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My wife and my brother have both told me that I have a lot of rules. They're both right, and there are a couple of rules that I have for this blog. Number one, and by far the most important, is that I don't start a post with the word "I" – something I've only broken once in over seven years, and it was worth it.

The other rule is more of a guideline, really, and I'm breaking it now: don't post photos the same day that they're taken.

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I went grocery shopping this morning.

That's not a big deal, but because this is 2020 and everything always gets worse, the small and uncrowded store that got us through the lockdown has been closed by the corporation that just made record profits, making me take the subway to their bigger and more profitable store instead. And I brought my newest camera with me.

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None of this should be a big deal, and aside from the corporate profiteering with a history of price fixing and worker exploitation, it really isn't. But my newest camera is a 6x9 pinhole, so these are all minute-long exposures, or more, and were recorded with Ilford HP5 film.

I've only just started developing my own film at home. I'm still very excited about that.

The portrait of the Portuguese-Style chicken needs a better composition, but I was actually trying to take a photo of myself standing in front of the cart. I had to move too much, though, because someone came by to stock a shelf. You can't see them in this photo, either.

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So these have been developed, scanned, and posted within fourteen hours of loading the film in the camera. That's not bad – almost digital. In fact, given that I only had to deal with eight frames instead of eighty-plus, digital might have been slower.

I had a big hurdle to overcome with developing my own film – cost and convenience. Working at a camera store with a lab meant that I could just hand over a roll or two for processing whenever there was a spare spool in a tank. And I was already there, so low-to-no-cost film processing didn't even need a special trip. It just took a day or four, and whatever film I used would end up in TMax. So this is better.

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Learning to develop my own film is both a step toward independence and a move to niche chemistry. These are done in Ilford Microphen, which is what I'll use for most things, and I'm also stocking up on Perceptol, for slower films. I like the idea of having two developers that handle similarly but are suited for different uses – the 35/85 split instead of just using a 50mm lens for everything – and they're powders which keep well and can be shipped easily.

Clearly I still have a lot to learn about the process, from capture to developing and editing. For example, these probably don't need to be scanned at 150Mpx resolution – but man, can I ever zoom in and really enjoy that complete lack of detail. But a pinhole camera combines my love of long exposures with a certain unpredictability and a complete lack of lens distortion. Up next will be some architectural photography.

I have lots of really good cameras, and I'm still using them as well. But the pinholes are a nice change of pace from everything else, and they're easy. Right now that's about what I need.