A set of stormy beach scenes, shot along the coast from Badalona to el Masnou, north of Barcelona. These were part of a film shot as part of a processing test for Delta 400 exposed at EI1600 and processed in DD-X 1+4 as if shot at EI 3200. The resulting grain is quite harsh, but also quite fine compared to faster films. The film was scanned using an E-M1.2 with a macro lens, which tends to de-emphasise the grain compared to standalone (non-flatbed) film scanners.
A set of experimental images taken in low light using a pro-mist filter to create blooms around bright light sources...
One of the challenges with Olympus micro 4/3 cameras is the mind bogglingly large number of options and shooting modes. I use an E-M1 mark II with an Olympus 60mm macro lens to digitise 35mm negatives, but I have never really been sure what the optimum way to configure the camera was. This post is an attempt to put that right…
A brief review looking at three different options for polarising filters that can be used with Leica M series cameras.
Barcelona, as seen from the Collserola. The image was shot on Ilford Delta 100 using the Leica M7 and 21mm Super Elmar, and processed in ID-11 1+1. Both lens and film are extremely good, and the limitation on image quality in the digital images comes mainly from scanning rather than the original negative…
A short set of images taken on a walk in Sitges. Shot on digital using a 35mm lens and polarising filter. Incidentally, the vignetting on some of these images is completely natural, although perhaps exaggerated slightly by the skies and polariser. The lens is a Zeiss ZM 1,4/35 (35mm f1.4), which is nice and small and incredibly sharp, but which pays for that to some extent with dark corners shot wide open – a common problem with Leica lenses shot on digital rather than film. Here is a gratuitous […]
Having just processed and scanned a new batch of four colour films, I am struggling again with how to get the best possible detail out of the scans. To understand how well the scanning was working, I use a reference macro image of the negative to check the sharpening applied in Capture One.
Some images from a first attempt at processing C41 colour film at home. These were all shot on expired 120 format ISO 400 colour film from Lomography using an original Lubitel 166.
For something different this week, I am putting together a series of images taken using a phone and the standard Instagram app. I am usually very careful about digital image quality, but if there is one tangible outcome from lately shooting so much film it is the realization that almost anything that takes pictures is good enough for online use. Shooting with the Instagram app is almost impossibly quick and easy compared to shooting film or using a DSLR. So can an iPhone and and an app really replace a […]
I finally figured out a workflow that allows me to scan and then process black-and-white images with reasonable efficiency using Capture One… The main challenge is that C1 fails to handle the 16 bit grayscale TIFF images that the scanner produces, necessitating a conversion to a 16 bit colour TIFF file before the imported images can be edited. The trick is to use ZIP compression, which leaves the file sizes virtually unchanged. As a result, my film processing workflow currently looks something like this:
After much trepidation, I finally processed a set of films at home – and surprisingly, they seem to have come out reasonably well. These were all taken using Ilford HP5+ and the Zeiss Sonnar lens (the softness in the first shot is from shooting the lens wide-open with a ND filter stack – not the processing!). I expected that the most difficult part would be loading the film in to the spiral and tank. This has to be done in complete dark, and I used a large bag rather […]
For nearly three months now I have shot almost exclusively with film, as an experiment to find ways to improve my photography. So far, it has been an odd mix of frustration, learning, and also pleasure. I thought that it might be helpful to summarise some thoughts on this process so far. Changes in the way I shoot I think the first and most obvious effect of shooting with film has been the impact on the number of images taken. Lightroom shows that roughly 400 shots were taken in the last three […]
A few simple pictures taken early in the morning along the beach between Port Olimpic and Barceloneta. This is quite a good time of year to catch the transient morning light as it is no longer necessary to get up at 4am… Shot with the DSLR rather than film so that I could use a short-telephoto lens (here the excellent Canon 135mm f2). The lens gives a nice telephoto compression that seems to work well with the relatively empty shots, suiting the early morning tranquility. There are surprisingly few ape-descended life forms people at the beach at […]
I am gradually catching up with processing the recent film shots and scanning the results. Rather than posting the better images I thought that it might be fun to first post some of the disasters and try to understand what when wrong. All the images here were taken with the Minolta XD-s using Fuji C200 colour film. The first image (above) has a seriously 70’s vibe to it thanks to an incredible amount of unintended noise – the result of a seriously underexposed image. When shooting with a modern digital camera you […]
Shooting with a prime lens and zone-based manual is an almost Zen-like experience. No zoom to worry about. No panic as which focus points were selected or whether or not they happened to lock on to something completely random. The camera becomes a transparent tool that shoots as soon as you touch the shutter button. There are many ways to set up zone focus, but I settled on a very simple rule-of-thumb. All I need to know is the focal length and roughly how much of the frame is being […]
I have uploaded a short technical article on 35mm equivalence for APSC, micro-4/3 and compact cameras. The article explains why there is no inherent advantage to using a large camera for street photography when shooting stopped down (for example, when using zone-focussing). Click this link or image above to read more…