Tag Archives: Kodak T-Max 400

Inspired By Jim Grey: “Selfies” for My Birthday

Reading Jim Grey’s recent Blog on the subject of Bathroom Mirror Selfies made me think about the ones I have done, and the ones that I want to do soon.  He also mentioned the importance of Photography as Therapy., as any Art form can be.  It certainly has worked that way for me, carrying me through serious illnesses twice now.

I am posting this to Celebrate my Birthday!  Something that wasn’t assured just a few month ago.  And I am going forth with my Series “Facing 60”.  Starting here and now I will post self Portraits from time to time at different ages and stages……

About 10 years ago I was starting a self-portrait project called “Facing 50”.  I had read an article by someone who had documented their life through self portraits taken over 20+ years.  But my Project ended up being derailed by Breast Cancer.  You think I would have learned from that and NOT tried to do a “Facing 60”.  Undaunted, I started on that Series anyway, and it was derailed by a brain tumor that IS NOT Cancer, but nevertheless a problem.  Having anything growing in your Brain that doesn’t belong there is a problem.

As you can see below I started the original Project on Ash Wednesday in 2010.  In this case I was experimenting with my 20 ft cable release and my M645.  A little soft focused because I had to ‘guestimate’ the distance.  I featured one of my favorite images……

 

 

So, I had taken a few photos of myself before the current events. My husband had taken quite a few photos of me to post on my “Through the Glass”  blog posts.  To Summarize “Facing 60” will contain a variety of “Self-Portraits” and evolve into a Project Page.

So this is where I started 9 years ago when my Cancer treatment had ended, I was on the road to recovery and starting a new career:

 

And now for some Mirror-Selfies: One full-frame showing all the lovely bathroominess and the rest cropped Rollei TLR 6X6 to remove as much of the Bathroom as possible.  I’m going to do a reshoot in this mirror when I get home.  Next time I will not have the shower curtain line going through my head!

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.

 

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…..”

 

 

 

 

 

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

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.

Alternate 5-Frames: Walker Ranch

So here we go.  I’ve decided to re-publish my Emulsive Articles here, after my submission that will post for Halloween disappeared into the ether of the internet.  I explained my position and recommendations on the subject here. All re-publishings will be marked as “Alternate”.

5 Frames of T-Max 400, Exposed @ ISO 200 (6X7 120 Format) by Kathleen Johnson

Last July I spent an afternoon at a special Photographer’s Open House at the Walker Ranch Homestead, a part of the Boulder County Parks and Open Spaces. Located in the Front Range Foothills above Boulder, Colorado, it is a popular hiking area, but the Homestead site is only open to the public a few times per year.

I took my favorite Mamiya 7 with the Mamiya f/4.5 43 mm lens. Some of these images have been cropped. I exposed the film @ ISO 200 with additional compensation for my yellow filter.

An overcast and windy day, so the outdoors photos were so-so. But I fell in love with the Homestead Attic living space. So I present the exterior and we move upstairs.

 

The view through the window was exposed @ f/8 1/60s; Cradle exposed @ f/4.5 4s; Nightstand exposed @ f/4.5 2s; Bed and Chairs with window exposed @ f/8 1s. Of course, all using a tripod and cable release. One neat feature of the Mamiya 7 is that you have a maximum timed exposure up to 4 seconds before you have to use the Bulb setting and time it yourself.

Check out the 7-Day Challenge

Something friends have been passing around on Facebook (evil I know).  But you can view the Series as posted here.  And see the collage below:

 

Locations are posted on the Blog link………