Before & After

(Or: Analogue Noise Reduction!!)

This is -by far- the whackiest thing I have done in years.

To begin with, I would like to thank my good friend Jordan for bringing this to my attention.

There are a lot of things going on here, so let’s hop right in:

To begin with, The Producer was at a conference, so I had to style the hair and make the bun myself.Β  That is really the main miracle here. πŸ˜‚

Second, this is Portra 400 shot at ISO 1200 (Yes, a 1.5 stop push)

Finally (and probably most importantly…) this film was processed in both B&W and Colour Chemistry!!

That’s right folks:Β  This roll was first soaked in Rodinal (1:100) for ten minutes at room temperature (without agitation) and then rinsed, and immediately processed in standard C-41 chemistry.


And the blacks are BLACK, with no hint of grainy green and purple chroma noise that often results from pushing Portra 120 even one stop.

From what I can gather, the Rodinal seems to develop the “avid” areas first (the “bright noise” if you will…) leaving a very faint B&W image, which is subsequently bleached away (due to lack of fixation) by the C-41 chemistry.Β  It is -literally-Β “Analogue Noise Reduction!!” Β The negatives are of a lower density overall, but the shadows contain more detail, and the tones are much more homogeneous.

Definitely an area that warrants further exploration.

(Next stop: 35mm Portra 400 at 1600 and put through the Pakon…)

9 thoughts on “Before & After

      • mewanchuk says:

        As a fellow father of girls, I knew you would appreciate that, Peter. I can’t take all the credit, however, as part of what you are seeing there is actually a clip-in costume piece that I had to go and search out and buy that very morning…with all the kids in tow, of course.


      • jkjod says:

        Girls hair is an area I still have a lot to learn…the first pony tail I have to put up will probably have my hand stuck in it, haha.

  1. jkjod says:

    Nice! I’m so glad this worked out, the colors are really quite something. I knew this would be right up your alley. Eager to what the portra looks like at 1600.

    I know if this were my house and I was showing the results to Mrs. J all giddy like (“look, look, look…isn’t this sooooo cool?!?!”), I know exactly what the reaction would be (“uh huh, wooooow”).

  2. Karim Ghantous says:

    I have wondered about this sort of thing for a long time. I always wondered if there was a photochemical noise reduction technique that did not merely involve a bigger negative. It seems that it’s true after all. Eureka!

    I did come up with a possible solution, but it wasn’t chemical – it was optical, and it was invented decades ago, anyway. It’s basically a low-pass filter for enlargers, and probably works best with finer grained films.

    Anyway, the evidence is clear: those images look really, really nice. Cute girl, too. I’m sure she forgives you for the hair styling. πŸ˜›

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