Some time ago, Paul challenged me to do the numbers challenge. (This isn’t related to the Photo Challenge, by the way).

The numbers challenge is simple. You put a film in your favourite camera, and take photos of numbers in order. On a 36-exposure film, you’d take pictures of the numbers 1-36 in order, as shown on your film counter.

Then, when you’ve finished the film, develop it and make a contact print of the whole lot, rather than scanning each frame individually. The final result is a unique piece of art.

I managed to squeeze an extra frame out of my film, and shot the numbers 0-36. But I could only fit 30 negatives on a sheet of 10×8″ photographic paper, so I had to make do with that. Some time soon I hope to get round to printing the whole series on a larger piece of paper.

Unfortunately the exposure is a bit “off” in some of these. Individually, they are not nearly as over- or under-exposed as they look. It’s just that some are below average and some are above average exposure, and this doesn’t turn out well in the printing process. If I scanned or printed them individually, they’d all come out fine

If you’re interested in the subject matter, here are the notes I’ve been keeping since September.

  1. Road sign in BS1, Bristol
  2. Lamppost
  3. No 3A, Christmas Steps
  4. No 4, Christmas Steps
  5. No 5, Christmas Steps
  6. Business plaque
  7. Can of 7-up
  8. No 8, Osborne Villas
  9. No 9, Tottenham Place
  10. Price tag in Wilkos
  11. Graffiti on the wall
  12. Multipack of Hula Hoops
  13. Petrol price at Tesco
  14. Computer screen
  15. Coins
  16. Multipack of Twix
  17. Glowsticks
  18. Car park space at Durdham Hall
  19. No 19, Woodland Rd
  20. 20mph speed limit
  21. Birthday card
  22. Number on whiteboard
  23. Birthday candles
  24. 24-hour sign at ASDA
  25. 25% off poster
  26. Steamy mirror
  27. Chart show countdown
  28. Calendar
  29. Alarm clock LCD
  30. 30mph speed limit

Lessons learnt

  • Use fast film
  • Choose high-contrast subjects (the steamy mirror at #26 didn’t work out at all)
  • Be extremely careful with your exposure
  • Use a macro lens, if you have one. Most numbers you find are quite small!

One thought on “Numbers

  1. Nice one for finishing it, that worked really well! I’d love to see the 6 that you couldn’t fit onto the contact print though.

    As I’ve just found one of my cameras has a roll of film in it, I might have a go myself!


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