Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Get Ready for 2105 with a New Calendar!

The 2015 Flower Calendar is now available!
I have been producing these calendars for several years, and as most of them were gifts, I often was asked about how to buy another copy. This year, I am ahead of the holiday season with a supply of my flower-themed calendars. Most of the images are from flowers in our yard, which seems to offer an endless parade of beauty. The 2015 calendar features mostly spring flowers, breaking away from previous versions which tended to reflect the chronology of the seasons. 

These calendars are printed on quality semi-gloss paper stock, and are easy to hang. Each month features a different flower.  Each page measures 8.5 x 11 inches, with enough room to write down notes. 
A single copy is $18, which includes postage. Each additional copy is $14 on the same order.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Svema Redscale 25

image courtesy of the Film Photography Project
A while ago, the Film Photography Project sent me a trial roll of their Svema Redscale 25.  It's a low-ISO film that has lovely muted tones.    It's basically the Svema 100 color film, which I have already tried out, and liked.  The orange mask is lighter than the typical Kodak and Fuji offerings, so by turning it backwards and shooting through the film base, we get the redscale version, which is why it is ISO 25 -- 2 stops of exposure lost due to the orange base.

I loaded up the film in my Sigma SA-7N camera, set the ISO to 25, and over the course of a week or two shot the roll of film.  With an ISO of 25, you probably should shoot this with lots of light or use a tripod for heavy overcast.  Anyhow, after shooting, the film went to Blue  Moon Camera for development, and they sent back perfectly-developed film cut and placed into standard negative sleeves from PrintFile, the kind that I use.  I scanned them in my Epson V700 scanner, and did not alter them except for removal of dust spots.    Here are a few for your viewing.









I am not exactly a fan of redscale in general, because much of the time it is too contrasty and too red. However, the Svema film holds up well in sun, as well as in overcast conditions.  It gives a more "vintage" look to images, and is not grainy.  I suggest giving it a try if you want to shake up your photography a bit and have some fun with it.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The show goes on!

Last week I blogged about preparing for my latest one-man show at the Argus Museum.  "Recent Black & White Work" was put up last Thursday, and other than information cards falling off the wall, it went very smoothly.  The opening also coincided with the beginning of an Argus Collector's meeting, so I am sure the turnout reflected that.  However, there were a lot of people jammed into the narrow viewing space, and I really enjoyed talking with the attendees.  For the first time ever, I sold more than one print - five, actually, and it was clear that I made some good choices in my selection of images.  I also got a lot of good feedback.  I asked some people what their favorites were and why.  Some found that a certain image really resonated with them, and there were emotional connections to a few images, as well.    To me, as a photographer, those were really good reinforcement to my own judgement, and the unsolicited praise from people was gratifying.

I shoot for myself, unless it is a paid assignment from someone.  My subjects vary, my choice of tools varies, and the medium varies.  That is one way for me to keep "fresh" and try things.  If you have read through this blog, you will obviously see that.  I don't think I could be content with just ONE camera and one lens.  I am sure I could do a much better job than I did 30 years ago if that is all that I had.  However, being creative for me means being able to use a variety of lenses to achieve a desired result.  Sometimes it is purely serendipitous, but other times, I know what a certain combination will do, and I set out with a goal in mind of getting a desired result. My images of Fayette State Park were  just that.  I knew that the CCTV lens on my Olympus EPL-1 gave me a Petzal-like effect when wide open, and shooting in monochrome gave just the look I wanted...a homage to a late 1800s appearance.  Some people were curious about how I got the effect, and we had wonderful discussions about "getting it in camera" vs. post-processing.

I did shoot some crowd shots at the reception, but they are all on film cameras and I have yet to get them developed. For those, I went simple-- Olympus Infinity and a Nikon One-Touch 35.  I did photograph the setup before it opened, so some of those images are here.   I really was very pleased with how it all turned out.  The exhibit runs until December 5, and the Argus Museum, at 525 West William Street, Ann Arbor, is open from 9-5, M-F.








Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Latest Show - Recent Black and White Work

My latest exhibit, "Recent Black & White Work" opens Thursday, October 16 at the Argus Museum in Ann Arbor.  The reception goes from 6-8 pm.  Thereafter, the show is open to the public M-F from 9-5 pm.  The Argus Museum is located at 525 West William Street. Parking is available on the side streets, and there are usually a couple of spots open in the lot for visitors.

This exhibit features only photographs I have taken in 2013-14,  and there are four main groupings - Chicago, Fayette State Park, Lake Huron Shoreline, and assorted images from larger projects that are in progress.  Chicago features 6 images taken in less than 12 hours while I was there on a business trip, All were taken with my Nikon 1 camera, which is capable of some most excellent results at low ISO settings.   The second set, Fayette State Park, were taken with an Olympus EPL1 and a C-mount lens, which gives the same out of focus effect as a Petzval lens.  The images are somewhat dreamy at the edges, but sharp in the focus spot.  I chose them over the other film-based images due to the effect from that lens, which gives them a period look.   The Lake Huron Shoreline images were all taken with a Nikon D90 and a 35mm 1.8 lens.  The last set features images from a variety of film cameras, and were shot at various locations in Michigan and New York State.

The 33 prints are all sized at 6x9," matted to 11x14."  I am satisfied with my choice of images, and it was hard winnowing things down.  The venue is adequate for smaller print sizes, and of course, it also keeps my cost down.  Each print is priced at $40-$45.

Spotting prints.  Silver-gelatin prints almost always need to be retouched after mounting (or before).    Small specks on the negative show up as white spots on the prints.  It used to be that one would use "Spot tone" and a fine brush to fix the spots, but "Spotting Pens" with different densities of black pigment are now used, and the ones I am using here were purchased about 8 years ago. The worst is having a pinhole in the emulsion, which shows up as a black dot on the print.  There, it's better to scan the negative and fix those defects in a graphics program and then have the digital file printed as a c-print.  I use Mpix.com for all of my c-prints.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Portra 100T - Another fine film....gone and rediscovered.

In this year's acquisitions of  various films, I ended up with some Kodak Portra 100T.  First of all, I did not even know that Kodal produced a Tungsten light-balanced C-41 film.  I am familiar with all of the typical Tungsten emulsions that are E-6, and there WERE a lot of them from Kodak and Fuji. It made sense to have slide films made for tungsten lighting, and whether they were used for documenting art objects (as many art departments did), indoor shooting, or night scenes, tungsten balanced films were necessary for proper color balance under typical non-florescent lighting.  Used outdoors, one merely needed to have an 85B compensating filter to get more accurate color under daylight conditions.  Obviously, the Digital Onslaught rendered the use use of tungsten films obsolete for professional use, since we can choose any white balance we want.    Despite this, I enjoy shooting tungsten slide film and then having it cross-processed for a unique look.
Imagine my surprise in finding two rolls of Kodak Portra 100T!  It sure makes sense to have a fine-grained tungsten emulsion in C-41, given the dearth of E-6 labs.  However, this film expired in 2002. I suppose Kodak thought it would be used a lot for portraiture, since C-41 films filled that niche...at the time.  

I loaded a roll into my Konica Autoreflex TC and shot it it a variety of conditions, sometimes using it outdoors with an 85B filter, and sometimes not.  I shot it at night, I shot it indoors under mixed lighting, too.  I like the film, and despite it being 12 years out of date, the results at box speed were very good.  

It's fun and a bit sad finding out about films that one didn't know existed, and to find that they are still giving great results long after their "end date." In 2002, the digital tidal wave was beginning, and the pros were adopting DSLRs as soon as they came out.  I know that the tungsten E-6 films held out a bit longer because of their specialized uses, but the Portra 100T was discontinued by Kodak in 2006.  Ektar 100 became the ISO 100 C-41 champ, and since C-41 negs can be scanned and color balanced on the computer, the Portra 100T became irrelevant.  It's still a lot of fun to use, though.

Here are some selected shots from my first roll of the Portra 100T: