Began tonight to go back through all my images to create a list of potential selects for my book, theme known but yet to be revealed. This is the first image to make that preliminary cut.
Lately I’ve been going through my library, looking for old images I could share on Flickr and with the local photo club we’ve discovered. If there is anyone who hasn’t tried this, I highly recommend it, because I guarantee you will discover something about yourself. I certainly have. Lo and behold, there’s a theme, and I am going to turn that theme into my first self-published book of images.
Just thought you guys might like to know. It has nothing to do with this image, except that the theme of the book will be imperfections, and some people find grain objectionable. I don’t.
I don’t know where this image comes from. I mean, I took it, but it is not really like me — subject, processing, etc. I have been influenced by Koudelka lately, but, gee, I don’t know.
So, a year (or so) ago, I wrote a blog post about how I was going to embark on a learning vis-a-vis the 28mm focal length. This started because I had just returned from Dublin where I had purchased a 28mm-equivalent for my X-Pro 1 and had trouble framing and using the thing. Now, I was aware that some of my heroes used the 28 to great effect – Winogrand, for instance – and as I love to shoot on the street, I thought that I needed to wrestle that beast to the ground. Before this had all came about, I had primarily used 35mm and 50mm focal lengths, and always had felt — on the street, anyway — that zooms just didn’t work for me. I loved and used zooms for landscapes, but on the street I just felt they were cumbersome and got in the way for me. What I knew was that I had developed the ability to ‘see’ at certain focal lengths, meaning that I could pre-frame in my head, raise the camera to my eye and trip the shutter, thus shortening the time from seeing to composition to exposure quite a bit.
I saw in 35mm, I saw in 50mm, but 28 confounded me. So I determined that I would dive into the 28 for a year and come out the other side with that lens in my arsenal. I had the 28-equivalent for my X-Pro 1, and I then acquired the 28mm Zeiss for my rangefinder and the 28mm for my Nikon film camera — at the time, the F100. I went out to shoot. Instead of the 35mm, I always took the 28 out on the street, to force myself to begin to think with that lens.
It took a while, but now I feel comfortable with that length. Since I’ve been back in the US, I’ve been scanning some of my negs and came across a roll I shot last November or so in Venice beach. One frame appears at the top of the post.
Just thought I’d mention some techy-stuff with this image. First, I bought the 28mm AiS because people had recommended it to me as a great Nikon lens. Sharp, etc. Well, take a closer look at the skater-guy. Check out the earbud cable. Nice, huh? This could not have been achieved without a great film, and that film — one that I was experimenting with at the time — is Adox Silvermax. A new film, slow (ISO 100) supposed to have lots of silver, extended dynamic range, beautiful tones, designed to deliver exceptional results. When I took a look at the roll, there were many shots — all captured on a bright sunny day at Venice Beach (so my shutter speeds even at f/8 were pretty darn high) that looked wonderful. Here’s another of my favorites:
So, the things ya learn…
I was totally going for mood here… cheated a bit on the processing.
A while ago I discussed how I hadn’t yet figured out how to deal with Flickr. It just seemed like a sea of images, some good, some weird, some not so good (editing a shoot, anyone?) And, while I did join some groups, I never really interacted with those groups, so I pretty much flew under the radar of Flickr.
The what happened is that Peg and I joined a local camera club with an active membership on Flickr (Facebook as well). After I had posted some images in their Facebook stream, I went back onto Flickr for the first time in months and discovered that some people in groups I had joined and to which I had submitted images had ‘faved’ some of my images. So then I ‘faved’ some of theirs, and they started following me, and I them, and there ya go. All of a sudden (well, honestly, this took a month) now Flickr is an active part of my social media day.
So, I’ve recently turned a corner, actually, in my use of Lightroom and the processing of b&w digital images. Yeah, I know, about time, right? The thing I recently discovered is the sliders that control the intensity of color in the RAW image. I first used it in the image of the ‘bent’ tree from Mt. Tamalpis, emphasizing the green of the leaves. In this image, I didn’t play so much with greens but rather with other colors so pull out contrast and emphasize certain parts of the image.
You’d have thought by now… anyway, my goal here was to recreate the feeling of wetness I saw on the table. Nik Silver Efex was a big help here, too.
I tried out a demo of new B&W processing software today, Tonality. Seems on first blush as ‘Instgram meets Nik Silver Efex.’ We’ll see.
2nd image from the shoot on Mt. Tamalpis
Showing my roots…
It was beautiful up there, and I only saw a tiny, tiny bit