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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pushing Tri-X to the Extreme (ASA25600)

Back in July during a photo trip to Kelantan with Eddieputera and Sarip, I've had the chance to shoot a scene that is pitch black. It was a scene at the fishing dock where a fishing vessel stopped by for a rest after being in the sea for about 1 month. That night there was a storm brewing so super dark clouds engulfed the skies. There's no other light source around except a couple light bulbs on the vessel itself. It was raining heavily and that made the shot even tougher. I wanted to capture this shot at a fraction of a second. Putting it on long exposure would've made the vessel blur. Yes, I could probably get away with a 1-2 sec shot at a lower ASA, but I figured, might as well hit the extreme just for the sake of trying and testing out the pushing capabilities of this film.

This shot was metered at ASA25,600. Having a Tri-X on my Hassy back, I've decided to give it a go. After doing some research on the flow to push the Tri-X up 6-stops, I've settled with the following..

Rodinal 1:100, 3 hours semi stand development with 2 swirls to the tank every 30mins. After 1 1/2 hours, I replaced the developer with a fresh batch (to avoid the risk of exhaustion).

What I got was a muddy negs. Putting it onto the scanner, here's what I got. No tweaking on this scan. I kinda like the look.

Original scan, unedited

I did played around in Photoshop, where I set the black for the tones. Here's what I got.


All in all, I think I prefer the original look better. It looks classical and seemed very special, considering the circumstances that I had to go thru to shot this scene, plus the darkroom processes afterwards. I will remember this shot for a very long time.. will be printing it and framed it on my wall.

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