Strange Things Photographers Do

Except for the occasional emotional outburst and associated ranting I do here you probably thing I am a fairly rational photographer. No voodoo or chicken bone waving kind of stuff - I like to know how things work including the materials and devices I use to make images with. Of course I am not all logic and ration, heck I use Leicas and some lenses that are not considered "the best" and film because I like the way it looks, and in some cases feels. I am sure that I could "rationalize" just about any of my choices but here is one that I thought you might get a kick out of that is completely indefensible from a rational point of view.

Ilford film and why a don't use much of it to speak of. Yes I shot a roll of Delta 100 the other day that was 9 years old, I have a half a brick of it left from way back. Why do you think I have a brick of it from a decade ago? The answer is because I didn't like it. Why you may ask didn't I like it, was something wrong with it? Well… technically no but you see right after Ilford came out with the Delta line they also modified their 35mm film in a way that I found so horrible that I really could not stand it. They jammed a freaking indelible bar code on the bottom edge where the frame numbers used to be.

Take a look at how hideous this looks - really. I hated the way that this looked on my contact sheets so I never really considered shooting it. If I am not going to shoot it in 35mm I am definitely not going to shoot it in medium format or sheets - why would I? They don't have barcodes in those formats but why waste the time and deal with the complexity of yet another film? I could easily justify this because I was really a TRI-X guy as opposed to an HP5plus guy anyway. Yes - when it comes to those two films it's sort of like Ford or Chevy, or Canon and Nikon, you are either one or you are the other. I liked my old standby anyway - TMAX 100 so there you have it, barcodes are the answer to why I am not an Ilford shooter - I mean come on, what the hell are they for anyway - it's not like you are going to run it through an auto processor are you? WTF? Those things look horrible and who the hell wants their contact sheets to look horrible. They also happen to be far far brighter than where good highlights are as well. Imagine showing a client or art director that horrible mess - they will be seeing barcodes burned into their retinas for the rest of the day - like when a flash goes off in your face.

I will bet you that you have some deep dark bias towards some sort of stuff in your image making chain as well. For equally as non-sensical a reason.


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