Monday, December 31, 2007

A few things, one a safe happy new year to all out there, I hope 2008 is going to be a great year for everyone. I learned a lot in 2007 in several areas in my life, I have switched developers for printing and I will be making a switch from HC-110, syrup developer to D-76 which you have to mix up a stock solution from a powder. Heavy overcast days have been my challenge in the past, no more with D-76. I love the finer grain results I get with Ilford HP5 and Kodak Tri-X.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I walked into The Belfountain Conservation Area which is closed for the season but being part of the Bruce Trail is still accessable to hikers. I have not stepped foot here in over ten years, blame the Forks of the Credit up the street. There some emotions tied to this place hence my absence, long story I won't go into. I wanted to finish up a roll in one of my OM-1's and I walked in. I have to come back with a tripod for the long exposure water shots. I was using Adox CHS 100 and I processed it in D76 stock solution.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I put my Nikon F3HP to the test with a roll of Tri-x, the exterior shots were used on manual metering while the interior shots with Charlotte and Alex on aperture priority. I understand now why Alex swears by his F3's. The Nikkor AiS 50 f1.8 is a sweet lens, I love the bokeh on the photo of Alex feeding Charlotte at lunchtime. For those wondering what bokeh means, it is a photographic term traced back to Japan to describe the out of focus rendering. I am really happy with this set.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and have a safe Happy New Year.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Scenes from Christmas Day, pity Charlotte was sick with a fever, Ruxie had to stay home and care for her. Marcus got a lot of neat presents: puzzles, books and cars! He really like the tin retro speed racer from Schylling. when you run it there is mechanism that creates sparks under the hood where the engine is supposed to be. Charlotte gets a plush toy of a chocolate lab named douglas but she won't see that until tomorrow. Alex and mom loved their gifts and Christmas Dinner was a delicious roast chicken.

A super short photo essay from my friend Alan's 40th birthday. It was a small gathering of friends, all of us have known each other since elementary school. My favourite the set would be Mike pointing at me. Shot it all with an Olympus OM-1, Zuiko 50 f1.4 lens with Kodak Tri-x @1600 processed in Diafine.

Santa was good to me, a Nikon F3HP considered one of the best 35mm SLR's ever made, a Lloyds bulk film loader and 100' of Kodak Tri-x. I usually shoot Ilford HP5 but Tri-x is my other go to film at 400 ISO because it is widely available and can but abused pushed, pulled, tossed sideways etc and you still get a great image. Tri-x rated at 1600 ISO looks amazing in Diafine, going forward is my combination for interior and party shots.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I have a weak spot for trains, it's in the blood. Both my granddad's worked for railways, granddad Bush repaired steam locomotives for New Zealand Rail, Granddad Smith managed the advertising department for Canadian National and my dad managed pension fund money for Canadian Pacific Limited.

I took this particular photo March 2006 on the way home from skiiing, i was exploring the back roads Southeast of Belfountain and saw the tourist train on the horizon. I managed to get to a level crossing and cranked off a couple of shots, with the one below my favourite.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This has to be one of my favourite prints in a while. The Cheltanham Badlands south of Belfountain Ontario on the Bruce Trail have always been a challege for me. The problem is the range in exposure values between the dark rust red ground and the sky. I lucked in with a partly cloudy day and if memory serves correct a yellow filter on the lens. I used Ilford FP4 and it was lab processed, I learned out to develop my own later on in the spring of 2006. I printed it on Kentmere Fineprint VC FB paper with a glossy finish.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

I pulled two negatives from the archives because after being part of team to put on a photo competition and make more "Oakville" prints, I am getting a little tired of Oakville imagery. So, I have one from the Beach of the 501 Car Westbound and Country Church just south Belfountain Ontario to change things up.

Capture Oakville 150 was a success as the first annual photography competition for the Oakville Camera Club. Some of prints are destined for an exhibit at the Oakville Trafalger Memorial Hospital, my fiend Kieley, the president of the OCC requested I submit three more images. One you have seen in a previous post with the racing dinghy from the Oakville Yacht Squadren and the two below Erchliss on a Fall Day and Ringside Seat in the Spring. I printed them both on Kentmere Fineprint VC Glossy Fibre Paper for longevity.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I did some printing last night with a second 25 sheet packet of Kentmre FB paper, the two prints I am showing here are in around the Forks of the Credit Provincial Park. I did a waterfall shoot but the actual waterfall shots were not that great, I am scapegoating bad lighting on this one. I did get some nice shots of rapids just down from the Falls and later on a row of Mail Boxes on Maclaren Side Road near the entrance to the park. Will I go back and re-shoot the falls? Maybe, its a pretty scary trek into the Gorge and I might go back with really slow speed film next time and get some better light.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I found my fibre paper! I have been trying out sample packs and hand me downs for a while now and after some experimentation I am standardising with Kentmere Fineprint VC Glossy FB paper. I love the results.

There is a learning curve with this brand of paper. If you are used to taking your time, you might want to set your elarger apreture higher (i.e F11 instead of F8 on 50mm lens for printing 35mm negatives) and your time might vary depending on the enlarger you use. I use Dektol 1:2 and Fineprint VC FB develops fast, around one minute and 15 seconds. Again it depends on your developer of choice.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My Public Relations and Speechwriting instructor Dave Turnbull gave me some darkroom chemicals last spring after he cleaned out his darkroom. Amoungst the assorted chemicals was a quart kit of Diafine, fine grain film developer that pushes the film speed, in case of the Agfa APX 400 I shot yesterday the speed went to 500 ISO with no grain increase on average. I became a convert, I still love my HC110, Rodinal and D-76 but with another developer in the tool kit and that is low maitainence as long as you follow the instructions.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Until I land a full time Public Relations/Corporate Communications gig, I am doing a tiny bit of freelancing with a little boutique agency called Plum PR. I got the call from the Maggie, the owner, she had a fundraiser for client (The National Youth Orchestra) and needed a photographer fast.

Maggie was cool with the fact I do this old school and was surprised at how fast I turned around the images (take that digital media). I printed two from the concert portion using Ilford RC 8x10 Pearl finish paper. I am very happy with these prints. I had a blast shooting the event.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I am suffering what from Gear Aquisition Syndrome or more commonly known in photography circles as GAS. I have a signifigant birthday next year, I am not telling you how old I will be because that is inmaterial. I want to build a killer kit as a birthday present to myself.

Option 1)

A Leica M body Rangefinder maybe an M2, M4 or M6 with Carl Zeiss 35 f2 Biogon, 50 f2 Planar and 90 f2 Leica Elmarit lens set. This won't be cheap but with this kit I won't be buying anymore Leica.

Option 2)

A Nikon FM3a, the last manual focus 35mm film SLR from Nikon. They purged their product line up a few years ago leaving only the outsourced FM10 and the pro body F6 and the FM3a was one of the casulties. I don't mind if it's the chrome or black finish and I plan to buy Nikkor AI/AIS glass to go with it. I am thinking the 20 f2.8, 28 f2.8, 35 f2, 50 f1.4, 105 f2.5 and a 200mm lens. That is a lot of glass but I am buying used and on the whole Nikkor glass is inexpensive compared to some other brands (i.e. Olympus).

So two icon camera systems. What should I go with? I play with both lens systems at present so everything will be compatible. I will be shooting black and white negative and colour reversal film. Thoughts?
This print blows my mind, the negative scan is below but this shows the water much better falling on the rocks. There is a little spot along the Bruce Trail near Waterdown On. called Smokey Hollow where I took this shot. I will warn you it is not an easy spot to get to and you have to be really careful with your footing. I got to explore long exposure photography and I realized my Sunpak tripod is at best so-so for these sort of things. I printed this on Ilford Pearl Finish RC 8x10 paper developed in Dektol.

I went back into the darkroom to make some prints, this one was taken two weeks ago before an information interview with my job search. I was using my Leica M3 with a 50 f2 Summicron lens with Adox (Efke) 100 film. I printed on Ilford Pearl finish Multigrade IV 8x10 paper with Dektol as my paper developer.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Sunday morning shoot along the Bruce Trail and I was experimenting with long exposures on a tripod. My only Auto Exposure (AE) manual focus camera is a Minolta XE-7 a delightful tank of a camera and I can keep the shutter open for four seconds hence the texture of the water. I got a little wet crossing the creek and the camera got splashed. The Minolta still works nicely and I dried it out, the story would not have had a happy ending if I had a DSLR.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

More Kodachrome shots, this time I was using my Olympus OM-1. The Pier shot is at the mouth of 16 Mile Creek and the cobblestones was shot at the Distillery District.

I bought two rolls for this year's fall colours.

What's this, a colour photograph? Most of my Flickr contacts and fellow members have me labeled as that "old school black and white guy." I love shooting black and white, I love the whole process of developing and printing at home in my darkroom. Well, surprise I dig colour too, and I kick myself for discovering slide film late in the game. I shot this last year at the Cheltenham Badlands on Lower Base Line Road with my Nikon F with Kodachrome 64 with a Nikkor H 50 f2 lens.

This particular emulsion is the grandfather of all colour film. Kodachrome was invented in the 1930s and has the reputation for it's archival properties. I love the retro colour rendition and that fact I am running it through cameras about the same age as I am, seems appropriate.

Now shooting with this film requires patience, Kodachrome is simple in chemical makeup, however complex in processing and there is only one lab left in the world based in Kansas that processes film. Figure a month wait to get your slides back.