Holga Black and White in a Sunflower Field

I’ve been shooting sunflowers in a local field for a while. I decided to go and see how they are coming along this year and try some film shooting if I had the chance. I took my Holgas, and a few other film cameras along. Here are the Holga images I liked. I shot these using the classic Kodak Tri-x film and decided to try semi-stand developing using Rodinal 1:100 for an hour. Part of the reason to use the stand developing was so I could soup the film, then run over to Walgreens to pick up the 35mm film I shot and dropped off for one hour developing. I’ll post those 35mm photos in another post.

I think this was the result of not getting the Bulb/normal button all the way into the normal position, so the shutter got left open longer than it should have, and I got blur. At first I was going to delete it, but then I decided I liked it as kind of an impressionist photograph. Love to hear your thoughts. I liked this with a sepia look along with a few others in this group. I achieved that in Lightroom 4.1.

There is a blooming sunflower at the bottom of this photo. At first I thought it was the only one in the field, but soon saw there were just one or two other sprinkled in. I liked the way the lines of light colored plants led to the dark wall of trees and medium grey sky.The sunflowers are nicely lit from the sun that is camera right near sunset. This golden hour lighting isn’t as pretty in black and white as it is in person, or in color film, but I do like the repeated pattern of light and less light (can’t really call it dark!) of the flowers.

I think I saved the best for last. I like the lone blooming sunflower being accented in this photo. Since it’s one of the brightest spots in the photograph, our eyes are drawn to it quite naturally. One thing you might not notice if I didn’t point it out is the kind of halo effect above the trees in the background. That’s the result of bromide drag and might be considered a flaw in a negative from a typical camera. In this case, it just adds to the image, so it’s all good. I think the stand developing led to more grain than I’d get with regular D-76 or even standard development times in standard mixes of Rodinal, for example 1:25 or 1:50 ratios.

What do you think? Is the last the best? Does the haloing matter? Did you even see it?


3 thoughts on “Holga Black and White in a Sunflower Field”

  1. Hi David, these are super, and I hate to assign ‘best’ and ‘least’ and that kind of adjectives to photos, ’cause I know I might change my mind over time, and it depends on my mood, and all that. I have to agree though that the last one is a winner!!!

  2. I wouldn’t have noticed the haloing if you hadn’t pointed out, but the light is superb. I also really like the first sepia-toned sunflower. Nicely done!

Comments are closed.