. The main industries are fishing, timber products and farming. With a short growing and cropping season, from May to September vegetable farmers can generally manage just one crop a year instead of three in some areas of the rest of Japan. So many farmers opt instead for livestock farms – primarily cattle (Hokkaido is often termed ‘milkland’) and to a lesser extent pigs. Traditionally farms were family businesses, small with simple equipment and wooden buildings to house and feed a relatively small number of cattle. Over time the successful farmers grew their businesses. And infrastructures, and the others continued until retirement but children took to other professions – often moving to the cities. As a consequence the countryside contains scatted remains of these old small cattle farms, disintegrating silos, milking sheds, grain and equipment stores, rapidly collapsing and becoming scarce now as the weather and large-scale farmers wipe the slate clean.