The First Snow and Magic Colours in BW Film

It’s getting colder and the first snow has fallen on the mountains.

Plaubel Makina 67 camera, Kodak Tri-X film, and a Gossen light meter.

I have the Plaubel Makina 67 for many years, it has a sharp and contrasty Nikkor 2.8/80 mm lens. The camera was overhauled by Plaubel in Frankfurt after the purchase as there was a light leak in the bellows.

Film was Tri-X push processed to 1600 ISO, using HC-110 developer in 1:7 dilution (7 minutes at 18°C). After the film had dried, I used my tablet as a light table to quickly “scan” the roll film using the camera of my smartphone.

Checking roll film using a tablet as a light table.

I used the nightscape camera mode of my smartphone to capture the roll film. Then something unexpected happened. There were colours – in a black and white film!

Magic appearance of colours in a black and white film after scanning with a smartphone. Androids do indeed dream of electric sheep.

Google’s night scape mode magically adds colours into dark scenes – in my case a sunset sky. I’m not sure if that was the case here. I also read somewhere that there is an AI-powered version of Google Photos with the ability to colorize black-and-white photos. Whatever the reason, it was some nice unexpected magic.

For the final prints, I used my DSLR with a macro lens instead of a flatbed scanner to scan the negatives. Papers used for printing are Hahnemühle Baryta Satin, and Hahnemühle Bamboo, a matt paper.

The final prints. Paper is Hahnemühle Baryta Satin using some warm toning in print. The second paper is Hahnemühle Bamboo, a matt paper, with cool toning added in the printing process.

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