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

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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?

Next Pass and Film hoarding…

Just a quick update, the camera has made its next pass to Ron! A good friend of mine and amazing photographer from work. I didn’t have a camera with me to record the pass but, he has it.

Anyways, just a short post tonight just to make sure that I keep up at it.

To be honest, I think I may have a slight film hoarding problem.

My “Film Empire” Notice the Arm and Hammer keeps it fresh.

Generally, I find really good deals on old stocks of film that has been sitting around for a while in interesting places especially in gas stations. Most gas stations would stock a few rolls of film since it doesn’t take up much space and it doesn’t need constant tending. You just put it on the shelf and voila someone comes in desperately needing a roll of film there it is! The gas station has saved the day. Well most of them are getting rid of their old rolls of film and generally you can find good deals on slightly outdated film and it is still perfectly usable It is a good way to pick up large bunches of film cheap. Other good places to pick them up is ebay of course, thrift stores and even Walmart occasionally.

Now that you have picked up a bulk of film, where are you going to get all of your new found film developed? Well, if I don’t need prints done, Target is the place to go! The photo lab at Target for next day developing will process C-41 for .99 cents a roll. The only downside is that they cut it in strips of 4 which makes scanning a bit of a pain but for .99 I can’t complain.

I love it, it is like a treasure hunt! You never know what you are going to get especially when you can pick up cameras or other random things for cheap!

So… any good finds lately? Cameras, film, records, or other random things?

 

What was your first camera?

The 1st pass is complete! I’ve gotten the camera back from Sue and I’m going to pass it off to the next photographer tomorrow. I’m glad it is going so well!

So anyways, Cari and I were talking about how I kind of became sucked into cameras and photography. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve really become fascinated by cameras, well at least with the operation and actual usage of them, but I do remember what my first camera was! It was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 110 film camera.

The neat thing about this camera was that when you took a picture, it put an outline of Michelangelo on the negative so that when you got the prints developed, it showed up on the picture. I only ever remember shooting a few rolls of film on it and I doubt that any of the pictures are even around anymore. I got it for Christmas in the 2nd grade if I am remembering things correctly.

After this camera, I never really took any interest in photography. I remember using an old Super 8 camera to shoot some ninja movies in the back yard with the neighbors, sadly I never got those processed. I also had a Polaroid iZone that was a combination digital camera and Polaroid sticker camera. I think that was in 99-2000?

Besides those, my first “Real” camera that I claim as my own is this Diax 1A with a serial number of 50548.

My Diax 1A

According to the owner of the Diax site, mine is one of the earlier models made as the production run for this body started at 5XXXXX. This is a fully manual Rangefinder made by the W.Voss company of West Germany. The neat thing about this camera is that it had three interchangeable lenses: A 45MM, a 35MM and a 90mm lens. Depending on what lens you have mounted to the camera, you look through one of the viewfinders on top. The lens I have on currently (and from what I have been able to research, the standard lens) is the 45MM 2.8 and is a very snappy lens when you have it focused and set up correctly. I got this camera from the Dubiel Farm when Stanley, my great uncle, passed away. I found it in a drawer of random things and decided to grab it.

I started shooting on this camera with no idea what F-stops were, shutter speed, the difference between film speeds etc and a lot of the shots I took show that, but it pushed me towards wanting to learn more.

One of the advantages of this camera is that it is unobtrusive. I walked around Chicago O’Hare airport taking pictures of people with this camera and no one even bothered to stop me and ask what I was doing. It isn’t like walking around with a (D)SLR and all of your lenses, and the shutter click is super quiet. Add to this the classic look and you’ve got a fine piece of 60 year old camera. Once I dig up some shots from this camera I’ll post them up in a gallery.

 

So dear readers, do you remember you first camera? What did you start shooting on?