Friday, November 30, 2012

Fall Colors in Drexel Park

Okay, yes I take a lot of photos in Drexel Park. I drive by it twice a day and I can walk to it from work. Hence my shooting two rolls of film there Wednesday.

I shot a roll of Superia 100 in my Yashica 124G, and a roll of Superia 200 in my Nikkormat EL. It was an overcast day but the colors really came out nicely. I am especially happy with the Yashica photos. Here they are:

Now the 35mm was no slouch either, despite the negatives being 1/4 the size. I was using an old 35mm f/2.8  pre-AI lens, which has an interesting "look" to it, and an 85mm f/1.8 AI'd lens. Here are a few shots from that roll:

 You can see that the Superia 100 is a bit red/magenta. It is expired and has a slight shift that way. I kind of liked it so I left it. The Superia 200 is fresh and does not exhibit that.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Something to post...VSU Architecture, and a mistake to learn from

It's been two weeks since I posted. It's not that I've not shot anything, I've just been really busy. Not only with work, but with about a half-dozen photography gigs. That's a good thing though of course! Anyway, here is one shot from a couple days ago. I wanted to take some architecture photos at VSU. I used my Toyo GII since it is better for shots needing lots of movements.

Long story short, I used a Technika adapter board but couldn't find a screw for part of it, which introduced a pinhole. This is obviously not a good thing and caused a double exposure. Here is the result, which is admittedly kind of cool. But I learned a good lesson:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

YashicaMat 124G - first outing

Since getting to shoot a couple of rolls with a Rolleiflex a few months ago I've been trying to find a TLR. Rolleiflexes are so collectible I decided to go with a different model. Finally I found a nice little YashicaMat 124G. I like this camera because it has a built-in meter that works perfectly after I got a battery adapter to use modern batteries.

Here's some shots from my first roll, shot on Ilford Pan F+ film, rated at 25, and stand developed in Rodinal 1:100 for 45 minutes at 70F:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Re-evaluating 8x10 x-ray film

I've started working with the 8x10 x-ray film again. I have had plenty of good shots from it, but I still am stymied at times with high-contrast scenes, especially those with sky in it. I shot four sheets out at Langdale Park as an experiment. I developed them in Rodinal 1:100 for 7:30 at 68F, and I rated the film at ISO 50. The negatives look good, but as you'll see the sky in one photo is totally gone, and causes issues with the tree tops. So I think I need to try cutting the development in a scene like that drastically, to like 6 minutes. Perhaps I will man up and just shoot a half-dozen sheets of a scene with sky and see what I can do.

Anyway, here are the photos. Lenses included the Graphic Kowa 210mm, Nikkor 450mm, Gundlach Radar 300mm, and Nikkor 120mm:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

STRICKLAND MILL Documentary Project - Part 5

I shot two rolls of 120 film and two sheets of 4x5 today outside the mill as the sun set. Here's the two sheets of 4x5, developed myself. Taken with my Polaroid 900 / Xenotar 135/3.5:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Home processing 4x5 C-41 film - Portra 400NC and cross-processed Ektachrome Plus

I've done some C-41 processing at home before, but it's been a while. I finally acquired a really nice water heater / pump that recirculates water and warms it to a very precise temperature. With such a system, it's become much easier to develop at home.

I shot a few sheets of Portra 400NC out at Langdale Park while shooting my Mamiya 645 the other day to test my process. This film is old, outdated, and not really well taken care of (I got it pretty much for free). Even so, the results were fairly impressive. There was a color shift that I edited out in Photoshop - I am not certain whether that was caused by the old film or my processing. I still need to test and check for color accuracy with fresh film. Here are the two best shots. I took these both with my converted Polaroid 900 and 135mm f/3.5 Xenotar lens:

Next I also shot some Ektachrome Plus film that I have been meaning to test for suitability of cross-processing. This stuff is even older and more out of date than the Portra. I got about 400 sheets for less than $50 on eBay just for fun. With my current processing plan, I hope to be able to easily cross-process large batches of this film (6 sheets at a time) with relative ease.

The colors, when properly exposed, are not bad. I tweaked this scan a little, but if I want the cross-processed "look" then I don't have to do anything:

Obviously landscapes aren't generally the best subject for cross-processed film. I will have to go out and try some street scenes using this film, handheld with my Polaroid. Yes I know that sounds really hipster. It's more fun that way... :)

By the way, this is my 100th blog post! Hooray!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

STRICKLAND MILL Documentary Project - Part 4

Another trip to the mill after a nighttime rainstorm produced some interesting results.

The first scene we found was a waterfall of sorts, spilling in from outside and cascading down the wall. Here is a long 4-minute exposure of the scene, taken with a Nikkor 90mm f/8:

I discovered the roof had standing water and was able to catch this reflection from a precarious vantage point (Schneider 300mm f/5.6):

And finally, here is the elevator shaft on the first floor (Schneider 300mm f/5.6):

I took some digital images as well. Here's the "waterfall:"

Here's some shots from the roof:

And a few more random scenes:

Fuji Superia 200 Test

I forgot all about these photos. I bought a 10-pack of Fuji Superia 200 on a whim when I was ordering some film the other day. It's cheap and I remember shooting some a long time ago and liking the results. Yes, it's cheap amateur print film - but that doesn't mean it can't be any good. I fell in that trap for over a year, thinking slow slide film was the only thing worth shooting, in any format.

Well I'm here to tell you that film is simply the medium, and the quality of photos is dependent on how you use it...

Anyway, this film is actually quite nice. I found that colors were great shot right at 200, while overexposure produced a shift towards cyan and/or yellowish tints. Grain was pretty good - not as good as 100-speed slides but what do you expect? I would say nice 8x10s or even 9x12s would be easy to do. Speaking of color, the film was nicely saturated but not overdone. I would say it works equally as well as a portrait or scenic film.

Here's a few general shots:

 By the way - 8,000 views total since I started this blog about a year ago. Thanks for coming!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

In Praise of Tri-X and Rodinal

The more I shoot with this combo the more I fine-tune it and get some really nice results. I shot a roll in my little Nikkormat EL, mostly with a 50mm f/1.2 AIS or 28mm f/2 and 85mm f/1.8 a couple weeks ago and I'm really happy with the photos. The meter was set to 200 and I developed it in Rodinal 1:50 @68F for 9 minutes. This part of the roll was a contrasty day at a local cemetery Meagan and I like to wander:

The other half of the roll was taken in Waycross during a visit with Meagan's family. Here's a few snapshots, indoors, mostly at f/2 on the 50mm:

Not bad for 35mm film and a 400-speed emulsion. Available-light photography has never been easier. In truth, I do wish I could get the full 400 ASA from Tri-X, but the tonality and feel from Rodinal is superb. I just ordered some more XTOL (mine went bad) so I might try XTOL again with Tri-X. In previous trials it was pretty harsh and had too much contrast, so I'll have to tweak my dev times.

In other news, I'm on a roll with posts this month.