The Art Of The Cock: Week 5

Beautiful Grain

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I miss Kodak Tri-X 400 film. It was my first black and white film. It was the film on which I learned to see like a photographer and to develop my own photos. Tri-X is a tough, very flexible film with a grain structure that allows it to record tremendous detail in bright light and to hold its shape in low light. If one pushes the film by poor exposure, over-agitation, overly strong or too hot developer, the film will express its grain. Sometimes it is very very good to be very very bad to one’s film. When you are very very bad to Tri-X it can become beautifully grainy and beautifully contrasty.

When I am feeling nostalgic I go to the dirty dark basement and push my digital camera until those perfect pixels start to fail. Then I take that picture and throw away the stretched spots of color. Then I shove that contrast bar way over. I push some light into the shadows and a kiss of bright to the highlights. Suddenly, what was a throw-away image is a silvery work of art.

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