Tag Archives: Inspiration

Why Fisheye?

I’ve realized that I had several Fisheye lens/camera set ups.  My First was a Zenitar Fisheye for my 35 mm Minolta Family:

 

 

Minolta Zenitar Redwoods:

Redwoods

Next I acquired a Lomo Fisheye:

PeachesBooks

Then a Fisheye attachment for the Holga.  My First Emulsive Secret Santa Gift:

Holga_Fisheye

Next A Fisheye Lens for My Diana:

Diana_Fisheye2

Wow this is out of control right?  So I thought about “Rewarding” myself with a Mamiya 645 fish eye lens after recovering from a recent illness.  The price though, was daunting  (~$1200) and I thought about how little I actually use any of my other Fisheye Lenses. Then I became aware of the Arsat Zodiak-8 Fisheye, and picked one up for $120.  In fact I bought two cameras and two lenses for the cost of the most expensive M645 Fisheye listing ($1800).

So, now for the first results from the Arsat with comparisons to my 35 mm Fisheye:

Fisheye_ChapelontheRock

Chapel on the Rock: 645 Arsat Fisheye, Peak to Peak Highway

Fisheye_TreeontheRock

Above: I call this one the “Tree on the Rock”  also Peak to Peak Highway.

Now from some side by side comparisons to my 35 mm Zenitar Fisheye )left B&W is 645; right color is 35 mm):  These were taken from the same tripod position.

 

 

 

 

 

If you are old enough to remember, the 1970’s were a Fisheye crazed time.  Even the original Hawaii 5-0 had a fisheye view of a landing plane in its Intro. But, I haven’t answered my question yet:  Why Fisheye?  Well, just for the fun of it!

Post Script:  I haven’t forgotten 9/11, I’m just not going to support the politicization of it.  I will Always Honor those who died.

B&W Flowers from My Garden

OK, I’m a believer.  Photographers were always raving about Ilford HP5.  But I didn’t share the fascination until this past Spring.  On my Journey to Phoenix I wanted to take 35 mm B&W film.  The only thing I had in the fridge was Ilford HP5.  So I grabbed the 5 rolls and headed out………

And I’ve finally discovered the situations where the ‘GRAIN” works for me.  Here is a summary of my HP5 Best Case (all HP5 except where noted):

 

 

(Note: the datura, upper right is T-MAX)

 

(Note:  Yuca Baccata, upper left, is digital IR)

September on my Other Blog is all about B&W in the Garden.

Inspired By Chris Gampat @Phoblographer: My “New” Fuji GW690 III

A while ago Chris Gampat had a very insightful article on the Phoblographer regarding the “5 of Our Favorite Film Rangefinder Cameras (One for Everyone)”  Guess what?  I bought one…….This was my first test roll through the Fuji GW690 III.  Boxed like new and delivered from Japan in a timely manner.

GW690_Cropped3GW690_Cropped4GW690_Cropped2GW690_Cropped1

Now for my Very Dramatic second roll through this camera…….Roosevelt Dam:

Roosevelt_Dam

Apache Lake, Canyon Lake and the Superstition Mountains…….

Apache_Lake_GW690IIICanyon_Lake_GW690IIISuperstition_Mtns_GW690III

The lens for the GW690III is know for it’s high contrast.  I’d never thought about lenses affecting the contrast.  But see the difference between my Mamiya 7 and this camera at the Superstition Mountains:

 

 

 

View Another Film-Lens-Contrast Example Here.

Inspired By: John Sexton

After Viewing This Image, I knew what I wanted to say here….Inspired by John Sexton’s rich silver prints:

Roosevelt_Dam

I can’t wait to print this image.  Taken with my new/old Fuji GW690II, this was only the second roll through the camera. The subject, the Roosevelt Dam at Salt Creek, AZ. Oooooh that Black Water!

Yes my Image is grainy and high contrast, but I’m not trying to copy the Sexton Style, I am instead drawing a link in Personal Vision of what represents Beauty.  Inspired by His Book, “Places of Power”  and an appreciation of Industrial Beauty:

PlacesOfPower

Inspired By: Kim Weston

Let’s start with a Weston Interview Quote:

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

I love the quote because I rarely use my spot meter…….

Now, what inspires me?  If you check out his website….he exclusively does nude photography.  Although tastefully done, it’s not my thing (although there is one image I do love: Nude in Cactus).  And this is as far as I go into Nudes:

Johnson_KE_Illuminate_4

What Inspires Me? First I am inspired by His warm and welcoming attitude towards film students and film enthusiasts in the Monterey Bay Region.    I met Kim Weston when he welcomed our Monterey Peninsula College Class to Wildcat Hill.  At that time he was making predominantly platinum prints and we were an Alternative Processes class.  So he demonstrated the printing method for us.  He also discussed his artistic philosophy, and let us see his famous grandfather, Edward Weston’s, simple but beautiful darkroom. Imagine yourself making fabulous 8X10 contact prints like pepper #39 using an incandescent light bulb.

Kim Weston invited us to drop by, and if he wasn’t busy, we could talk about photography.  One of my friends spoke up.  Luther was having trouble learning to use his 4X5 view camera.  Kim just said, drop by with the camera sometime.  Luther did, and Kim Weston spent the afternoon showing him how to get the most from his 4X5. His support of film photographers, especially students, inspires me.

But Kim Weston eventually took it a step further, starting the Weston Collective, a scholarship program for students in Monterey County that are studying fine art film photography.  And the Collective has taken a step forward in support of fine art photography by opening a darkroom and teaching studio.  Raising the funds and managing the space for the benefit of ‘developing’ film photographers is inspiring.

 

 

 

My Pinhole Day at Aztec Ruins

I finally have submitted an image to the World Wide Pinhole Day site.  Last year I had a great image but never uploaded it. Darn! But this year I didn’t let it pass me by:

KEJohnson_WWPHDay_2019_AztecRuins2

From the Aztec Ruins, New Mexico.  A misnomer of course, because this was built by the “Ancient Ones” circa  11th Century BCE.  The Great Kiva was reconstructed in 1934 by Hopi and Puebloan workers.  The image above was the one I submitted…..Below all of the best images.  Reality So Subtle 6X6F Pinhole Camera, Kodak Portra 400 Film, @ 5 minutes exposure time:

Inspired By: Don Anderson

You won’t find my Don Anderson listed online.  He died recently and his website has been taken down.  Too Bad, because as my Instructor for Experimental Methods and Alternative Processes at Monterey Peninsula College, He was a huge influence.  I was introduce to photographic concepts I would never have tried on my own.

So let me show some examples of techniques I never would have tried without Don Anderson:

Cyanotypes & Van Dykes:

Memorial_Day

Experimental Developing Methods:

Shrove_Tuesday

Liquid Emulsions:

Anniversary_New

Crappy Cameras,  Holga & Diana:

HolgaAtHome

Pinholes:

Fall_River_Road

The most important thing that I learned was, that even if these are not methods you will focus on, the exposure to these methods will have a positive influence on your Mainstream Photography.