I update this blog about as often as I get my oil changed

Two of my enlargers in my newly upgraded dark room

Two of the enlargers in my newly upgraded dark room

So.. it has been a little while since I’ve updated my blog, life tends to get in the way a bit sometimes. Having a baby, you don’t get a chance to really take pictures of anything other than the baby. Which isn’t nearly a bad thing.

So what have I been up to?

Darkroom

Well one of the biggest things I’ve done recently is updated my darkroom. For Christmas, my parents bought me a bunch of used photography equipment: Beseler 23C Enlarger, 2 El Nikor enlarging lenses, new trays, bulk film supplies, paper, safe lights, all kinds of great stuff. The Photographer who had it before me stopped using it about 5 years ago so I’m putting it to good use. Now that school is over I’m hoping to have some time to actually doing some work down there.

As you can see, most of it is a hodgepodge of

This is actually organized.. trust me.

This is actually organized.. trust me.

equipment, but believe it or not, this is “organized”. Film and Developing Tanks on top, Trays in the middle, chemistry and paper on the middle shelf.

I figure that it is good to have this equipment, as long as it is taken care of, it will last a lifetime. As much as it is rumored, I don’t think film is going away any time soon. Kodak seems to have a renewed interest in pushing its film lines, Fuji still has a fairly robust offering of films, Ilford has many wonderful black and white films and several other groups like The Impossible Project and Lomography are churning out new emulsions, and several smaller company’s are stepping in

to fill market niches that have been left open by Kodak exiting some of its lines. Traditional film is actually looking pretty safe;

Chemistry!

Liquid Chemistry

I have been stocking up on film and chemicals like the film apocalypse is just around the corner though just in case.

 

 

 

Photography Projects

  •  Camera Pass: I haven’t been able to work on anything… not a darn thing… though I have some good ideas. The camera pass is slowly working its way through the list. Someday, I’m sure it will get finished.
  • New Photography Project: Still flushing out some ideas but it is going to involve Doctor Who, cemeteries, and Kodak Traffic Film. Stay tuned for details.

Anyways, I make no promises that I’ll update this regularly, but we’ll see. Have fun everyone and thanks for reading!

App Review – Smart Light Meter Free

Hey everyone, just a quick post tonight.

I’ve started doing some medium format photography with a few older cameras, a TLR and an old Bellows camera (posts about those later). They are neat cameras, but the challenge with is that they do not have light meters on them, rather than guessing, I went to the internet to see what kind of options I had and I stumbled upon this app.

Smart Light Meter Free

Very easy to use, you load up the app, set your ISO, and then dial in either the shutter speed or F-stop and then hit the on button. Depending on which dial you “lock in” it will spit out the appropriate reading. When you hit off, it sticks with the last reading it took. I was running up to gravestones and trees for readings and such and it worked like a charm.

Screenshot of the app in action. (From the app page http://goo.gl/InzXv)

I’m using this app on my Droid 4 from Motorola, and it seemed pretty spot on once I developed the film. I can’t speak to the accuracy of the app on other phones and as always, your mileage will vary, but it seems to work pretty well. I’ll post a few shots here at the bottom post.

There is a free version of the app, and there is a paid version of the app that can be found here

Pros: Easy to use, Accurate, Can use F Stop or Shutter Speed.

Cons: Sometimes a bit finicky, my shutters speed were sometimes in between recommended, though that isn’t the apps fault.

Images shot with a Argus Argoflex using Tri-X 400 film that expired in 1990

medium-format226

Picture 1 of 8

Camera Pass, Organization or lack there of, and links to more interesting peoples stuff…

Well, the camera has made its next pass! A friend and co-worker named Jamie has it. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. One of the interesting observations I’ve made as well as heard from the three people whom have had the camera so far is “I only get three shots! I don’t know what seems worthy of them!” I think that is one of the interesting things about this whole project is critically thinking about what is worth using a precious frame of film on. It is like the end of the world, zombies are advancing and you only have three bullets left… well not as dire.. but you get the point.

Anyways, it has been two weeks since I’ve posted so it is time to post something.

Organization or lack there of..

This is a screen shot of one of my image folders, as you can see there is a lot of discombobulation involved in it. It looks like a tornado hit it and spit everything back out again…

There are several programs that can help make sense of your pictures. Google Picasa is one and it is a free download. The nice thing is that it inherently reads RAW files no plugin required. It doesn’t allow you to do too much with editing, but it has basic color correction, levels, filters, and cropping abilities. Did I mention that it is a free download?

Photoshop Elements also has an organizer built into it. I haven’t messed around with the organizer side of things, but I have heard some really good things about it.

Once you choose an organizer, here are some tips to help make sure you can find things:

  1. Give your folder names a descriptive file name: i.e. London Day 6 May 23 2011
  2. Rename all of the files in that folder with the same naming convention, most programs will allow you to do a batch rename with an ascending number. No more _DSC13631 file names!! 🙂
  3. Tag your photos!! If you do it right when you download them from your camera, you will save yourself a lot of time. Since the tags are embedded into the file, they will be there no matter what program you are using. 10 years down the road when you are trying to find cat pictures, you’ll be able to search for “Cat” “Raymond” or “Fat” and pull up all of those pictures
  4. Back up your pictures in several places on several mediums! If you have the capability, I would suggest triplicate: On your main computer, on an external hard drive, burned to a DVD. I’d also keep a copy away from everything else. If something bad happens like your computer dies, basement floods, house burns down, aliens, you’ll at least have a backup copy of your work.

I’m not going to even get into my stack of slides and folder full of negatives… and the ones that are still hanging on the drying line… sheesh…

Anyways be kinds… back up and organize!

 

Link round up!

Cari, my wonderful wife has an insightful blog post about Killers of Productivity

Audrey who runs Lightbox Photography got some spiffy new business cards. I am not nearly as creative.. I thought about just getting a stack of $1 and writing my website in marker… kind of like Where’s George.. but.. well not.

Thanks for looking guys, what do you do to organize?

 

 

 

Photographic New Years Resolutions

I looked at the date of the last post I made and realized that I should post more, so I’m going to knock out a nice quick post here tonight!

This year, I’ve decided to actually write down some broad goals to aim for so that I can have push myself. So here are my photographic resolutions for this year

  1. Post on here more – If anything it will give me chance to keep track of different projects
  2. Shoot/Develop more film – I’ve got plenty of film in the freezer that needs shot.
  3. Keep working on photo projects and get put them for sale
  4. Work on technique
  5. Take more pictures!

Short list that seems pretty doable.

So what are your guys photographic resolutions this year?