I came across these Harleys walking the back streets of Las Vegas late last year and the light was right..
Camera: Olympus 35sp
Dev: HC110 semi stand
I came across these Harleys walking the back streets of Las Vegas late last year and the light was right..
Camera: Olympus 35sp
Dev: HC110 semi stand
I was lucky enough on my last visit to Nassau to engage in one of my favorite activities- roaming the streets camera in hand. Nassau has many old buildings full of character (and bright colors that you can’t appreciate from these photos but I will put a couple iPhone snaps below as well). People are pretty friendly and will often say hello on the street. There is a lot of investment in luxury hotels however many of the buildings in the city itself are falling apart.
I took along my trusty Olympus 35sp and a couple rolls of Arista EDU that I have been bulk loading. I still have a ton of these to go and it’s not my favorite but it is reasonably priced. The photos would have benefited from a yellow filter (I forgot), and in a couple cases where I was photographing in the distance a polarizer would have helped. I will try and find a polarizer in this size (49). I have neglected filters for the most part and generally use just a yellow, or skylight to protect the lens, or nothing at all, so this could be a fun diversion.
I recall that this film works well with Cafenol developer. Since using Cafenol so much in the past I have gotten into the habit of pushing film since it works so well with that developer. These photos I shot at ei200, and no doubt I could have gotten better results closer to film speed. After printing in the darkroom I will have a better idea.
iPhone 8 plus
“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, blocking up the scenery breaking my mind..” (5 Man Electrical Band)
Camera: Agfa Isolette
Film: Fuji Acros
Dev: HC110 dilution E
How important is truthfulness in photography? In photojournalism at least the importance is obvious. A photograph, as Susan Sontag writes in her essay In Plato’s Cave (On Photography, 1977), “passes for incontrovertible proof that a given thing happened.” Well maybe not so much nowadays, at least not exactly as it happened..
Manipulation of images isn’t a new thing of course but it wasn’t so easy in analog times, and there was always the physical negative to fall back on if required, unless it had been destroyed, in which case it may have called into question the authenticity of the printed image. With digital imaging and sophisticated and capable image editors today we are not so sure, and presumably it will only become more difficult.
Well, in this case , a well known photographer has apologized for the offending staff’s transgression (now there’s an excuse of I ever heard one..), however it led sleuths to discovering interesting things about some of his other photographs, such as people or objects being removed.
If a child has been removed from a photograph because it made for a more effective photograph does this mean that the event photographed didn’t happen? If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around…? I would say yes and no, but more precisely, the photograph has now portrayed a different reality of the event. Some might say that, well, the child could have been removed from the frame during the composition which is true but in that case that is exactly what should have been done.
Another interesting instance was this Nikon competition where a badly photoshopped image won, and led to all sorts of great fun! Some competitions now require the original RAW file to be presented together with the final image. In the future will there will be some sort of 3rd party authentication or guarantee for photographers selling prints perhaps?
The offending images may still have all the qualites of a beautiful photograph, the perfect Flickr algorythm, but they have lost their luster to those that know. Sacrilege! You can picture in your mind the owners of the artist’s prints upon hearing of this fiasco rushing to check the ones they have on the wall were unaltered “real” photographs. It brings a smile to my lips..
The episode does raise more questions about the ability to use photography for portrayal of “reality”. I say “more” because photography has been used to selectively manipulate opinion since day one. I suppose I am a bit of a cynic when it concerns the business that is the art world (art or Art?). “Legalized money laundry tis all it tis”, I can hear the wizened old guy say as he spits from his creaky rocking chair to the dusty road beside him, some of it landing on the edge of the porch, spittle clinging to his beard like morning dew..
The bricks of the Yellow Brick Road were not paved in gold, they were just painted yellow, and at the end of the road the Wizard of Oz turned out to be a just a man after all.
3F 7F 6F, cranny in Shibuya. Leica 3f / Summitar 5cm.
This image has only been adjusted slightly for contrast/exposure level and contains everything and nothing more (except pershaps some dust from the scanner that I missed..) that was in the camera’s viewfinder at the time of pressing the shutter;-)
That was someone’s question on one of the wonderful video demonstrations by master woodworker Paul Sellers. In the demonstration Mr. Sellers uses a square, a pencil and a chisel to make a mortise and tenon. Mr. Sellers calls himself a lifestyle woodworker, and has his shop in Penrhyn Castle in North Wales where he gives demonstrations and apprentices a few people every year. In addition to teaching how to make furniture, he teaches how to make your own tools, such as a rabbet plane, how to sharpen your chisels or re-tooth an old saw blade. His pieces are in the United States White House Collection. He uses a handsaw made in the 1700’s. How cool is that?
Well that simple (and lazy, albeit humorous) one word question, “Why?” got me thinking. Why should you work with your hands taking three or four, or maybe ten times longer for each mortise and each tenon, and each dovetail until weeks, or maybe months later you have a piece of handcrafted furniture made by you, when if you just bought a dozen or so power tools and a shop, you could turn it out much quicker and with much less effort? Better yet, why not just shop at a furniture store in a couple hours (or a few minutes online) for less than a fraction of those power tools? Why just get one piece, when nowadays with how cheap the stuff is from China you can probably buy a set for the whole house at IKEA? Who cares, when you move just throw it out.
There is the obvious that we have way too much cheap stuff that we don’t really need, as well as the environmental aspect, but there is another. Our Cheaper Faster More is often made in deplorable conditions that we publicly condemn, yet support with our dollars. Even where the working environment is clean and safe, there are other consideration such as the grey line between free choice and that of wage slavery. I recommend checking out some of the interesting photographs of factories in China by Edward Burtnynsky to get an idea.
I see a similarity with woodworking and photography. Mr. Sellers is using tools over 100 years old, many of which will keep working for generations into the future. Film photographers everywhere are using cameras forty, fifty, and even 100 years old. Meanwhile the scrap heaps are full of plastic electric tools and plastic digital cameras made only a few years ago. Mr. Sellers is lovingly and painstakingly making beautiful furniture that will last, and enjoying taking the time to do it. Film photographers are lovingly and painstakingly taking the time to make beautiful photographs (well, hopefully to the photographer at least..). And more importantly, enjoying it.
P.s. You can see Paul Sellers’ website here.
USA Today and old banana (the banana isn’t fake), Portland Oregon. Leica IIIf / Summitar 5cm
Stepping out from Shibuya Station one night,
I raised my camera to my eye,
and panned while clicking the shutter
to catch this cyclist speeding by.
I didn’t intend to put that into a poem but when I wrote the description it it kind of ended up that way:-)
Film: HP5+ developed in HC-110 preparation H
It has been quite some time since my last post. It’s not that I haven’t been shooting film, it’s that I have moved back to the US and have been busy getting everyone settled. And, I left me scanner behind and do not have a darkroom here yet. Most of my stuff is still in Japan.. I have recently enrolled in a darkroom class in order to use the lab and have met some great people there. I am really looking forward to getting back into printing again and hopefully learning some more. I have spent most of my efforts up until now focussed on camera work and film development, and although I enjoy printing I have approached it in a kind of haphazard, as needed way. I look forward to sharing more of my latest on this blog soon, and in the meantime I might put up a few from the past that I haven’t shared yet. Thank you for looking.
This Voigtlander Bessa rangefinder accompanied me on a recent business trip to Sri Lanka, and although I didn’t have much opportunity to use it there I did get to take a few frames (on an overcast day..) which is better than nothing, and then took a few more back in Japan.
These old cameras are handy for travel due to their compact size- when folded and stowed away they are slimmer than your average 35mm slr. Of course without automatic winding stops you have to watch the number in the window for each frame, and when framing be careful not to crop things out of the top when in close range due to parallax (like I almost did in the portrait of the three friends in below), but this is all part of the experience. A speed camera it is not.
These two friendly guys were enjoying the afternoon in this narrow alley in Slave Island with their beautiful cat. They jokingly offered to give me the cat to take back with me to Japan (the cat went along with it for the sake of the joke, but wasn’t that keen on it I don’t think).
I did ruin a frame due to the bag of lychees I was carrying in my left hand contacting the shutter tensioner while taking one exposure thus slowing it from 1/100th to probably around 1/15th and causing the camera to shake slightly. This is something I like to do with my thumb on my Superb as well. It generally takes one frame of doing this I’ve found and then I am ok for the rest of the time using the camera:-) Then I forget again when it is put away for a few months..
Doh! Darned lychees. They were delicious though (and cost only about ¥100 for 20pcs).
The Voigtlander Bessa RF was made from 1936-1951 I understand (according to Camerapedia). They were fitted with Skopar, Heliar, Heliomar, Helomar, and Color-Heliar lenses. I like the 5 element Heliar 3.5/10.5cm, but I have heard good things about any of them. It does get soft in the extremeties below f8, and swirly opened all the way up. This can look pretty cool for portraits etc if that is what you are going for. It has a yellow filter attached which conveniently flips up and down. I don’t have a lens shade for it yet so have to watch the flare though haven’t noticed anything too shocking yet.
This high contrast photo of an old Japanese farm building would have benefitted from the zone system (and a tripod) in order to get more detail in the shadows and some more depth of field, although I like all the shapes, textures and shadows as it is. Probably around 1.5 more stops exposure and then n-1 development? Next time..
Film was Arista Edu 100 (Foma 100) shot at ei200 just to get a little more speed for better handheld use. Development was HC-110 E 8 minutes/20C (recommended was 6 min at 20c at box speed).
This camera also is able to shoot square format which would give 12 frames instead of 8, and centralise the image to the area where the lens performs best.
I purchased this FM2 at a camera fair around 25 years ago and it has served me without fail ever since. It is my most “nostalgic” camera. It hasn’t gotten as much use the last few years due to my growing collection of cameras, but I always take it out again eventually.
Usually I have the 50/1.8 attached which is compact and a wonderful portrait lens, however this time I grabbed the 55/3.5 macro, which is a great macro lens and a fine all rounder.
I used Acros pushed one stop to ei200 developed in HC-110 dilution E (1:47), developed for 7 minutes at 22 degrees C. For Acros at ei100 I would normally develop for 7 minutes at 20 C, and I saw on the Massive Dev Chart that someone recommended 7 minutes at 24 C for ei400 so this was a guess but it worked out fine I think.
I am cognisant that since getting this bottle of HC-110 my use of caffenol has nearly stopped. I also have the ingredients for D-23 waiting in the wings but alas, the corruption of convenience. I think some of it has to do with my concern about the HC-110 expiring before I get through it. Due to the dilutions this stuff goes a long ways!
Old town, Yokohama. Nikon FM2 50/1.8 Nikkor / Tri-x / HC-110 E (and fixer that looks like it probably should have been replaced a couple rolls back- doh!)
The wires on the side of the building look like vines to me. I like how the shapes and patterns attract the eye amongst the jumble and worn disarray of human life- somehow more comforting to me, and definitely more interesting to look at than our new modern sterility.
Never put off until tomorrow what can be done the day after tomorrow. -Mark Twain
My blog is finally starting to live up to its name;-) It has been a long while since making a post. It’s not that I haven’t been taking photos, I just hadn’t gotten around to developing and scanning them.
Well we finally had some nicer weather after what seemed like endless grey, drizzly days so I took the Superb out to stretch its legs. I found a press on yellow filter and hood awhile back that fit so used that this time. I tried some Arista Edu 400 I got from Freestyle and some trusty Tri-x, and developed in HC-110 preparation “H” (1:63, or 15ml per 1l water). The Arista is about half the price of the Tri-x.
At first I struggled with familiarity of the controls, which are a bit unusual even for TLR’s, having been around 6 months since I used this camera, but by the second roll it became second nature and it flowed better. Later when inspecting my drying negatives I saw that I made two double exposures. This despite what I thought was a pretty ingrained habit of always winding just before the shot. What happens I realised is that I might compose a shot but change my mind at the last second and go look for something else. At the next shot I don’t remember and think I must have already wound it for the last shot.. Old school photography is really good practice for being in the present and remembering each thing- or not:-) The second roll shot a couple days later was fine. I noticed also a light leak in the first half of the frames on the first roll due to not properly shutting film doors all the way (the Superb has interesting barn doors that snap closed), something I will be more careful with next time.
Loading the developing reel the Tri-x feels more substantial, thicker, and it dries flatter than the Arista (this is helpful for scanning- especially if you have a cheap scanner like mine, a Canon 9000f, whose holders don’t flatten the negatives). I think I like the look of the Tri-x more, but the Arista works fine for the price. I can definitely refine my exposure and development with it.
I shot them all at ei280, exposed at 140 to allow for the filter- using my phone exposure app and Sunny 16 depending. Development for the Tri-x was 11 minutes which seemed about right to me for the lightly overcast situation on that day. Development recommendations seem to be are really spotty since they changed the film but generally seem to have gotten shorter . The Arista for 11 1/2 minutes (Arista recommends 6 1/2 minutes for HC-110 B at ei400 starting point on the box), which was sort of a middle of the road calculation since on that day I had both high contrast as well as low contrast scenes on the same roll. Snaps really so not to be too scientific;-)
Ideally what one should do of course is try to take similar contrast scenes on the same roll so that compensating development can work for all the frames and not adversely affect some. Or take two or more cameras, one for each condition requiring different development. In fact if you are “really serious” you should rewind your roll whether you are finished or not once you have “the shot”, and develop just for that one:-)