Saturday, January 22, 2011


I am feeling "bleh" today. I am sure there is a better word in the English lexicon, but it eludes me due to a) my ignorance; or b) my mental fatigue. Most likely choice a.

Friday evening, on my ride home from work a cough formed, but still only in intervals not to aggravate me, or other riders on the subway (I believe), and thought little of it. Grand plans of doing absolutely nothing filled my head, and I had no other desire but to indulge such fantasies. Problem was that my little cough developed into a throat scathing hack that persists to this very moment.

At some point last night I thought it to be a good idea to take a little nap around 8:30pm that ended up being 3 hours long. Oh, I woke up after my alarm informed me of the 30minute interval I had set, but I turned it off and went back to sleep. My rationale? Not the usual self declaration that is often followed through rarely, "I am just going to sleep a little bit longer. Promise. Then I will be up and productive." It was more like, "This sleep is different from the sleep I am going to have later and it will not interfere."

I felt worse: completely awake, but exhausted and achy. My best friend suggested that I use my condition to take a self portrait for my assignment.

Let me now give some additional backmatter: I started my black and white photography class and felt quite humiliated on a few different fronts. 1) The instructor asked us to use our cameras in the class and the OM-10 was being extremely finicky. The meter was not working initially then the instructor took a look at it and it started to function. 2) I thought I had film in the camera and thought I had made 15 shots. Apparently I forgot to load the camera and did not notice the tell-tale signs of an empty camera.

I want to use this camera for the class because I love how the Zuiko 50mm lens renders images. Just look at this praising post. Frankly, I am tired of how the Nikon 50mm looks.

The instructor gave us a couple of assignments 1) Bring in a print of a picture that you really like. Largish. 2) Shoot half a roll of film on self-portraits and the other half on very deliberate shots focusing on composition.

I ended up not doing my self portraits during my sickness.

*edit* I notice now that I did not publish this post - so here is an old entry.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Street Shots

Street photography is not an aspect of photography that I have explored too much; it always seems kind of unusual (and uncomfortable) to point a camera at someone who may not necessarily be a willing subject, but it is something that I am going to try to overcome. I really do love the idea of the commando style and want to practice it more.

Here are some of my favorite street shots from a recent roll of Superia X-Tra, which I feel has some really decent results for being such a cheapo film. Shot with a Nikon FE and 50mm f/1.8 or 20mm f/2.8


This kid set down his boom-box in the middle of a subway car and started dancing to some Michael Jackson. I love the blur here achieved with a 1/15th shutter speed.


A blurry portrait with an ethereal look.


The kid stopped just long enough for me to capture this still.


I set the 20mm to a hyperfocal distance and took this shot at waist level. I think the shadows are interesting and I really like the solar flare (flair).


I waited for someone to walk into this frame featuring the skyscraper and luckily (ironically) caught this girl looking up at something.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Family Photos

I was very excited to get home yesterday and start scanning my recently developed film. It has been quite a while since I last posted some pictures up here, so I hope these are enjoyed.

I really like this one of my folks - the feeling conveyed by the picture is one of the best I have ever captured of them.


You do not mess with Grandma. World class beauty!


My pops really has a great face for pictures; his expressions are second to none!


Another example of a great expression, though this one seems a lot creepier than the last - probably due to the almost blacked out eyes. Despite all said, I still think he looks wonderfully friendly.

These were taken with my the Bronica SQ-A and 80mm Zenzanon lens at f/5.6 and 1/500s on Kodak Portra 160NC. Off camera flash (Nikon SB 25) coming from camera right. If I were to go back and make an adjustment, I would put some kind of reflector on their lap to lift the shadows on their necks and eyes.

I have sung the heralds of Kodak Portra before, but I am a little sad to see the two varieties and two speeds (160NC, 400NC, 160VC and 400VC) bite the dust by being conglomerated into one Portra film with one speed (400). However, I have yet to test the two rolls of the new stock I recently purchased. There are a number of websites out there reviewing the stuff saying that it is a film that can be pushed and pulled like mad while still retaining insanely fine grain and color. So, we will see how I feel about it.

One of the great benefits of the Bronica is that the lenses house a leaf shutter that will let me sync them up to flash at any speed. This is so important when you want to control the ambient light. If I did not keep the shutter speed so high, the background would have been more exposed which could have detracted from my family's faces and personalities. This is still a feature of the camera that I need to explore more thoroughly along with the nature of flash photography, though I did pick up a new tool to help me on my journey.

This was the first time I was using my new light meter, the Sekonic L308s which proves to be quite accurate. I am quite happy with each exposure where I listened to the device. On a number of pictures I did not believe the settings, so I tried to figure it out with guide numbers and such, but I was left with woefully underexposed (yet slightly salvageable) images.

Nevermind all of the barely technical stuff above, what really makes the pictures are the subjects.

There is still a roll of cheapo 35mm that I have to make it through, so I will be posting some more photographs within the next few days.

Other personal news soon to develop.

flickr photos