Today in our 8th Behind the Film interview we talk to Mike Bain. One of our longer serving team members, Mike started in our tech team and now looks after North America. He has probably forgotten more about film photography and darkroom printing than some of us will ever learn!
Who are you? What’s your job title HARMAN technology and how long have you worked here?
My name is Mike Bain and I am the Harman technology rep for North America. I have been with the company for 33 years.
My days are spent working with my colleagues at the factory and our North American distributors and dealers trying to ensure we have the right mix and amount of product here in North America (harder than it sounds). I also work with dealers, labs, teachers and photographers regarding technical questions and general day to day issues. I have travelled frequently for most of my time with Ilford and have been fortunate to meet all kinds of great photographers and printers doing really beautiful, diverse and interesting work. That’s the best part of the job.
My favorite photos change every time I go back and look at old negatives in my files. I think that is true for most photographers I’ve met. Looking through new eyes and all that…
I have shot film and worked in the darkroom since I was around 14 or 15 years old, long before working for Ilford. I plan on shooting film and having a darkroom for the rest of my life.
Taking walks and taking photos.
I wouldn’t even know where to start. Fortunately, I don’t make as many as I used to but once in a while I find myself forgetting what I loaded in my Rolleiflex and shooting it at the wrong ISO. That can be frustrating and I am sure I am the only one who has ever done this…
In my lifetime I’ve shot all kinds of, color negs, transparencies and mostly black and white films. Over the years it is probably 20 or 30 different types
I normally process my own film but I also use our Harman Lab at times.
For me the entire goal of shooting film is to make prints in the darkroom. After being out and shooting it is my favorite part of the process. Like most people I know I will never catch up.
I have owned and shot with all kinds of equipment over the years with formats from 35mm to 8x10 cameras. Nowadays I shoot 90 percent of the time with my Rolleis. I have a 3.5F and 2.8C. I really like the cameras and I love the square format. Usually I carry around a Zero Image 6x6 pinhole as well.
I shoot lots of types but over the years I’ve found that I spend most of my shooting time using HP5 Plus. I do like to carry some Delta 3200 around as well.
All images ©Mike Bain
I began shooting film in my high school journalism class in the mid 70s. Later I took photography in college and learned more about shooting and about traditional black and white and color darkroom techniques. I began working with ILFORD Photo as a tech rep in early 1988.
Posted on 20th July 2021
Posted on 18th November 2021
Posted on 5th October 2021