Category Archives: Personal Vision

Good Friday: The Photo Story

Good_Friday

From the Riverside Cemetery, Denver, Colorado.

This post IS for Good Friday.  But there is also a Story to be told.  This was my second visit to the Riverside Cemetery in Denver.  Dragging around my Mamiya 645 in its rolling case.  The Riverside Cemetery is a place to go for History Addicts, as it is the oldest Denver Cemetery.  It needs some love, but is now being managed by The Friends of Historic Riverside Cemetery.

But things aren’t as they seem, when I scanned the film from my second visit I reversed the negative.  And on my first visit I had taken the Long View. The original perspective and correct orientation is below.  What do You Think?

Cemetary_Jesus

Notice the lovely Oil Refinery in the background, which is why on my second visit, I  moved in closer to “crop in the camera”, and show the face of Mary.  I also had better light on the second go around.

 

A Quiet Tribute

As  student of Art History, and a practicing religious person, I was devastated by the Fire at Notre Dame.  No, I’m not Catholic, but I revere ALL sacred places of ALL Religions.

I’m not at home, so I don’t have much that I can post at this moment.  But I Love Gothic Architecture.  When I had a chance to live in England, I visited all the famous Cathedrals that I could get to during my short stay.  So I post a Quiet Tribute from Wells Cathedral.  A gem that you should try to see if you are in western England

Wells_NotreDame_Tribute

And what I am going to do this summer is scan all of my best English Cathedral images (Old ECN-II Transparencies) and Post Them!

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………

Through The Glass: Passing the Halfway Point

Arizona_Cactus1_Posted

I’ve completed half of my Proton Bean Treatments.  Wooooo Hoooo!  So I’m sharing one of my husband’s digital images of:  Argentine Giant (Echinopsis candicans).  Happily blooming in a median at the Mayo Clinic.

My Film Cacti Photos Coming Soon!

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.

Results of Film Expertise Survey and My Personal Thoughts

I have my favorite films and I ask myself whether it is worth the time to learn about new films?  My favorite B&W: Kodak T-MAX 400, Ilford SFX-200 and I when I want less contrast Ilford Delta 400;  I also want to spend some more time with Ilford Delta 3200 My Favorite Color film for now is Kodak Portra 400;  I am presently testing the new Kodak E100.  So I have 3 main films (bold); one that I use under certain conditions (bold italic and posted image below); and two that I am experimenting with (plain text italic).

Fern_Canyon4

So I posted a Survey on Twitter and asked the followers of both of my Blogs to add their comments.  The Twitter Survey ran for a week with the following Results:

Survey_Results

Most of my blog followers are also on Twitter, so their votes are included above.  I agree  with the survey results: 48% of you say 3-4 films and 23% say 1-2 films.  Total for less is more: 71%.  So most of us agree that you cannot be an expert with dozens of films.  My husband said that his answer was 5+ films.  He really likes to find special films for special circumstance and does more experimentation than I do, which is a film multiplier.   @donkittle on Twitter wrote to me supporting different films for different situations also.  I typically shoot 3-4 different types of scenes/subjects.  So following this approach may explain why I only need/use 3-4 film types.  And I think that most photographers in that 71% are doing the same, typically shooting select films for their preferred subjects and no more.

I am open to experimentation on a limited basis, or using a certain film according to the conditions if I know that it will perform better (Delta 400) than my usual B&W (T-MAX 400).  We should all consider new films from time to time.  But film testing is time consuming, and I think that my days of trying new films are pretty much over once I’m done testing Kodak E100.  If I like the new E-6 film, then it will largely replace Portra 400, since ISO 100 films are better for travel (i.e. they survive possible airport X-ray mishaps better; also some film travel tips here and more here).  But since I already understand Portra 400, I can pull it off the shelf when I need it.  And although I don’t like the color balance of Portra 160 for my landscapes in general,  I can recommend it for Pinhole Cameras.  So another case of a special film for a special case.

Now lets consider some Favorite Films of Famous Photographers.  I’ve tried researching this on the WEB.  Lot’s of discussion of gear (cameras, lenses, etc), but very little on Films used by the Famous.  So isn’t Film part of your Gear?  Isn’t that why we choose certain films for certain circumstances?   Hey, if you become famous, please include preferred Film Types in your Gear……..  Here’s what I found after a few hours of searching for a some of my Favorites who considered the Film a part of their Gear:

I realize that it may be harder to find this information for deceased Photographers. But if you are still alive, please let us know what type of film you most recently used (even if you have switched to digital).

A Final Thought from the Weston Interview linked above:

“…..If you use a film long enough, you get to know its characteristics. I don’t use a meter, I just know the light…..”

 

 

 

 

 

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”).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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: