Sitges – and Lens Cast Corrections in Capture One

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 […]

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Instagram, iPhonography and the Lazy Photographer…

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 […]

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Black and White Film Workflow with Capture One

Lake Silvaplana, Switzerland. Leica M7, Zeiss ZM 2/35 and Ilford Delta 100.

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:

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First Experiences of Developing Black and White Film

Barcelona SOS - Black and White Film Photograph

  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 […]

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Some Thoughts On Shooting Film

Street Photography, Barcelona. Leica M7 with Zeiss Biogon 2/35 and Ilford HP5 plus.

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 […]

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Daybreak

Barceloneta

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 […]

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Analogue Lessons

That 70's vibe

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 […]

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Focal Length, Subject Distance and F-Stop for Zone Focussing

Sleeping on top of the Electric Box

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 […]

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