When shooting film you’re going to hear a lot of words thrown around that you may be unsure of their meaning. When it comes to developing film, two words come to mind that always confuse even some advanced photographers. Push and Pull.
Visit any social media film photography group and you will find this is one of the most asked questions around.
So…..What does it mean to ‘push’ or ‘pull’ your film?
To “push” your film is to shoot and develop at a faster film speed, while to “pull” film is to shoot and develop at a slower film speed.
Pushing and pulling your film can greatly change the aesthetic of your photo. But if you are in a situation where you unintentionally shot at the wrong speed, the lab can help you correct your photo by pushing or pulling.
Pushing film can:
- Increase the contrast to a certain extent.
- Increase the apparent grain to a certain extent.
- Lighten the image.
Pulling film can:
- Decrease contrast
- Create a flat and overall dull negative
- Darken the image
The photo above was pushed one stop. I shot this using Fuji 400h, rated it 220 with exposure comp in my camera meter of +1. I had the lab bump it up one more stop just so I could make sure I was getting my desired look.