Every month we like to look back on what has come through the lab and select a few standout images to share. Here are some favorites from the month of September!

Wedding | Kristin La Voie Photography | Portra 800 | Contax 645

Travel | Rodeo & Co. Photography | Portra 400 | Hasselblad H2

Black & White | Jesse Danford | Ilford HP5 | Hasselblad 500c

Still Life | Karthika Gupta | Portra 400 | Canon 1V

Editorial | Michael Tanji | Ilford HP5 | Graflex 4×5

Landscape | L. Eugene | Ektar 100 | Fujica GS645W

Family | Kaytlyn Eggerding | Ilford HP5 | Pentax 645n

   

What is pushing/pulling?
Pushing and pulling is something that is done in development and in development only.  It is never something that happens in exposure or scanning and cannot be adjusted after the roll has already been developed. Pushing and pulling are done by changing the temperature of the developer, or by adjusting the time the film is left in the developer. The reason one would push/pull is if you under/overexposed your film either intentionally or unintentionally. Pushing increases grain and contrast and is far more common than pulling. We actually don’t recommend pulling C-41 film since it can handle quite a bit of overexposure. Pulling is mostly used for black & white film stocks shot at a lower ISO. This will decrease grain and lower contrast, which can be great in some high-speed black & white film stocks but is not recommended on C-41 film unless a very specific look is desired.  We can push/pull C-41 up to 4 stops and there is no limit for black & white. When you receive your scans back, your pushed rolls will be labeled with a plus sign: one push in development will be written as +1, two pushes as +2, etc.

One example of pushing would be shooting Kodak Ektar 100 and metering/rating it at 200 and then telling the lab to push it 1 stop in development:

Halee Betzner Photography | Ektar +1 | rated at 200 ISO and metered for the shadows | Nikon F100

What will my images look like if I push my film? 
Pushing film affects the highlights and shadows. It makes the whites whiter and blacks blacker. Pushing will not affect your mid-tones. It is still crucial to light your scene and subject. If you’re shooting at night and there is no light falling on your scene, pushing your image will only make it darker and may result in no shadow detail at all. If you’re shooting right next to a really bright light source, pushing your image will only become brighter and may result in no highlight detail at all. Below are some examples of different film stocks that have been pushed:

Thomas Shull | Portra 160 +1 | rated at 320 ISO and metered for the shadows | Pentax645n

We Are Origami Photography | Portra 400 +1 | rated at 200 ISO and metered for the shadows | Contax645

Heather Nan | Portra 800 +1 | rated at 400 ISO and metered for the mid-tones | Pentax645nii

Julie Paisley | Fuji 400H +1 | rated at 200 ISO and metered for the shadows | Contax 645

What is the difference between pushing in development and overexposing in camera?
Pushing in development and overexposing in camera yield different results. The best thing is for you to experiment and try them both to develop your personal aesthetic. If you’re new to film, we recommend first becoming comfortable with the nuances of the film and then introducing the element of pushing. Below is an example of two rolls of film that were shot in the same scene: the first roll was overexposed in camera via metering, and the second roll was shot at box speed and pushed one stop in development:

Maile Lani | Portra 400 & Portra 400 +1 | Contax 645

   

This summer has been a busy one, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! We have loved seeing so many beautiful images come through the lab. Here are some of our favorites from the month of August:

Wedding | Gabriela Ines Photo | Portra 800 | Mamiya 645AF

Travel | Ryan Petronella | Fuji C200 | Pentax K1000

Food | Jin Park | Fuji 400H | Contax 645

Still Life | Shane and Lauren Photo | Portra 400 | Pentax 645n

Editorial | 1778 Photographie | Ilford HP5 +2 | Contax 645

Landscape | Jesse Pafundi | Portra 400 | Hasselblad 500cm

Black & White | Beth Morgan Photography | Tri-X 400 | Pentax 645n

Family | Elza Photographie | Fuji 400H | Pentax 645n

   

Each year as the summer starts to wind down, we like to pick an evening to celebrate a successful busy season and spend some quality time together as a company and with our families. This year we celebrated at a local floating water park! We love to share what goes on behind-the-scenes with our clients from time to time, so here are a few photos from our fun together. If you’d like to get to know our staff better and view more images like these, you can check out our behind-the-scenes Instagram account here.

color photos by Jonathan Canlas | Portra 800 +1 | Rolleiflex 6001
black & white photos by Michael Schnell & Taylor Allan | Fuji Acros & Ilford HP5 | Contax G1 & Pentax 67

 

   

Before you begin, make sure that your camera has double exposure capabilities. Some cameras can shoot double exposures, some can’t. Just reference your camera manual (you can google it if you don’t have a hard copy!) to see if your camera model has double exposure settings and to read detailed instructions on how to use them. Here are some things to keep in mind as you’re shooting double exposures on film:

Ashley Crawford | Fuji 400H | Pentax645n with a Zeiss 80mm

Melese Miller | Portra 400 |  Mamiya 645af

Jessica Parker | Portra 400 | Pentax 645nii

Adjust your exposure settings to ensure your final image isn’t overexposed.
Usually we want to err on the side of overexposure with film, but with double exposures, we want to underexpose each frame. When shooting two frames on top of each other, cut each exposure in half. The easiest way to do this is to stop down the aperture (take it from f4 to f8 for example) or make your shutter speed twice as fast (i.e. 1/125 to 1/250).

Melese Miller | Portra 400 +1 | Mamiya 645af

If you want to see a specific outline, place your subject against a blank background.
Using the sky is a pretty common option, or you can find a neutral colored wall (in the image below, the subject was photographed against the sky):

Donnie Tapp | T-Max 100 | Calumet 4×5 Monorail

Remember how highlight and shadow detail will be influenced by shooting two frames on top of each other.
-The shadows of your first frame will be filled in by your second frame
-The highlights of your first frame will be mostly lost in the second frame
Here are two photos of the same scenes just shot in different order: in the first image, we shot our model first and the blossoms second. In the second image, we shot the blossoms first and the model second. You can see how the detail in both scenes is influenced by shooting one before the other:

Chloe Mehr | Portra 400 | Pentax 645n

Like most film techniques, hands-on experience is the best way to learn, so we encourage you to get out and try shooting some double exposures yourself!