I’ve been working with Kodak Rapid Process Copy film recently, and I’m still trying to figure out how to use it. I took the remainder of the first test roll to Matthaei Botanical Gardens in late summer. I wanted colors and bright skies, and boy, did I get them.
I made 8 or 9 setups and made 2 exposures at each stop. The basic exposure was 8 seconds at f/8, and then I did the second one at 16 seconds. More-or-less. I wanted to have overexposure to make sure I could overexpose the film, and while I don’t show that here, I was able to overexpose a bit.
To give you an idea of what the day was like, here’s a phone photo I made as a reference:
Here is the RPC version after scanning and a bit of editing (you can see my terrible processing)1
The thing that interests me, especially seeing these two together, is how the film version reminds me of a mid-century photograph of a garden. I understand that it’s an artifact of the orthochromatism, but seeing it so directly with images that I know I made makes me feel like I have some sort of historical superpowers.
This next image is of a frilly dark red cockscomb in front of some foliage. Cockscomb is sort of stiff, which is why the 8 second exposure didn’t really matter — no motion is evident.
This last image of water dripping along some stacked stones is probably my favorite one of the set.
I spent some time in Photoshop with the phone version of this image, and while I could get the tones mostly right, the background flowers and the water drips were too sharp. I like how a bright sunny day (you can tell by the sharp shadows) yields soft water and foliage.
It’s been a few weeks since I made these images, and looking at them again just reminds me that I want to do something special with this film. I had been considering a project that presents the film itself (because it’s totally weird but maybe it’s only weird to people who are used to seeing negatives?), but I really like the pieces I get from scanning and editing. So back to the notebooks I go…
I need to decide how much I really care about seeing this stuff on my film and scans. Mostly I don’t worry about it, but I don’t want specks and blebs and scratches to detract from the scene if they are not enhancing it. ↩