04 June 2013

Fuji FP-3000B45 Negative & Positive - Graflex Crown Graphic 4x5 - Emily Wallace

This past weekend while shooting with Emily I attempted to take a couple of large format Polaroids using my Crown Graphic and some of the Fuji FP-3000B 45 I had loaded into my Polaroid back. Well... I pretty much failed on all accounts when it came to getting a decent exposure. I used up the remaining three sheets of film that were in the pack to no avail. 

There was one photo, though, that I didn't hate. It was overexposed for sure, but I think it was also the culprit of a pesky light leak from not securing my Polaroid back properly. Still, the photo was interesting and so I decided to scan it. Here's what it looked like:

Then, while it was scanning, I noticed that the paper negative (the GOOP) actually had more information in the blown out lower right hand side of the photo. There was a little more detail. Some dynamic range held on. Again, I thought this was interesting and figured maybe I could just scan the negative and invert it. I've done it before with good result, so I thought I'd give it a go. Here's what the negative looked like when I scanned it, flipped it and inverted it:

Well, the negative didn't really work out for me either. When I started to adjust the levels of the image it became apparent that while I had more information for my blown out areas, the details in the face were much better in the positive that I had already scanned. I continued to play around with both, but wasn't really happy with the results of either. 

And that's when I decided to experiment a little to see if there's anything I could do to save this image (don't judge me, this film and all other large format instant films are out of production - you do what you can). What I came up with is something of a pseudo HDR using the positive and negative together. A couple different layers of each, some different levels adjustment layers and some creative masking later I ended up with the image you see at the top of the page (or again below):

Is it everyone's cup of tea? I'd expect not. Is it perfect? I wouldn't want it to be. Either way, from nearly nothing I was able to salvage an image that is very close to a standard paper negative scan that's been inverted with a few tweaks to the levels and contrast. I thought it was interesting, and I like the feel of the final image.

Maybe this will be helpful to someone else as well. Enjoy, and feel free to leave your own thoughts on this process in the comments below.


  1. That's a very nice image! I've had something similar happen before, a whole roll of 120 was exposed to light while on the reel, about to be developed. I used a photoeditor to pull details out.

  2. Did you used to live in Wilmington, NC? Travel at all to Atlanta? Jamie H