Does this count as “something different,” or is it still a photocliché?
One of the first things I shot with my 50mm f/1.8 was this collection of daffodils. Shot at f/1.8 and very close range, the depth of field is almost nonexistent. While this is certainly a cliché, I tried to process it a little differently. Does it work?
My students developed their first rolls this week, with some success. Unfortunately, one of our cameras has serious meter problems and another has light leaks. This process has been a constant reminder of both how difficult and rewarding getting a working vintage setup can be.
Nikon D200, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8.
Look what I found.
Another old shot of an old truck, this one from some time around October when I was testing out my brand new (to me) K1000. I’m trying to get back to posting regularly, but it’s tough because none of the film I’ve been shooting is developed yet (a black and white roll and a roll of ancient cheap color film I found in my boss’s office). This isn’t one of my favorites, but it fits the theme.
Pentax K1000, SMC-M 50mm f/2, Fuji Superia X-tra 400.
New equipment doesn’t provide new things to shoot at.
The sign on the door:
“KEEWAYDIN COMPUTERS and KEEWAYDIN AQUATICS We are undergoing an upgrade in our facilities and cannot operate our business here temporarily. Please call 237-5560 for further information. Deliveries remain here as usual.”
Nikon D200, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 (which really is a razor at f/4).
It’s true, I’ve posted a lot of these.
Here is yet another take on this classic. I like the dark tones and the prominence of orange and blue, along with the slightly distorted wide-angle perspective.
I am headed off to the desert tomorrow (armed with plenty of film of all kinds) for a week’s worth of backpacking, so I hope to return at the end of the week with all sorts of interesting things (hopefully photos- interesting stories about brawling with the TSA about hand checking my Portra 800 or finding more light leaks are not the sort of interesting things I hope to return with). This is a part of the country (and really a world landscape type) I have never seen before, so it’s anyone’s guess what I’m in for.
You know you’re a photographer when you sacrifice precious pack space (and weight) for a camera, two lenses, and roughly ten rolls of film (the final roster has yet to be determined, but I’m planning on carrying everything from Velvia to APX400 to the now-dead 100UC).
This particular shot is another remnant from the days of my Pentax digital SLR, which has been sold off.
When I had scanned all of the negatives from my cross-processed slide roll (see here and here) and was looking at my virtual contact sheet in Lightroom, I noticed something strange: The same character appeared twice. Though it seemed completely illgocial, upon closer inspection there really is no denying that the subject of this photograph is the same one shown here (note the tight white sweatshirt, bouquet, and shoes- I couldn’t believe it myself at first). The first was shot through a plastic window as I climbed a flight of stairs on one side of a parking garage, and as I wandered around the roof shooting, this guy apparently made his way all the way around to the opopsite corner where I unknowingly caught him again.
So why isn’t this one color? The more I look at this roll, the more I like them procesed black and white. Part of me feels like that defeats the entire purpose of cross processing (usually done for the crazy color shifts, which I have yet to see), but it does keep the sharpness, graininess, and high contrast intact (in fact, these things might be more noticeable). Though at first I tired to convince myself that the color versions were “truer” to the form, I think I’ll go with what makes images I like better from now on. For most of these, it’s E-6 processed C-41, scanned, and digitally converted to black and white. If I’m happy with the result, what difference does it make how I got there (assuming, of course, that I didn’t steal the image from someone else and put my name on it or something of that nature).
Maybe I should just go back to digital.
Kodak Elite Chrome 400 (expired a while ago), Ricoh KR-10 Super (unlikely to see more use due to light leaks), C-41 (color negative) cross procesing, digital black and white conversion.
I am not pleased with CVS. It isn’t the first time.
This roll was my first experiment with redscale photography. Basically, it’s shooting film backwards. Because the backing layer (which is now in front) is red/orange and the light must pass through it to create the image, the resulting print leans heavily toward red/orange tones. This is completely analog- no Photoshop filters or anything to alter the colors (just a little “S” in the curves after scanning, which had more to do with how thorougly CVS destroyed my negatives. More on that in the next sentence).
The redscale train really derailed when I brought the film to CVS for developing. I had rolled the film (Fuji Superia 400) in a Kodak Gold 200 cassette (it’s much easier to reroll it in another cassette than into the same one) and marked it “FUJI 400 REDSCALE” so I wouldn’t forget. The clerk looked completely overwhelmed by this, and after I explained it, she looked even more confused (never a good sign). When I came back to get my negatives, I was amazed. How anyone could think negatives looking like this are acceptable (this is with digital image correction in the scan). I can’t even imagine what one would do to make them look like that. Perhaps add some pond scum to the chemistry?
Fuji Superia 400 reversed for redscale, Minolta XD5, custom CVS “distressed” developing.
I’m pleased that I’m pleased with two of the images from my very first cross-processed roll. My expectations were low, but I am going to go get some more Elite Chrome tomorrow (the store was closed today). I think this is a nice contrast to yesterday’s Valentine’s image. Between the two, it seems like everyone should have something to identify with. This one was so sharp (with none applied in scanning) that I actually backed off the clarity a little in Lightroom. I have learned three things about cross processing E-6 film in C-41 chemicals: It’s unpredictable, it’s grainy, and it can be so sharp it makes my head hurt. My hypothesis: Bright sun and overexposure make the colors go crazy (more formal testing of that one will commence when I get more film).
Kodak Elite Chrome 400 slide film (expired 10/2007) shot in a leaky KR-10 Super and processed (poorly) C-41 by the drones at the CVS in town.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
After finishing up a particularly long week on Friday, I stopped by the camera store in town to chat with the owners. They’ve been at photography longer than I’ve been living, so they have all sorts of interesting perspectives on various things photographic (especially vintage gear, which is all I have now that I’ve parted ways with my digital SLR). After talking to one of them for probably an hour, I asked about expired film and found that they had a gold mine. After attempting faux cross processing before, the prospect of expired Elite Chrome slide film was too exciting to turn down. I bought a roll, shot it the next day (yesterday), and had it developed at CVS that evening. Here are the results of my real live cross process: Grainy, ugly, tinted, and supersaturated. Hope your Valentine’s Days were as good as mine was.
Kodak Elite Chrome slide (E6) film developed in C41 color negative process at CVS. Shot in a Ricoh KR-10 Super which apparently has light leaks.
Photography can be unexpected.
Not too long ago, I thought I had perfected the color film in black and white chemistry processs with my particular set of film and chemicals. Thrilled that I had finally worked out a foolproof formula, I shot and developed another roll. As soon as I took the negatives out of the tank, however, I knew something was wrong. They were darker and denser than the previous set, and the scans bore out my suspicions: Bad. However, one image of a mural in an alley over a doorway looked like it might be redeemable. I “redeemed” it by cropping out everything but the mural (which was the only thing even remotely close to correctly exposed). Here it is.
Fuji Superia 400 color film developed in Clayton F76+ black and white chemistry and shot in a Minolta XD5 with center-weighted metering, which I no longer trust.
More new material! Shot Saturday night, developed Sunday afternoon, printed and scanned Saturday night. This is my first attempt at push processing, and the results aren’t pretty, though i think the image is interesting. The negatives are probably better than this. Unfortunately, this is a scan from perhaps the worst CVS print I’ve ever seen (which is saying a lot). I imagine they do fine as long as you don’t ask their computer algorithm to interpret sometihng like a two-stop push- oh wait, is that dust all over the scan (and more that I cloned out)?
All ranting aside, I’m pretty pleased to have gotten an image at all considering this was my first push process and I literally made up the development time. Hopefully I’ll be dealing with a better scan soon, and perhaps an updated version will even make it here. For now, let freshness triumph over polished results.
After looking deep into my conscience, this picture is better with the full story. I was out taking pictures at around 12:30 (AM) when I saw a police officer lumbering down the sidewalk all by himself. An awkward kind of man doing an awkward kind of job in a drinking town, he seemed like an interesting subject, or at the very least someone whose antics might amuse me. Assured in the safety of my sobriety, I followed him for a ways, shooting him against various backdrops. I felt rather guilty, but I put it behind me and kept shooting. I was following when he turned up the stairs you see to his left, which brought me into his field of view. I had anticipated this and didn’t want to be caught with my camera pointed at him (since civil servants and emergency responders tend to consider themselves above being photographed, although they are absolutely not in the United States), and ducked into an alley to my left. As I disappeared into the shadows, I saw him turn and step in my direction, and then I realized it: There’s only one thing people do in dark alleys at 12:30 AM in drinking towns, and the police tend not to take kindly to it.
Shockingly, this defender of the peace not only failed to comprehend “low light street photography” and “two-stop push,” but even after I related the basics of these elusive concepts to him proceeded to lecture me from his infinite photography wisdom: “It’s been my experience,” he said condescendingly, “That when there’s no light the camera tends not to see anything.” I immediately thought of at least eleven witty retorts about the camera never “seeing” anything or the “complicated chemical process” employed by the dinosaurs that predate digital photography, but I instead proffered some explanation of my experimentation with extremely low levels of light with chemical manipulation. “Make sure you’re not peeing” he quipped smigly before turning away. It was at that moment that I, with no remorse whatsoever, captured his awkwardness forever using a complicated chemical process in a box that saw nothing.
Agfapan APX 400 shot at 1600 and push-processed in 1+19 F76+ for a more or less arbitrary amount of time. Mildly corrected scan of a horrendous print.