Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2 of 4

Here are the first 2 of my 4 (yes 4) Rolleiflex purchases.

Rolleiflex Automat, Rolleiflex GX

Got 1/2 Frame Camera #2 Today, My Pen F

I got my second half frame camera today, a Olympus Pen F. This camera allows me to change shutter speeds and focus the lens (still have to buy a lens). The Olympus Pen-EE 3 does not allow changes in shutterspeeds or focuse, so that is a plus for this camera. On the negative side this camera is bigger and heavuier than the Pen-EE3. I have a 3rd 1/2 frame camera coming the Canon, it should arrive in the next couple of weeks as it is flying in from Austrailia. Which ever one I like best I will shoot with extensively, the other 2 will no doubt sit on shelf possibly forgotten. No biggy these are all cheap fun cameras. Even the ones I put away I will probably eventually get back to using.

Cameras need to be used!

My Olympus Pen F

Got The Rolleiflex Camera #2 Today, My Rolleiflex GX

Got my Rolleiflex GX in the mail today, no extra charges which is great. My first impression of the camera is that it is a bit more plasticky than my Automat. I do not like the plastic pieces as much as I do the metal versions. The clip closing system for the film back is also of cheaper design, it is made of medal but with less quality than before. Most everything else feels and looks the same. I love the metering system and the glass of this newer GX version. The lens are multi coated so should be of better quality than the older camera. The camera has TTL flash as well, that might come in handy someday. Another feature that is quite wonderful is the bright bright focusing screen. The screen on the Automat is a tad dark, especially indoors. I am going to get and read the GX manual online tonight and shoot a roll of HP5 in the coming days. I will post some sample scans here.

Here are stats I found on my camera from the wonderful historical Rolleiclub site.

Rolleiflex 2.8 GX Model 1 - Model K7GX

Highslide JS
August 1987 - March 1994,10,200 pieces.
Serials:2.985.501 - later coded
Taking lens:Rollei Planar HFT 2.8/80, bayonet 3.
Viewing lens:Rollei Heidosmat 2.8/80, bayonet 3
Shutter: Synchro Compur X, 1 - 1/500 sec., B, X-sync., self timer.
Film: 120 for 12 exp. 6x6
Film Transportation: winding lever with auto stop on first exposure, exposure counter for exposures 1-12. Blank film pressure plate.
Built in TTL exposure metering with additional flash control via SCA 356 adapter.
Weight: 1,235 grams.

My Rolleiflex GX

A Nice Note

I got a nice note today from Kat, the student I did the 2 workshops with this past weekend. She was happy with the workshops and felt they helped her. I am starting to really enjoy teaching photography students. Initially when I started these workshops 4 years or so ago, I was a bit worried that I was doing the wrong thing. Since then I have completely changed my mind. The classes help students, they are generally quite fun to do for me (what is more fun than talking photography?) and as a bonus I made a bit of change that I put directly back into my photography. The money from last weeks workshops went directly into the bank, into my Asia photography savings account.

Panoramic Hasselblad X-Pan Shots

Shot this film for the student to develop, did it at dads graveyard. The photos were made with my Hasselblad X-pan.

First Rolleiflex Roll

Just developed my first roll of film from the Rolleiflex Automat 75mm. The spacing between frames is perfect, the exposures bang on and the negs sharp within the negative depth of focus. Next time I will try shooting the camera at smaller apertures in better light.

I am excited about the possibilities these cameras present. I will probably buy some of the Rolleinar close up lens (they come in sets of 1, 2 and 3 for each bayonet size) for my two camera types, bayonet 1 for the Automat and bayonet 3 for the F and GX  Planar 2.8 Rollei's. I have visions of square tight head shots with limited focus and good bokeh. Maybe the heads can be shot from low angles with white sky backgrounds, giving a nobility to the subject (Edward Weston like).

Rolleiflex Automat at F5.6 or F8

Quote: Patrick Ilagan

 This quote is from the Uncreative website:

Don’t just click the shutter; photograph with a purpose even if people dislike your photo. The problem with photography nowadays is that many people would just do it just so they can have something to share on social media and garner brownie points. Most of these photographs are safe, easy, and oftentimes redundant. To Irving Penn, a good photograph has something to offer. It has to leave something behind for the viewer — regardless of whether the viewer liked it or not. What’s important is that it made them (the viewers) feel something. It is important to not only challenge ourselves as photographers but also to challenge the views and beliefs of our viewers because conforming to the trend and norm would just lead to stagnation.

Quote: Irving Penn

“I can get obsessed by anything if I look at it long enough. That’s the curse of being a photographer”

Monday, June 29, 2015

Ultimate Small Camera Kit

I was thinking on my rounds today of an ultimate small camera kit to use overseas. If I am taking a very short trip or if I am too old to carry to much gear I might try this size kit.

- Small camera bag
- Leica M6 with 35mm f1.4 lens
- Rollieflex 80mm f2.8
- Tri-x 120 and 35mm film

Thats it! A very small kit of 2 world class cameras with world class glass and the best film ever made Tri-x. All you need to make great pictures! That and the drive to push yourself to the create.

Imagine that doing 120mm and 35mm with 2 of the best tools every created for film photography, all in one very small and relatively light package. If I go to Uganda next year for a week or 10 days the kit might be something simple and effective like this. I could walk and shoot for days carrying such light gear.

Note* I would use the light meter in the M6 to establish exposures for the Rolleiflex.

Further Rolleiflex Tessar 75mm F3.5 Thoughts

I am getting to really love this camera before even shooting it for real. It has such a nice feel to it, it is small compact with supposedly an extremely sharp lens. How would you top a camera like that? No wonder I have read the reason that Rolleiflex went out of business (a few months ago) was because people were buying their older cameras not the new models. The old model Rolleiflex's are fricking awesome! Why pay so much more for a new one?

The camera is almost dainty/petite in its handling, if your fingers were too big you might have trouble using it. When you trigger the shutter it is so quiet you almost wonder if you actually did anything, was that a picture being taken? On my Rolleiflex Automat the self timer also works, thou I doubt I will use that much. It might come in handy if I forget a cable release and want to do a long exposure on a tripod, the self timer would help avoid camera shake.

When I bought this camera the listing was a bit incomplete and I also had limited knowledge of Rolleiflex history and evolution. I believe my version is a Automat Model K4A, T type Tessar 75mm f3.5. There is a T written in red letters next to the small lens glass. I believe the Tessar lens are 4 elements and my next cameras, 2 Fs and a GX are Planar 2.8s are a 6 element lens.

I am starting to like these things so much I might keep all 4 of them! Heck the amount of space they take would probably be less than 2 Mamiya C330s. Possibly 4 Rolleiflex use the same storage space as 1 3/4 Mamiya C330s.

One the thing that comes across is how small even dainty and well manufactured these cameras are. I believe the Automat series hails back to the 1951-54 (60+ year old camera) and yet everything works so well on the camera. The only thing that is a bit difficult a bit off with this camera is moving the shutter speed dial from 1/250 to 1/500, but with a little effort it can be done. The shutter speeds all sound accurate. I need to run some film through to check the sharpness and the frame spacing (some time a problem with these cameras), but so far I LOVE THE CAMERA. Plan on shooting a roll tonight, and maybe developing it tomorrow.

Update* These cameras also have a close up lens attachement that allows for tighter compositions. I plan on buying one of these units for the camera model I end up liking best. I want to do square format up close headshots in asia at the widest aperture available, either 3.5 or 2.8.

Update* Just put a roll of film through the camera, the film advance is smooth and easy, the shutter ever so quiet!
A bit bigger than a pen

Here are stats I found on my camera from the wonderful historical Rolleiclub site. It does take a Bayonet 1 lens hood and lens cap, my mistake!

Rolleiflex Automat 6x6 - Model K4A

Highslide JS
June 1951 - March 1954
Serials: 1.200.001 - 1.474.999

Taking Lens:
Zeiss Jena Tessar 3,5/75
Zeiss Oberkochen Opton 3,5/75
Schneider Xenar 3,5/75
All with filter Bayonet I
Finder lens:
Heidoscop Anastigmat 2,8/75mm
Bayonet I
Compur - Rapid, 1 - 1/500 sec., T & B, self timer. X sync.
Film: 6x6: B II 8 (120) & 35mm with Rolleikin 2 adapter set.
Film Transportation: winding lever with auto stop, no red window, film pressure plate with black color coating. Lever also cocks the shutter. Double exposure prevention.
Dimensions: 14.3x9.0x9.5cm
Weight: 970 grams.This model has a hinged dual format back with exposure guide. The special feature is a new EV related exposure scale. From serial 1.268.000 the camera accepts hand grip and quick mount plate.
Also useable with Rolleimarin 1 under water housing. Can be upgraded to larger focusing knob.


Got my older Rolleiflex Tessar 75mm f3.5 today, and boy is it TINY!, tiny. Will run some film through it, the lens hood, cap I bought off Amazon does not fit it, which sucks not sure why (I bought Bay 2 the camera must be Bay 1). I have heard these cameras were great for traveling because of their size but I am still a bit shocked at how physically small they actually are. I have Mamiya C330 cameras which I have used in Asia and they are so large, the Rolleiflex's in comparison look like the runts of the litter. A very well made runt, but a runt none the less as compared to their big Mamiya inbred  freaky cousins.

To bad about the lens cap/ lens hood, I guess I got ahead of myself there, but the advert said it was for 75mm f3.5 Tessar lens, which mine is, there must be 2 versions of that lens design outer mount. Because it is a Amazon purchase I do not think they are returnable, which means I sort of wasted my money there. The meter I got tossed in with this sale uses banned Mercury 1.35v batteries. Gossen makes a adaptor for $44USD that will allow you to use normal current silver oxide batteries, but I am not sure I want to pay the $44. Am not sure how much I will use this meter, it is in great shape, outside of the battery issue. Need to think that over.

Anyway back to the camera. It looks very clean, with nice glass, and seems to function properly. It is very small, and seems very robust and well built. I now understand why Rolleiflex has such a historically great reputation. Looking forward to the other 3 (yes 3!!) Rolleiflex's that are currently being shipped from world wide locations to my home in Edmonton. I will post some photos made with this newest tool, the 75mm f3.5 Tessar lens later on.

Disappointed with my lens cap/lens hood mistake, the meter might also be a non go because of the battery issue. On the other side of the coin, I am quite happy with the Rolleiflex. When I see the sharp negs I will become very happy with this purchase. This camera was the cheapest of the bunch by far, $275 USD. The shipping cost $25.83 USD without any extra fees.

Update: I bought the light meter battery adaptor kit from B&H, it is expensive for such a tiny item. I read lots online about how reliable/durable the Gossen Luna Pro was so I decided since mine was in near new condition to go ahead and get it running. Hopefully it will become a mainstay of my photography kits for the last 20-25 years of shooting I do (hope hope).

My new 75mm f3.5 Rolleiflex

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Boy does my throat hurt, first I talked through a workshop training about 3 1/2 hours. Then I gabbed another 5 hours for a our ESP meeting which ran from about 7pm to almost midnight. Never talked so much about myself in my life, sort of feel bad about doing that, to much me me me tonight. Still it was nice to put my history in photography out there for all to see. It showed how much I have done and also showed me how much I have missed. There is no where to hide when all your work is out there for the world to see. Your hanging and blowing in the wind!

A nice night, a fun night, but boy am I glad it is over. Tomorrow am back to my security shifts and my quiet piece of mind. I am glad to be heading back to work these weeks off are too tiring!

#3 Workshop Done

The 3rd workshop (darkroom) of the year and week is completed. I am now off to do my artist talk for the boys of ESP. First thou need to wash the chemistry off me. After you work in the darkroom for a while both you and your clothes smell like Dectol and Fixer.

Today another possible workshop student was added to the mix. I did classes with Vincent and Kat this week, in the coming weeks-months Julia, Stu and the newest Todd are possibles. The more the merrier, lets spread the joys of film photography!

Last year (non winter season) I think I did 8-9 workshops, am up to 3 and counting for this year. Looks like the numbers could be higher this year than next. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

#2 Down, A Good Workshop

Did a view camera workshop today with a Kat a student from Calgary. It was fun to talk photography and play with my Linhof which I have not done for a while. Tomorrow she is coming in to do a darkroom workshop, followed by a ESP photo meeting in the evening. It will be a busy last day off (am I off?) before I return to work on Monday.

Last Sunday I sent an email to my work bosses asking for a leave from the company to pursue my photography. I asked for a 3 month or 6 month leave. I am not sure what will happen, maybe nothing but at least I am trying to get some time to make my pictures. Hopefully I will get at least a 3 month leave. If I get my my 3 months, I will have plenty of time to start my "Forgotten Laughter" children in poverty project. This is the series of photos I want to dedicate to my father in book form. If not that, if a book publisher does not want to publish the work, then I will do and dedicate exhibitions in Edmonton and other cities.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Quotes: Robert Kennedy

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

“There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” 

“The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.”

“Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their peers, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.” 

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” 

Looking Good The Best "Lost Innocence" Working Method

The more I think about it the more I realize that the"Lost Innocence" (brothel worker, western sex worker) series should be made with beautiful portraits. I think that if I show the workers in all their beauty, make beautifully lit natural head portraits, it will help make the viewer response. The gallery viewer will see the individual personal beauty of these women which will be at odds with the terrible world they live in. It is sort of a reverse physiology thing, instead of making them look horrid and beaten down to draw pity, make them look beautiful so the viewer feels that it could be them, that it could be their daughter or sister. Hopefully by showing my subjects outer beauty, the viewer will identify better with them and feel a greater personal connection.

At least that's the current thinking, I might change my mind again.

Presentation Complete

Well I think I have enough digital photos ready in my laptop to have a decent presentation for the club boys on Sunday. I want to keep the photo numbers down so will probably choose 5 or less from each series/time period in my biographical talk. I think it should be an entertaining night for the boys.

I have belonged to clubs in the past that were very, how should I say? Old fashioned and traditional in their approach to photography. In those clubs I faced plenty of peer pressure to conform to the norm. To fit in with their style of photos and not to voice my often animated opinions. They wanted me to be a round peg in their round hole, I was always more square peg dude : ))

I think the members of this newest club are more advanced photographers and open/innovative in what they try to do with their photography. I should not face any peer pressure to conform. I can be as square as I want to be, hope hope : ))

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Preparing For Action

Spent the day getting ready for the photo meeting I am hosting. I borrowed a projector/screen from my friend Larry to show scans off my laptop. I also have a ton of framed and loose prints for members to browse through. My talk will be about my whole history in photography. It will be biographical in nature, as I talk I will show work from the corresponding time period I am speaking about.

Today I was also getting ready for my dual workshops. I have a student (Katherine) coming in from Calgary for Saturday at 1pm to do a view camera workshop. On Sunday we will do a second workshop together where she will develop and print the film she shot. Katherine is spending the night at a local hotel, she is making the most of her opportunity to learn film photography, doing a weekend of analog study. There are no similar workshops available in Calgary so she is making the 3 hour drive North, just for me. I need to do the best job I can for her. I want her to be inspired by the possibilities of film photography.

After setting up for all that activity I raced home to do a bike ride before it got too dark. Did 24kms tonight with the light fading, at a fast pace. Maybe too fast at one point as I almost got smoked by a turning car. The accident would have been 1/2 my fault 1/2 theirs. The only problem with the 50/50 fault thing is that in a bike- car accident the biker ends up dead or crippled and the car gets a dent in it. This type of thing is a no win for me. I need to be more careful in the future. I have to get into better shape but need to do it safely. It is hard to take pictures from a wheelchair!

Old Hong Kong FIlm

Here are a few shots from another long forgotten roll of film, probably from back in about 2003. My workshop student Vincent developed this roll yesterday as part of this training. Not sure what camera was used, possibly a Nikon F5, or Canon F1. The film is Neopan, I had run out of Tri-x and all I could get in Hong Kong off the street was Neopan. It is a nice film with a nice tonal range. Developed for 10 minutes at 20C in D-76 1/1.

This film sat dormant and undeveloped in my darkroom for over 10 years at room temperature and did not fog. The negs look the same as if I'd shot them yesterday and developed them today.

Graveyard Hong Kong #1 
Graveyard Hong Kong #2
Graveyard Hong Kong #3 (cropped)
Graveyard Hong Kong #4

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

12 Year Old 3200 ASA

Threw in a couple of very old 3200 ASA film the last time I did stand. 1 roll of Tmax 3200 and 1 roll of Ilford 3200 (still available I think). These pictures date back to 2003, sat in my darkroom undeveloped for 12 years.

Pong watching TV 2003
Thai dog, 2003

Biking With The Graflex

Well tonight I tried something a bit different. I did my usual 22km bike ride to dads grave but this time I carried a back with Graflex Super D with 8 holders on my back. At times it was really tough, very heavy, at others not so bad, maybe the workouts are helping. One advantage to the Graflex wooden holders over normal plastic one is that I believe they are a bit lighter. You notice things, like, how heavy something is, when you lug them on your back!

I shot my film in the treed area of the dads graveyard again, I like it there, it is beautiful and peaceful. As I was pulling up on the bike I saw a young lanky and very energetic coyote lope on past me. Here are todays Graflex shots. All pictures made on Tri-x exposed at 400ASA (a bit faster than before) 1/60 and f8. I developed the in the JOBO at 24C for 8 minutes in D-76 1/1.

I think in the future I want to try more sky, between the tree shots with this camera. The ability to move quickly, focus and shoot is what the Graflex is all about, mobility!! Shooting 10 sheets in a matter of minutes with the Graflex is easy, especially with a Grafmatic back (6 shots in quick succession). It can be sort of a machine gun version of a 4x5 camera. Boy is it exciting to see that large image on that 5x5 (?) internal SLR mirror.

Update* I am at around 435km for the summer on the bike. I was hoping to hit 1000 but that's doubtful, 800 thou is definitely possible.

Update** The new holders preformed well. Some of them look almost brand new, I replaced the tape on 1 holder but that's about it. All ready to use in Asia.

Update*** The old sheet of Tri-x was fogged, no image after development. Oh well it was worth a shot!

Between the trees, dads graveyard, 2015
Artificial flower detail, dads graveyard, 2015
Opening through the trees, dads graveyard, 2015

Bought A Canon Demi EE17 Half Frame

WellI  managed to get a very good almost like new condition Canon Demi EE17. These cameras are usually quite beat up on eBay, fungus, cracks, bangs and bruises all over the camera body, scratches on the lens etc. The one I purchased was in great shape with the original box, not bad for a 1960s era camera. I now own 3 1/2 frame cameras a Olympus Pen-EE 3, a Olympus Pen F and the Canon Demi EE17 (30mm f1.7 lens).

I am really falling in love with the grain, contrast and blur I can achieve in half frame with pushed film. Whichever of these cheap cameras I like best, I will take with me to Asia. Many folks online praise this camera to death, it might be the king of 1/2 frame. I will have to see how it goes, choose what I like best.

Can't believe the people who buy the cameras originally keep the instructions and original box for like 50+ years. They must have lots of storage space in their homes.

Yesterday's 1/2 Frame Work

On my bike ride I took a few photos at the graveyard with the Pen-EE 3 1/2 frame camera. I used an ancient roll of Tmax 3200 (now discontinued) film I had laying around. All exposures were shot wide open at f3.5 and the camera's working shutter speed of 1/60(?). Given STAND development for 2 hours in 1/50 Rodinal. Multiple connected frames printed side by side would be an effective use of this camera.

My Fathers Grave (cropped image)
Contrast added as well as slight cropping in PSE
A powerful gravestone-bench for a beautiful young woman taken way to early.
This quote from Edgar Allen Poe was on Kayla's grave stone.

“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”

Holders And More Holders

I got my 8 Graflex Graphic  holders today ($26USD plus shipping). The holders look great and should work with the Graflex as they have the necessary mounting edge. I have more than enough holders for the camera now.

1-6 sheet Grafmatic back
8-2 sheet Graflex Graphic holders
1-12 sheet bag mag (if it works!, still waiting on this item).

If the bag mag comes through, then I have 6+16+12 sheet holders of various styles I can carry into the field to shoot with the Graflex Super D.

I will try shooting these new/old holders over the next few days.

Note* I also bought a used cheap 120mm film carrier for this camera that will allow me to do 6x9 negs. Still waiting for that item in the mail also.

Update* Just found out some of the holders still have film loaded. Is it good? 50 years old? Been X-rayed to death? Who knows. I exposed 1 sheet by accident when cleaning the holders but the other 1 left I plan on shooting. Hey folks FREE FILM : )) Who knows what will come out, and it is TRI-X you can't beat that, great minds think a like!

"Ain't Photography Grand!!"

Graflex Graphic holder mounted on back of my Graflex Super D, the other 7 and the Grafmatic back waiting

Hollywood Star?

Just has a weird ass dream. In the dream, I was on my way to work when I heard through a friend that they were looking for westerners who could speak Thai to cast in a Hollywood movie. So I meet with a casting person about the job. I speak Thai in the dream (happens quite often to me where I dream and speak Thai) with another possible western movie extra. The other person auditioning speaks Thai much better than I do, so I figure I am toast, not going to get the job. But the producer eventually seems interested in casting me and says there is a possibility at big money. In the dream I remember thinking "Great  after I make some big money, I can go and do my documentary photographs!! with it!!"Then I woke up, do not know if I got the job or not.

What a weird dream, guess it is better than waking up in tears after a nightmare about dad. Maybe tomorrow I night, I will be in the movie : )).


I love the way the Pen EE-3 allows for weird ass abstracts. I shot away with the camera using Tri-x in very very low light and came away with photos like these, so abstract and strange they are visually fun to look at. These are also from Saturdays wedding.

Your Not Going To Believe This, Or Maybe You Will!

I bought ANOTHER Rolleiflex. The camera I wanted finally came online after I bought the other 3!!! A Rolleiflex GX at a GREAT PRICE in GREAT GREAT condition. The condition is listed as A- by the seller a camera store in Japan. It started out at $1998 USD which is the cheapest price I have seen by about $250 USD of any prime condition GX. I haggled with the seller and got it down to $1950 USD with free shipping to Canada.

So Mr Gerry, bought another fricking camera! Think I am going to have to mortgage my home soon. This is the best of the bunch, the one I will love. I plan on selling 1 maybe 2 of my other 3, at least that is the hope. Here is the latest, greatest and my last Rolleiflex, the Rolleiflex GX manufactured in the late 1980s.

Ok enough!

My Rollieflex GX

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bought A Pen F Half Frame Camera

Bought a Pen F half frame camera from a American camera store for $90USD. It is a cheap price for a fun camera, it is fully tested and has a 6 month warranty from the seller. The Pen F shoots 1/2 frame and allows for shutter and f-stop changes. I will need to get a lens for the camera. A Chinese company makes adaptors for this camera that allow you to use Canon FD lens. I have a ton of FD lens so I am thinking of getting the adaptor. My FD lens library includes 20mm, 28mm, 35mm and 50mm lens. It would really cook to bring those lens back into the fold. I have not used my Cannot lens for many years. Probably have not used them since my trip to Thai in 1999. It is a waste to have them sitting on the shelf, lets bring them back to life and back creating!

Olympus Pen F half frame camera

Camera: Canon Demi EE17 Half Frame

I had a online blog friend send me info about this camera several months back. After my recent fun shooting the Olympus Pen EE 3 half frame I thought why not try this one out. The Canon Demi EE17 has both shutter speed and f stop change ability. These things are a bit pricey online as everyone loves them so I might have to work to get one. Will start searching tonight for it.

Canon DemiEE 17

One Down Two To Go

Well the first workshop of the week went well. 3 hours and 45 minutes in the darkroom teaching, $120 richer, and a nice experience. 2 more workshops to do this week and my main photo club talk on Sunday night. I will be detailing my entire photographic history to club members. Gosh that will be a long day of talking first a workshop and 3-4 hours of gabbing in the afternoon, then speaking to the club members about my 37 year photo history. By the time that's all over with I will be hoarse!

Now it is off on the bike to do 20kms + before coming back and doing a bit of printing. I also need to deposit today's earned money into my photo trip bank account. Little by little, brick by brick, builds the grand cathedral.

Update* Ended up doing 23km, not bad, visited Dad. I still cannot believe my father is dead, it does not seem real. I heard his voice earlier today when I called mom and he was on the answering machine, then later on in the same day I go visit his grave. Some how it just does not seem real. How can he be in that box underground?

Took some photos at the graveyard with the Pen EE 3 and some ancient (badly fogged?) Tmax 3200 I had laying around in the darkroom for a decade or so, will develop it tonight. The images should be super grainy.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Graveyard Trees

Here are some scans that I mentioned in the last blog of graveyard trees. Shot with the Graflex Super D and 190mm lens. Focused assisted by Carson magnifier glasses in the cameras focusing chimney. The tree trunk is pretty sharp in this, the rest falls off because of the F5.6 f stop. I am hoping I can use this shallow depth of field well with hand held 4x5 portraiture. The left grass is the only thing in focus in pic #2. Selective focus creates an interesting surreal abandoned feeling. In the past I wanted everything sharp edge to edge in my landscapes, now I am not so sure.

Graflex 190mm Tri-x 200ASA  1/125 F5.6

Link: Today The First Day Off Work

Today I did a bunch of things with my mother. We went to visit dads grave as part of fathers day, where we took pictures. We then went to the mall had a nice little meal, followed by a visit to the library. At the mall and I printed up all the photos we liked. We did 36 4x6 beautiful colour prints on lustre paper, it worked out to $5.32. Cheap, convenient and pretty prints no wonder film is dying! Mom will send the pics to family members. After that I cut her lawn and mine before coming into the house do some film development.

I shot 6 photos at the graveyard of trees-tall grass. Today I got my B&H magnifier glasses (and 50 rolls of 120 Tri-x) that I hooked up to the top of the Graflex Super D chimney, they work GREAT! The glasses get in the way a bit with composition but they help a ton with focusing, it is way easier. The 6 pics in the horizontal format, were at 1/125 and f5.6, come at 1/30 and f11. I will post those later tonight after I finish the film processing and do the scanning. 

I need to get the darkroom ready for tomorrow, as I am holding a workshop at 1pm. Boy is the Graflex a fun camera to use, love that camera to death, no wonder so many great photographers used it. I hope the Rolleiflex is fun to use also after all I have 3 of those fricking cameras in the mail now. All heading to Canada form parts unknown!

Here is the a link to the glasses I bought and used today. I just found out they also have a 1.75 version. I might order those the next time I do a B&H order of some kind. Before I go to Asia I might also get a back up pair of the ones I like best, just in case I lose them on my travels. Having the magnifier seen pretty important to achieving sharper focus and having backups is always a good idea when your making photos in remote locations.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Workshops Coming In Waves

It is interesting how the workshop booking go. Last year I had section of the year where nothing was happening and other weeks where I was doing 2 workshops a week. This year it's the same, for quite a few months no booking now this coming week I have 3 workshops. I received another email today from an artist asking questions, and have another possible advanced darkroom workshop planned with Stu a friend who has done several workshops with me. This year once again things are going from nothing to full speed multi workshop mode.

The more the merrier I say. I get to teach film photography which is fun. The student gets to learn something they do not know and hopefully become stronger photographers/artists. The money earned goes directly back into into my photo projects. Wins all around!

1/2 Frame Fun

At a wedding last night I played around with my cheapo 1/2 frame Olympus Pen camera. With this camera instead of getting 36 exposures on a roll you get 72. The light in the dance area was almost non existent but some of the other areas of the hall were more lit up. I did Tri-x with STAND development for 2 hours. Everything was shot at the cameras widest aperture of 3.5 and the one pre-set shutter speed (I think it's 1/60). These super high contrast, super grain, partial focus photos are fun to play with and even more fun to shoot. Not sure how much fun they would be to print thou, probably very difficult to do. I might not be able to reproduce this style look/feel in my darkroom. Going to a wedding is fun, going to a wedding and making my own style photos is SUPER fun! I like mood the 1/2 frame Olympus Pen creates. This is a tiny cheap little almost toy camera, I will probably take it with me to Asia on my next trip, why not, can't hurt. Thanks to everyone at the wedding for being so free and open to the photography.

These photos are so bizarre and different than my usual work, sometimes you cannot even tell whats going on, its just all grain and contrast, anyway it is Fun Fun Fun!! I will be playing with this style a lot more. Half to looking into getting a more adjustable 1/2 frame camera, one I can play with both the f-stops and shutter speeds. I think I like the photos made with this camera best when they are up close to the subject, and there is motion and weird  angled compositions. The best photos seem to be just happy random accidents. Shooting 72 photos per roll certainly helps with finding a few good accidents on your film.