Category Archives: Landscapes

My Kodak E100 Experience: Hot or Cold?

I waited with baited breath, as they say, for results from early E100 Film Testing.  Always reliable, I delved into the EMULSIVE Review, which compared various exposures, by processing at EI 100, 200, 400 800.  At first glance I like the EI200 images, so I started by comparing EI 100 vs EI 200.  The Cameras, my nearly identical Minolta X-700 with Tamron 28-200 zoom lens, which I’ve used for a number of side by side film tests:

 

Two_X-700

I took a second look at the EMULSIVE results after reviewing my own tests, and can’t believe that I didn’t see the EI 200 images were colder.  Also, the example scenes were not typical subjects that I would have photographed (the exception being flowers).  I had fears about the new E100 because I new that it was based on E100G, which I had always found to be too cold.  I always used a warming filter with the old E100G.  The long gone warm tone balanced E100GX had been my favorite.

So my results, E100 @ EI 125 (following Galen Rowell’s recommendation) on the top and EI 200 on the bottom.  All of the photos are the original raw scans with no adjustments of brightness, contrast or levels and no warming filter:

E100_125_MeteredE100_200_Pushed

The Cathedral Rocks in Arizona,  I tried to get the same perspective, but there is a slight difference. Below viewed from a distance:

E100_125_Metered2E100_200_Pushed2

And zoomed in:

E100_125_Metered3E100_200_Pushed3

Note the color of the Red Rocks and the Soil.  Since I frequently shoot Red Rocks, I’d like them to have the truer Red of the EI 125 images.  Below I’m showing the EI 125 exposed a +1 stop.  It probably offers a truer color rendition:

E100_125_TrueColor

It’s probably time for me to test E100 with a warming Filter vs. Portra 400.  I’ve found Portra 400 to be an acceptable color film for my current use.  I’ve also been spoiled by the wide latitude of exposures that a C-41 film allows.  Since I mostly shoot B&W now, I’m not sure that E100 has enough zip to bring me back to E-6.  But I’ll wait on a final E100 choice after the 120 is available.  I’ll test that vs Portra 400.

Favorites from Silberra PAN 100

Similar issues with PAN 100 as I had reported for PAN160.  All images here have been significantly altered for brightness and contrast in Photoshop.ArizonaSky1

Arizona Skies have been generally more interesting than in Front Range Colorado.  Back in colorado that dead blue sky that frequently shows itself is anathema to Photography.

Superstition3

 

 

Ditto on no more Film Testing………

My Personal Ilford FP4 Party at the Salt River Bridge

My Emulsive Secret Santa sent me one roll each of 35 mm and 120 size film.  I know about the FP4 Party on Twitter, but had never participated and never shot any of this film before.  This Month I did post my best FP4 35 mm images.

So I was shooting on a drive through the mountains north of Phoenix.  We ended up at Roosevelt Lake (water very low as you can see) and the Salt River Dam and Bridge:

SaltRiverDam

But my real interest was the Bridge.  So I did a study of it.  First, a panorama made from two images using Photomerge:

SaltRiver_Bridge_Panorama

Remember when making a Panorama your images must overlap by ~30%, as you can see from the parts below:

 

 

And the most wide angle I could get from a single shot using my Minolta X-700 and Tamron 28-200 zoom lens with a nice reflection:

SaltRiver_Bridge2

A slightly different view, with interesting vegetation:

SaltRiver_Bridge1

Read my FP4 Review here.

As my Previous Post suggested, I’ll try the 120 FP4 film that I was given, but I’m probably going to stick with Delta100 or 400 when I want lower contrast than T-MAX 400.

Inspired By: Galen Rowell

Galen Rowell (1940-2002) was my inspiration for pushing the limits of my outdoor 35 mm photography.  Our Patagonia Trekking Photos followed his suggested techniques for E-6 film (Shoot ISO 100 at ISO 125); how to pack your equipment for safe travel; traveling with film, etc.

January_2007

His death along with his photographer wife Barbara Rowell in a plane crash impacted me greatly.  And learning that their Families had closed the Mountain Light Gallery in 2017 was a sad reality.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Trekking the “W” in the Paine Massif was a dream of my husband’s, but none of his friend from his mountaineering and climbing days wee interested.  So 8 years into our marriage we went to Patagonia and Trekked the “W”.  The trip also inspired our first Annual Calendar in 2006.

Now that Kodak E100 is back, I can highly recommend:

Both of which were my early guides to improving my E-6 outdoor photography, and also
  • Galen Rowell: A Retrospective

And many other books all available online at that ‘place’ that I refuse to give free advertising to….Looking at his work will show you the full capabilities of 35 mm photography.  Below, our 2006 Calendar (in case you haven’t checked out the “Deep Archive”).

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Film Expertise?

I have posted this on Twitter.  But I wanted to give my followers here a chance at answering this question too.  In the future I will write an ‘article’ here on my feelings and the results of my survey.  Here it is:

How many films is it really possible to be an expert at using?

While here in Arizona, I’ve been testing various films that I hadn’t used before (e.g. Silberra, Ilford FP4, the new Kodak E100),  In most cases for B&W I use Kodak T-MAX 400 and Ilford SFX-200; for color I’ve settled on Kodak Portra 400 (pending my results for E100).  I know these films well, and I usually get the expected results.  When I experiment with new films, the results are up in the air.  Yes with my ‘expert’ films I made early mistakes but worked through it. Now I wonder if it is worth the the time to learn about MORE films or stick with what works?  So let me restate the question:

What films do you use and how many do you feel it is possible to be an expert with?  Please leave a comment or vote on Twitter @AnalogPhotoBug, and look for the future article.

Kodak T-MAX 400:

KEJohnson_Convent
The Symbol of My Journey

Kodak Portra 400:

Carhenge2

Ilford SFX-200:

CragsView2

Silberra PAN 160

As part of my Arizona Project, I am testing some films.  Some completely new, like Silberra PAN 160 and PAN 100;  and films new to me like Ilford FP4.

 

 

Silberra is a new Russian film that has been in development for 10+ years.  I backed it in Indiegogo.  Today I’m posting results from my journey around the Phoenix area: Below, Four Peaks……..

4Peaks_Enhanced

I’ve discussed on my Photo Diary, some problems that I’ve experienced with Silberra Film (and similarly with Ferrania P30).  My main problem was controlling the contrast and exposure.  All of the images here have been adjusted significantly in PhotoShop.  I am largely a T-MAX 400 + Ilford user (especially SFX-200).

 

So I am posing the question here (also on Twitter as a survey):  How many types of film is it possible to be an expert user?  I like supporting new films, but I’m really into getting my best results that can also be printed in the darkroom without a tremendous effort in manipulation.

Print your comments here and I will include them in a future article:

 

 

The Story: Shooting Digital Like Film

LongCanyonTree_FinalCrop

First the Quote from Frank H. Wu on 35mmc:

“The lesson to be learned about life is that we, or at least I, do not appreciate as much what I have been given as what I have had to bargain for. I earn my film photos. I have to be able to afford it. That means repeatedly. Each and every satisfying click and whirr is a few pennies, which must be in the pocket. I am automatically averse to waste.”

The conclusion is that His film photos are always personally more satisfying (and often objectively better) than His digital images.

My best photos are definitely film.  One of last year’s successes IS digital (shown above), but I planned and captured the image like it was film.  I saw the potential image, walked around the scene looking for the best angles, made three images; taking into consideration how I might crop the final images as well.  And THINKING like a film photographer avoids Waste.  For a digital Photographer, the “waste”  is all that time you spend in front of the computer sorting through hundreds of images that you would never use. For any given scene, when shooting film I have at most 4-5 images to sort through.  If you think film is expensive, what is all that time you spend in Lightroom or Photoshop worth?  The most I do in Photoshop is adjust the contrast and brightness for posting online.  In the (real) Darkroom  I do the film tests and adjust the Contrast using filters.  Of course, if I have used the proper contrast filter and exposure when capturing the image, adjustments will be straight forward.  Hmmmm……I’m feeling that I need to write a post on Contrast Filters,  coming soon!

 

The Story: Wyoming Cloud

Taken from the same location along the Roadside in Wyoming…….The joy of having two Mamiya-7’s, allowed me to make these images literally seconds apart.

strikingcloud

I was testing Kodak Portra 400 (as my new color film) and looking for good opportunities to make a few images with Ilford SFX-200.

wyoming-cloud

But more importantly I saw this cloud in the distance and we pulled over so I could capture the Image.  I Imagined the Image first. I would probably adjust the brightness/contrast for the B&W image to bring out more of the detail that you can see in the color image, because I know that detail is there……..I’ll repost once I’ve done that.

Alternate: Rediscovering My 35 mm Soul…

I asked my self this question very recently: Can one photo make a difference? You Betcha! And here is the photograph that made the difference for me:

Landscape2

For more than a decade I’ve focused on Medium format photography (Mamiya 7, Mamya 6, Mamiya 645). This left my half dozen or so Minolta 35 mm cameras very unloved. Oh, I would occasionally take them out for road trips; my snap shot, on the go cameras. For those time you just want to jump out of the car and take a quick picture, without dragging out the carefully pack ‘real’ camera gear. But I’ve increasingly used my ‘hand me down’ Nikon D-40 for that purpose.

Last Spring I decided to roll with my Minolta XD-11 as the road trip camera. We were on the highway, heading home from a photography workshop. My husband had seen an abandoned bridge he wanted to photograph on our outbound trip, but the light was not ideal. So we stopped on the way back at the same roadside rest area.

While he was setting up his 4X5 view camera, I grabbed my 35 mm and wondered around. And I saw this image across the road. I walked over for a closer look. Took a couple of quick shots, and wondered back to the car.

Later in the year I actually printed this image in my home darkroom and shared it with my photographer friends, and showed it at a friends gallery. The response was so positive that I entered it in an online gallery contest. And Success! It made me re-evaluate my relationship with my Minolta cameras (XD-11, X-700, SRT-201, SRT-101). I also realized that I should not discard 35+ years of experience with this camera format.

So take a second look with those 35 mm cameras that you’ve packed away. Most won’t sell for much on EBay. So use them, or pass them on to the many student film photography programs that are asking for donated cameras. One that comes to mind is the Weston Collective Scholarship Program. And if you know of others, please feel free to leave contact information in the comments.

And I leave you with this thought, generations of photojournalists made a difference with one 35 mm image.

Tech Info: Minolta XD-11 with Tamron 28-200 zoom lens; Kodak T-MAX 400 film.

Read the original Emulsive Article.

Also Part of The Story and Imagining the Image.