Moving Part Packs of Instax Film

If you have your only pack of Instax film loaded in a camera or printer and you want to use it in another camera or printer. You can of course, just take the pack out and move it to another camera or printer and you will only lose the top sheet of film, as the camera or printer you move the pack to will treat the top sheet as a dark slide and will expel that sheet. However, you can also safely take the pack out without losing any sheets of film. All you need to do is to put the dark slide back into the pack. I did this by turning off the lights and taking the pack out, I then slid the dark slide back into the pack and I did not lose any sheets when I moved the pack, because the printer ejected the dark slide when I switched the printer on. Obvious I know, but, I thought people might find it a useful idea.

If you have any Instax tips, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Thank you.


Stand Development

This process dates back to the 1880’s, where you leave the film to develop in a very dilute solution for a longer amount of time then you would if you were using normal development processes, with this process you do very little if any agitation, again, this is different to standard development processing. The technique leads to finer grain, increased perceived sharpness and no marking from movement of fluid over the film. This method does take a significant amount more time than the more usual method.  With this technique you don’t need to agitate the tank, as the developer exhausts against the film more quickly in the more exposed areas, and less quickly in the not so exposed areas, this means that in theory, highlights should be saved and shadow detail should be boosted. The reason I use a semi stand process to prevent bromide drag, which can sometimes happen if you do not agitate the developing tank, so far, I have never had bromide drag on my film rolls that I have developed with this technique. I use this technique for black and white across all film sizes. I know that some people have also used it for colour development, this is something I would like to try in the future. I know that you can also push and pull images on the same roll, which again, is something I want to try in the future. You can have different film stock in the tank too, which is very handy.

This is the technique I use for Stand Development, mine is more of a semi stand process, the temperature of all fluids should be 20 Degrees C. I prewash the film for 5 minutes, in plain water in the development tank, this means that you have brought the film up to temperature and you have washed off the top level of chemical on the film, thereby allowing for more even development of the film. This stage is not essential and sometimes I completely forget to do it with no ill effects at all to the film, but, I try to do it, as it appears to be a good habit. I use Rodinal as my Developer. The film will be in the developer for an hour, so the dilution needs to be weak, so I use a 1:100 dilution (500ml of water and 5ml of developer). You need to have enough developer in the mix, so that it still works. Anything less than 5ml is probably too little developer. After I empty the water from the prewash, I pour in the developer. For the first 30 seconds I agitate and I tap the tank on the counter when I have finished, so that I dislodge any air bubbles that may be present in the film in the tank. For the first 3 or 4 minutes I agitate every minute for 10 seconds, after 4 minutes I then let the tank sit for about 45 minutes, at that stage I prepare the chemicals for the rest of the procedure. At the hour mark, I revert to the usual stop (10seconds) , fix (5 minutes), wash (5 minutes), rinse (5 minutes) process. I use a couple of drops of a wetting agent like Kodak Foto Flow, to stop any drying marks appearing on the film. The negatives may appear dense, but, they work out perfectly. The shot below is one I took on a Holga 120N and developed using the process mentioned above.


B&W Development

Train Trip West

I took a Railtours trip to Limerick, Clare and Galway last week. We stopped at Bunratty Castle, The Burren and The Cliffs of Moher. The day started by gathering at Heuston Station where we met one of our guide’s for the day and then we were on our way. When we got off the train, the first thing we did was to take a bus trip around Limerick City, where we saw the Treaty Stone and Thomond Park, the home of Munster Rugby. After this, we travelled to Bunratty Castle, where I took the first six photos below. I have been there before, but, I always enjoy walking around the Castle and Folk Park. We then moved on to amazing landscape of the Burren, where we passed a Famine Graveyard. After lunch, we moved on to The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland’s most visited Tourist Attraction outside of Dublin. I have been very lucky with the Cliffs, as I have visited twice and both times visibility was good, this area is known to have low visibility at certain times. After this, we went to Galway City where we were free to explore before we met at the Station to return to Dublin. These trips are always busy days, but, a lot of fun. I have included links below to all the places mentioned in this post. I used my Lumix LX100 for this trip, as I was travelling with someone who does not take photos.

Kerry Train Trip
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
Mystery Train Trip to Galway

Archaeological Dig

The UCD Department of Archaeology has been running a dig in Glendalough since 2014. Over the last two years they have given volunteers an opportunity to get involved and to help them dig the site. I had initially heard of this Project last year, however, I was unable to take part as all the spaces available had been booked out, so I promised myself that I would try to get involved this year. It was a great experience and I now have even more respect for Archaeologists than I had before. All the Archaeologists were generous with their expertise and had endless patience with the volunteers. They also ran a Big Dig for children.


Fota Wildlife Park

A trip to Fota Wildlife Park in Cork is always pleasure. Fota is two and a half hour drive from our house through some varied landscape, including the flat area around the Curragh and the Galtee range of mountains in Tipperary. For this trip I brought my Lumix LX100, as I was with a non photographer. The Park has made a number of improvements since I was there last, a couple of years ago. This includes a butterfly enclosure, that also houses frogs, fish and jellyfish. The only shot below that was not shot through Glass is the Kangaroo, as she was wandering free around the Park with her minder. The minder was there to make sure that nobody would try to to pet her. The Park presently has four Cheetah Cubs, I saw them, but, they were curled up with their Mum in a sunbeam, so I did not have an opportunity to take a photo of them.

Johnstown Castle

Johnstown Castle & Gardens is in Wexford and is incredibly easy to find. The Castle is 19th Century in date, even though the Estate dates back to the 11th Century when an English family called the Esmondes settled in the area shortly after the Norman invasion in 1169. The castle now houses the Agricultural Museum, a museum with an installation about the famine and a huge toy car collection. It really is worth visiting. Sadly, the Castle itself was closed on the day we were there, however, there is so much to see that our visit was incredibly interesting anyway. I will be back to this location in the future, as there are numerous photo opportunities available.