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Posts tagged ‘24mm FD’

Three from today

Weston Beach, Pan-F, Rodinal

I know I’ve been away aq bit, just been very busy at work. This weekend I was able to catch up on some scanning, and these three images were the favorites from that session.

HP5, Xtol, BVW Class, Oct 2010

And, then this one, shot just yesterday and developed last night as a test of HP5 in HC-110 (H)

HP5, HC-110 (H), Processed a bit in Silver Efex

More to come

29 Jan 2012

In Transition

Pan F, Rodinal, Nik Efex for interest

Back to the old theme for a day while some work is being done behind the scenes. Another shot from Weston Beach for your viewing pleasure. You’ll see an announcement when we’re at a point where you can look and comment.

29 Dec 2011

Standing on Weston Beach

Rodinal, Pan-F

Last January I got my second chance to wander Weston Beach at Point Lobos, California. Although I’m not an expert on Weston’s history, I assume this beach was named after him based on some kind of info that he had spent a great deal of time on the beach, probably photographing the area.

This was shot #1 on roll #1 of two rolls I had never scanned. Both rolls I discovered as I was going through my backlog, which now  consists of *only* 14 rolls of 35mm and 1 roll of medium format film.

Yikes. And I developed two rolls of Adox today, so that makes 16 rolls of 35mm to be scanned.

Good thing I’m on vacation.

Merry Christmas to all!

25 Dec 2011

Look at This: Photography is art, right?

Fuji 160s (converted to b&w in Lightroom) FTb, 24mm FD

I am a subscriber to Lenswork. This is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the fine art of b&w photography. The images it publishes are mainly digital in origin, and for the most part, astoundingly lovely.

The latest issue arrived yesterday. I usually read the issues in bed before I go to sleep. In this issue (#94), the publisher, Brooks Jensen, writes an article in which he examines the nature of photography, and whether, after practicing the ‘art form’ for many years, it is indeed an art form at all.

His basic argument is that ‘fine art’ must have an artifact (book, piece of sculpture, painting) as the goal, and while photography indeed has prints, that prints matter less and less in a digital age.

Then he examines whether a book of photographs could be that artifact, and then rejects that premise becuase of the linear, structured nature of the way we consume books.

And he rejects ‘performance art’ because, well, almost never does the photographer perform their images.

Instead, what he discusses at length is that, for him, photography’s greatest strength and its greatest challenge is to capture reality at 1/125th of a second and say, ‘Look at This.” And that it is incumbent upon the photographer to choose a POV and a subject that makes that ‘looking’ worth while.

This summary of the essay which I have written above does not do justice to the thinking of Mr. Jensen. However, this essay clarified for me something that had long frustrated me but I could never put into words. That when a photographer ‘constructs’ their subject to a great extent (“I’m going to take this bearskin rug and paint it dayglo orange and then take whip cream and smear it all over the rug and then lay the rug over the outstretched arm of this member of the Black Panther Party”) I rarely find that kind of thing as interesting as a well seen photograph of almost anything ‘real,’ mundane though it may be.

Those kinds of images may be ‘art’ and may be ‘artfully composed’ but they don’t qualify as photography to me, they are more like painting. To me.

There is certainly a line here and I cannot quantify where that line might be. The line between constructed and not constructed, I mean.

But Mr. Jensen’s thoughts about this, about photography’s strengths as he sees them, really helped me clarify my own thinking.

So, take a look at this tree and those clouds and that gent (who was, incidentally, taking a picture of the sailboats in the bay).

12 May 2011

Color Returns

Fuji 160s, Canon FTb, 24mm FD

Just got back six rolls of color film developed and scanned by North Coast. Over the next few days I’ll post some of the images from that body of work. Most of the images were from the trip up the California Coast last January but there’s a roll from work I shot in the fall of last year and one roll from Paris. The Paris roll was damaged before I sent it out, however, as it went through the laundry and clothes dryer. I had it processed anyway, but my hopes for minimal damage were dashed a bit when the scanner tech enclosed a note with the rolls saying “did roll xxx38 get wet?”

Uh, yeah, it did. Upon very brief inspection, a few images might have escaped without wholly being lost beyond rescue, but I have yet to look at them very closely. I fear for the worst, however.

10 May 2011

Fall color in Ohiopyle

Ektar, 24mm FD, FTb

One of the rolls I recently processed and received back from North Coast was a roll of Ektar I shot in October in Ohiopyle State Park on a day-trip with Peg. That day, as an experiment for me, I mounted a 24mm FD lens on my FTb. I normally don’t shoot that wide a lens as a walk-around lens. I use my 17-40 zoom on my EOS cameras all the time, but that lens has a safety factor, in that if I see a composition I like, and the lens is too wide, I zoom it back. Safety Factor. That day I was forcing myself to ‘see’ with a 24mm crop, as it were.

It was mid-October, not quite ‘full’ color, but interesting enough. I have posted in this blog before about Ektar, and the colors and contrast in these images are pretty much as received in the scans of the negs. The film has a particular color palette that some find pleasant, others not so much, but it scans very well.

It is kinda humorous to me that FD lenses in that focal length are now increasing in value on ebay owing to the newer digital cameras that accept adapters and can mount FD lenses. Those cameras have a 2x crop factor, so the 24mm lens would equal a 48mm on those cameras. Part of the reason I chose that lens on that day was to see whow sharp it was. As you can see from above, it certainly can hold its own.

A Particular Color Film’s Specific Color Palette

I had made a mention in the blog a while back about color films having a particular palette as chosen by the emulsion chemists and my comment was mis-interpreted, so I wanted to discuss it again and try to be clearer in my thoughts.

When any film manufacturer creates a film emulsion (B&W OR Color) they ‘build in’ sensitivity to the color spectrum as they desire to give a film a particular ‘look.’ One of the factors that plays into this decision is how the film renders skin tones, as many photographs are of people. In fact, I have read that Fuji in particular has emulsions specifically formulated for Asian skin tones that they do not sell in the West because it will do unflattering things to Western skin tones.

These formulations are created to deliver a certain ‘look’ to a film, a look that is pleasing in terms of its RED-GREEN-BLUE balance as well as facets such as saturation and contrast. When Fuji’s Velvia came out, it blew away Kodak’s offerings for landscape photogs because it rendered greens at such a saturation that such landscapes popped when photographed as compared to Kodak’s offerings.

This quality of the films has nothing to do with ‘white balance’ or ‘color of light’ per se, and assumes the photographer exposes the film in conditions appropriate to the film’s characteristics (daylight or tungsten). IT is, essentially, an artistic choice made by the film manufacturer.

So this image above would have been rendered differently if I had shot it with Fuji Pro 400 or Provia 160 VC. It looks like it does because I used Ektar.

My point in that earlier blog post was this: when we shoot digital RAW, that gives us almost unlimited potential to tweak the color and contrast of the captured image. This is a great thing. Wonderful thing. However, for those of us whose abilities may not be the best in terms of color palette or color mixing, can we do as good a job as the experts at Kodak or Fuji at making those choices?

I wonder.

There are a number of teachers who advocate shooting RAW because of the options it gives you. There are a minority of teachers who advocate shooting JPEG because of the simplicity of it but also because of the way it can emulate a film’s color balance. This is sort of what I am trying to say.

After shooting a number of rolls of color neg film in the past six months (for the first time in my life, really; 30 years ago I only shot chrome), I have begun to understand that point of view and, honestly, today I agree with it.

One last Ohiopyle shot from a roll of Acros I had loaded in my EOS from that day just to end the post.

31 Dec 2010