Aspens in the snow in the Gila Wilderness, originally uploaded by Kevglobal.

I’m historically lazy about getting film developed, which I guess is why I love digital. I just got around to developing some film I shot on a walk through the Gila Wilderness in early December 2006. It was going to be cold so I bought disposable cameras. I know from experience that cold kills the lithium ion batteries used in digital cameras. When Suw and I went to Colorado in September, even though it was just chilly at night, not actually what I would term as cold, I still slept with my camera batteries to keep them warm at night. It made a huge difference. My friend Alain watched with horror as the cold – well below freezing drained his batteries in hours.

One of the disposable cameras I took was a Kodak C-41 black and white camera, which unfortunately doesn’t appear to be available in the UK. C-41 black and white film doesn’t require special processing. You can use it the standard labs common in most shops, and this film was developed with a one-hour batch processor at a high street snap shop. I was deeply impressed with the results. It captured the snow and scenes so well and managed to work in some extreme conditions both in terms of temperatures and in terms of light. My only regret is that with gloved hands, my finger often found its way into the shots. The viewfinder only lets you frame the image, not check to see if your finger was in it.

I’ll definitely have to consider shooting more with black and white film or even see how my digital works in black and white mode. Any suggestions on good digital cameras for B&W? I’m also going to shoot more with my Argus C-3. It’s not for action shots, but it has brilliant optics. Now, if I only I can break my bad habit of not developing film.

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