So I am exactly 7 rolls deep on my excursion into film photography. I'm using a Nikon FM2 and I've had some pretty decent results.
The last roll I shot though, almost all of it came back terrible, and I want to figure out what went wrong. I refuse to touch-up any of these photos digitally, as that (in my mind) ruins the spirit of the exercise, but I want to know what you think.https://picasaweb.google.com/104355103005841782571/NikonFM2Roll7?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMOigfevgfqSTg&feat=directlink
-- Here are the photos, all together, totally untouched.
All these photos are 400 speed B&W film, that was pushed 3 stops (i.e. I set my camera's meter to 3200) and told the developer (www.thedarkroom.com) to push it 3 stops. All on the same page? Good. I'm very new to push-processing, but my understanding is that it basically allows you to shoot with less available light, at the expense of adding graininess and contrast. However these photos, for the most part, came out mostly a dull dark grey with little definition. A few photos came out well, but they were definitely in the minority:
Exhibit A: A pretty dull photo
Exhibit B: Another photo really lacking in range
Exhibit C: A photo I'm pretty (technically) happy with
So here's my question: What is the most likely cause of this poor job? Is it
a) My lack of skill as a photographer (if so, be specific, as I have many failings)
b) My camera's meter not correctly interpreting 3200 speed (I've found it does a decent job with 400 when I'm not "pushing")
c) The developing company not "pushing" it enough?
d) The scanning company (also the darkroom) somehow messing up the analog/digital conversion
This is an album that I shot pushed 2 stops (developed by B&H, not TheDarkroom) that I'm quite happy with: https://picasaweb.google.com/104355103005841782571/NikonFM2Roll6?authuser=0&feat=directlink
Any criticism, constructive or otherwise, is totally welcome.