Dec 31, 2016

Five Best Film Images of 2016

2016 has been a year of rediscovering my vision through film. As frustrated as I was at times, I still need to celebrate what went right, and what most closely met that vision. I went back and looked at a few of my favorites from the past year. Here they are, in no particular order:

Eastern Oregon Turbine

These wind turbines seem to be everywhere in my region. I can take you to a place near the Blue Mountains where you can literally see hundreds of them at a time. I liked how the clouds were so prolific that day, and I was able to capture some of the movement of the blades, which are said to be about 75 feet in length.
Ilford Delta 100 in d-76, Red #25 filter. 

Hat Rock in Late Winter

This is the only image of the bunch that I sent out for processing. In this case, Blue Moon Camera and Machine in Portland, Oregon. I was actually troubleshooting a problem with my Mamiya C330 and needed to see if it was in the camera or if there was a problem with my processing. Turns out I need a new seal job, something I'm undertaking in the next few weeks. 
Fujichrome Velvia 50, Mamiya C330 80mm f/2.8 lens

Small Town Oregon

The town of Condon, Oregon. There's some leakage in the bottom of this, which I attribute to some accidental flashing during processing rather than a problem with the camera itself. Nonetheless, I liked the feel of this one.
Cinestill 50, Argus C3 with 50mm lens.

Superette Market

I surprised myself by including this image here. Reds, oranges and a blue sky make for a nice combination when shot on Ektar. In fact, I've found that Ektar needs full sunshine to really work well. Taken near the campus of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.
Kodak Ektar 100

Macro Flower

I picked up a 25mm FD mount extension tube last fall and paired it with a Vivitar 28mm macro/closeup lens. Winter time is a great time to do macro when I'm caught inside. I've really been trying to improve my macro game by working on some lighting, and this is getting a lot closer to what I've been wanting to achieve.
Canon AV-1. Ilford Delta 100, Vivitar 28mm lens with 25mm extension. 

Dec 30, 2016

Stuff Happens

I guess it had to happen eventually with this thing. Forgot to advance the roll one frame. Left the shutter open during a transition. Overexposed most of the images. Misthreaded the reel, leaving some spots where the film was touching during development. Stuff happens.

Nonetheless, I'm getting a better feel for what will show up in the frame on my Zero Image 618.It's like accessing a whole separate world, one that I'm creating from the real one.  6x9 is a good frame size, although it's not exactly a 2:3 size ratio.

Dec 27, 2016

A Very Pinhole Christmas

We had a much more festive Christmas Day than these pinhole images might suggest. That said, I did like some of the anamolies and general weirdness that this thing created. A few more notes:

  • Tri-x and Rodinal aren't good friends. Stand developed, anyway. That's some ugly grain.  I need to replace my gram scale so that I can start mixing d-76 again. 
  • A difference of 5 or 10 minutes in exposure time really means nothing in this scenario. That's a testament to the wide latitude of Tri-x and the developing characteristics of Rodinal. 
  • I'm still getting used to the perspective shift that occurs with pinhole. Note the table cloth pattern below, and how the distortion increases at the lower edge of the image. I need to start using that to my advantage.
  • 6x6 on this particular model is more like 6x7-ish. Nothing else on this thing is exact, I don't see why frame size should be. 
  • In the "just because you can, doesn't mean you should" category:  Wide, panoramic images, 6x12, 6x18 are probably better shot with something that has a curved plane. The light falloff at the outer edges of those sizes are immense on a Zero Image. 
  • Can't wait until I can get out and shoot my next roll. 
Here are all 12 images from our Christmas Day:

Christmas ghosts.

When we watch TV, our TV is watching us back. 

This was a 20 minute exposure.  

15 minutes really is too long to show hand motion in a clock. I'll need to get it down to 2-3 and get in closer for a better effect. Still, the pendulum motion came out pretty cool. 

I tried to place that snowman a lot more prominently in the image. I'm still learning perspective with this thing. 

Wouldn't you know it, the glare from the window was right on Santa. Oh well. 

Getting the table ready for Christmas dinner. Note how the perspective changes the closer you get to the camera. 

Last frame. Some lingering snow in our back yard. More perspective commentary: This makes it look like we have a bigger back yard than we actually do. You'd be surprised at how close that fence actually is when you look out this window. 

Dec 22, 2016

Cinestill 50 + Winter

For subtle yet realistic colors, it's difficult not to recommend Cinestill spooled for 35mm camera use. If you're not aware, it is essentially Kodak Vision 3 cinema film with the remjet layer removed. The problem is, you pay for that privilege. At over $11 USD a roll, it's not in my budget to shoot very much of it throughout the year.

I recently shot a roll of the Cinestill 50D after a snow storm in our area, on a sunny day when I could get some color in the sky. These were done on a Canon AV-1, so I had to rely on auto exposure. I set the ISO to 25 to get a more correct exposure level on the film. I processed it myself in my own C-41 chemicals. To my eyes, these are ideal colors for this purpose, with good shadow detail and (mostly) keeping the highlights in check.

Since I'm a DIY film guy, I will likely get the Vision 3 50D in the future and remove the remjet layer myself. It's not a difficult step (I've done it before).  If I bulk load it, I can pay as little as $6.11 USD per roll. I like that a lot better than $11.

Dec 11, 2016

Summer rewind: Kodak Ektar

As we begin to finish up 2016 (thank God) I realize there were a lot of film images that didn't make it onto this blog. Specifically, some summer time photos taken in the Corvallis area got left behind. These were taken on Ektar 100, and self developed:

I've never understood why it's called '26th Street' when it's actually on Monroe. Oh well. 
Centro Cultural César Chávez

South end entrance, off of Western Boulevard
A common mode of transportation. This one had been sitting there for awhile, I think. 
Outside Valley Library.

Benton Hall, aka the Music Building. 

Dec 10, 2016

Zero Image 618

My most recent acquisition has been a 6x18 pinhole from Zero Image. This camera has the options of shooting 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, 6x12 or 6x18. I've got a lot to learn in terms of pre-visualizing my scene, but I like the possibilities this will offer. My biggest surprise from this was the field of view was much deeper than I had originally anticipated. In other words, distances showing up on the final image are much further away than when actually viewing the scene.

My first outing used Fuji Acros 100 with a red #25 filter, and was shot in 6x12 format. It was actually far too wide for what I needed. 6x7 or 6x9 would have been a much better option. Here it is in action:

And here are the images that came out of this first session:

Dec 3, 2016

Macro on film

Just a quick update. I just realized it has been ages since I updated this thing. I've been shooting regularly, though.  I picked up a 25mm extension tube and paired it with a 28mm closeup lens, for some spectacular macro views. Here's one I was especially proud of. Taken on Ilford Delta 100 film, developed in Rodinal 1:100 semi-stand.