Black & White- Duluth, Minnesota

I was in Minnesota visiting my best friend during the July long weekend just a while ago. It was Keegan first time visiting them in Minnesota. They were with us last summer here in Canada on a road trip (film hasn’t been printed yet from that trip). Because I work as a lab tech in the dark room at the University, I have access to the equipment. Which is so great because I get to print whenever I want (or have paper).

Here are just a few prints from a Ilford Delta 100 roll shot July 1st while we were visiting in Duluth.

Nastassia and Josiah
These images are digital scans from 5 x 7 dark room prints I did earlier today. I used Ilford Multigrade RC 5 x 7 to expose these images. The images come out darker because of them being smaller when being printed with the enlarger. They come out with more contrast, which I like.  However, there isn’t much variation for the exposures. These images were all exposed at F 16, varying from anything from 3 – 6 seconds and no longer. So, not much room as say with a larger sized paper. I used a 1.5 or 2 Ilford contrast filter depending on each image. Like I said, I like the contrast.


Keegan and myself taken by Josiah
Duluth was a fun day trip for us. We got to check out the Bend Paddle craft brewery. The boys did a brewery tour while Stassi and I moseyed around. Duluth was also fun because my husband’s family is from Ontario and Minnesota share a great lake!

I honestly don’t know much history around Duluth besides knowing it was a port town. Lots of industrialization around the lake and warehouses. So now, it’s a pretty place, especially to take photos.

So dark room editing is kind of tricky. You can spend anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour on just one print figuring out the correct exposure and aperture. As well as being able to burn and dodge images to bring out more sky or to lighten up the shadows on a person’s face for example. I was unfamiliar with photoshop before learning dark room developing. I learned dark room developing almost 2 years ago at University, so before hand, my only knowledge of dodging and burning was from dark room experience. So now that I know much more about Adobe and photoshopping, this makes me laugh. It is so much easier being a digital photographer for these reasons. However, this is what makes me appreciate knowing how to darkroom.

This image is a quick attempt at some burning to get a better exposure of the sky. As you see, there’s a pretty definite line from where I was dodging the city sky line and burning the sky. It was more difficult because of the size of paper I was working with. Like I said, I was working with a 3-5 second exposure. In this instance, it was a 3 second exposure with extra time on the sky. That’s not really enough time and you end up getting a pretty definite line even though you are moving your burning and dodging tool (aka, a black paper or cardboard, haha)

Duluth, MN
This is the difference burning would make. The image on the left of the water and top of the head on this first of the roll image is a full exposure at 3 seconds. The image on the right is the same but dodging the top of the head and the water at the attempted horizon line, exposing only the sky another 4 seconds. Much better! However.. my dodging line and horizon line don’t quite match.. OH WELL!

instagram handle: @f1rstoftheroll

first of the roll pre burning

first of the roll after burning
 Just a note, my best friend is the cutest. Thanks for being so great when I say ‘stop right there. okay smile. wait maesa isn’t looking. LOOK HERE MAESA! (click!)’. Success though, the dog is totally looking.

SUPER CONTRASTY image, I know. But I still like it. It defines the beauty in the brick and defines the shadows nicely. I’d like to redo and make another print but with bigger paper to see how the image truly is on the tonal range.

Nastassia and Maesa
Side note

I’m super in love with my friend.

She’s beautiful.


That’s all I have for now. But stay tuned for some more images from the 3 other rolls from this trip! The rest are all colour film! I have only been shooting black and white film for the last 2 years so I’m excited to see how those turn out.


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