Friday, July 30, 2010

Meetup Group?

Just joined a group. Previously, I belonged to a photo club for a year, but it was dominated by the aged and did not feel the discussions/presentations were all that pertinent to my shooting (ie photoshop tips, digital manipulation, etc.). I decided not to rejoin. This group seems to have a younger base, with many members having an interest in film photography. I am attending the group on Monday so that I will have a chance to find out what they are about.

Drawing The Light

I currently have some film that resided in my Holga out for development. Look for results soon - warning, there will probably be gushage over that camera in such post.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Color and its Conversion

I was pretty harsh on my photos last time because I was very unhappy with the results. I fiddled with a picture or two because I liked the composition and negated the color in a simple editing program. Check out the results:

The weird color cast is caused by a mixing of halogen with a daylight balanced flash - one of the things that must be taken into consideration when shooting with color in mind. If shooting digital the fix is easy - take a test shot with daylight balance, adjust your white balance and gel the flash to match the ambient light. On film you need to use a filter (which will affect the exposure by some stops), then gel the flash to match the ambient light. On this picture the overall cast is greenish, so I would use a magenta tinged filter on the lens (to balance the green) and gel the flash with green. The gel will also take some power away from the flash so that must be taken into consideration as well when calculating exposure.

However if you want to make a color conversion, you can easily use a program do something like this:

I personally like black and white more than color anyway.

So I guess my lesson is that if a picture does not work for you in one way look at it again and think of other possible options. But please, not too many obvious changes: such would be garish.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Crappy Photos

I am so disappointed by the results from my last set of photos. They are so bad I am not even going to post them; instead I will provide the link to an online gallery: bad pictures

I used unexpired Fuji Pro 400H and I can not say that I care for this film. The latitude is very slim and the color is dull and the grain does not seem as buttery as a Kodak film. I tried the film once before and thought it was dull then too, but decided to give it another go.

What also contributed to some of my worst work was that most were taken in mid-day sunshine which is the hardest time to get a good capture because of harsh and flat lighting.

Pretty disgusted with both the rendition of the film and the images.

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Monday, July 5, 2010


Last night my good friend John stopped by to watch some Twilight Zone episodes, relax, and drink the good drink.

Even though he is not into photography he does enjoy a good image and is always willing to see my work. He is quite the articulate fellow (soon to be an English professor) and gives me some of the best feedback I can ask for - describing what he likes/does not like and explaining emotional responses should there be any.

I showed him the two images from the last entry and he was stunned. He said that he really liked the photographs, but pondered a bit over the explanation as to why because he did not want to say the wrong thing due to having a hard time putting his thoughts and feelings into words. Finally, he said "Detailed, the image is so detailed." I responded something to the effect of "That is medium format." I went on further and explained why I liked it to which he agreed point by point.

So there you have it. Even a gentleman who has little knowledge about photography feels the difference between this and 35mm.

35mm: you are great for use in compact slrs and rangefinders when size and weight matters, but for quality we have to go with the larger formats.

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Japanese Hasselblad?

I have read on teh interwebs that some Bronica cameras have been dubbed as the Japanese Hasselblad due to their looks and the results you can pull from their lenses. I have not had the chance to work with medium format Zeiss slr lenses, but can only imagine they are great. The camera make, however, has no bearing on the ability of the photographer. If you are a good photographer you can pull great results out of any camera, but after a certain point you might feel limited by your equipment.

Within the first year of my journey into the world of photography I dabbled in medium format under the Holga banner; I was hooked. Granted, the camera is incredibly low-fidelity, but I loved those big negatives (2.25"x2.25") and the dreamy look that camera can produce. Next was a much more sophisticated old, old, old rangefinder called the Certo Six that revealed the possible power of the 6x6 with its beautifully bipolar Zeiss Tessar lens. Stopped down it was sharp, but wider open the images were soft and acceptable focus was hard to achieve. Unfortunately that camera is somewhat out of commission now with a busted rangefinder (damn that Halloween party!). I then picked up a couple of other medium format folding cameras that also gave some great results like the Ansco Titan and the Voigtlander Perkeo I. I was even given a Rolleiflex Automat, but still have not seen what it can do (it also has a Tessar): due to my ineptitude I failed my first attempt with that camera while trying off-camera lighting.

As you can imagine those cameras do not have meters; a fact that can be slightly frustrating. Also not being able to focus as exactly as I would like inhibited some of my creative desires. As I mentioned in my last post, I was determined not to pick up another medium format camera unless it had metering and a couple of interchangeable lenses. It also needed to be an SLR so that I could easily achieve great focus. Then along came this Bronica SQ-A on the Rangefinder Forum classified section and I decided to take the plunge. It covered all of my prerequisites AND had a price that would not break the bank.

I recently finished a roll of the faux black and white film that I am so fond of called Kodak BW400CN. I was not quite sure what I could expect, but I did not expect to be blown away.

Window Lighting 1

I took advantage of the great soft lighting coming from the window.

Does the quality of this image make you interested in trying medium format over 35mm? If so, then that is awesome. Help keep the format alive!

I have to wonder when I will take the plunge into large format photography.

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