Make it yourself.

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Large Format Notebook.

Here’s a little hand-made project I just finished. It’s a paper log for keeping track of large format images. A useful record keeping tool while out shooting with the Shen Hao.

The 4.25″ x 5.5″ booklet has a cover, a title page, 24 log pages, and 2 pages for notes.

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I saw a nifty product online called Analogbook and thought about making something myself, simpler and tailored for my specific needs.

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The booklet was easy to produce, with most supplies on hand and a few Adobe Illustrator files, although to be honest I did spend $13 on a long-reach stapler to bind them.

Nothin’ fancy, but quite functional.

Rusty shutters #25.

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Olympus XA.

March 2006.

I’d been on Flickr a couple of years and noticed a fair amount of folks using film cameras and posting their work in film-only groups.

There was a lot of positive information about this tiny 35mm rangefinder and I just could not resist adding one to my collection.

The XA is pocket-sized with great glass and it’s just plain simple to use.

I’d only shot a couple of rolls – Fujicolor Superia 400, Ilford XP2 400 – but the results were awesome.

I could probably replace the light seals, but it works just fine as is. I’ll get out with this little guy in 2020. More black and white than color.

Film type: 35mm
Focal length: 35mm
Aperture: Manual ƒ/2.8 – ƒ/22
Focus: Manual .85ft to infinity
Shutter speeds: Auto 10sec – 1/500sec
Viewfinder: Rangefinder
Size HWD 2.6in x 4.1in x 1.6in
Weight: 7.8 oz
ASA: 25 – 800

Practice makes perfect.

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Seeing makes pictures.

I attended last night’s NAPƒS meeting to hear Ted Keller talk about “The Value of Practice.” It was a good talk and his experience with teaching/training was apparent.

It struck me how many of his theories and methods I’ve unconsciously used in my years of playing with cameras.

I am not a classically train photographer. I learn (even to this day) by research, applied practice, and a whole lot of intuition.

I like to play. Experiment. I also spend a lot of time looking at the work of other photographers. I read about photography. I watch videos. I make a lot of pictures.

And that’s where my interest in photography starts… with the picture.

… I’m convinced that paying attention, being in the moment, and seeing is even more critical.

Sure, knowing how to use a camera is important, but I’m convinced that paying attention, being in the moment, and seeing is even more critical.

I’m more interested in the act of making a photograph than I am in the technical details of operating a camera. I find that using extremely simple film cameras – like the Agfa Click I or the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim is a liberating experience.

See. Point. Shoot.

Modern cameras – in all their complexity – can be intimidating. And unforgiving. So Ted’s insistence that practice prepares one for being ready is absolutely true.

Just don’t forget to look around or you might miss the shot you were practicing to get.

One last thing… the member print exhibit. Patti Mitchell’s concert shots were stellar. To paraphrase Bill Bunton, “It’s easy to see why she consistently wins in the competition every month.”

Note: The last photo club meeting I attended was the second Monday back in September, the Round Rock Image Creators. I’ve only attended one Round Rock Photography Club meeting. Now that NAPƒS has split the competition to 1st Thursday and the Speaker to 3rd Thursday I’ll have to weigh which club gets my eyes and ears in 2020. Bummer.

Because one is never enough.

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My light meter collection.

Left-to-right: Minolta Spotmeter F (newest, as recently posted), Minolta Auto Meter IV F, (I’ve had this one the longest), Gossen Luna Pro (yard sale find), Sekonic Flashmate L-308s, Sekonic Twinmate L-208.

After posting about the Spotmeter F, I thought to round up all my meters and document yet another of my many photographic obsessions.

All these meters were purchased for use when shooting film.

I bought the Minolta Auto Meter IV F back in the mid-90s, not long after it was released. Great little incident meter. If memory serves, I bought it at Keeble & Shuchat Photography in Palo Alto, CA.

The Luna Pro was part of a bunch of gear and expired film I purchased at an estate sale in Sunnyvale, CA. for US $22.50. Not bad, and it works.

The L-308 was added in June 2009. Another nice incident meter, a little smaller than the Auto Meter IV F.

I bought the tiny L-208 in August 2008.

All four incident meters can be used as spot meters, too. Just move the white globe out of the way of the sensor and point at the subject,

 

Evolution.

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Ch-ch-changes.

I love my little X100s. It’s a great camera, both in form and function.

And I’ll admit that I’m a gadget junky, so when I purchased it back in mid-2013, naturally I wanted to dress it up with a few extra gizmos.

I started with a Gariz black leather half-case. Then I attached the extremely useful LensMate thumb grip. Next was the JJC LH-JX100 slotted silver metal lens hood.

Added up to a nice little set-up.

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It was a long while before I’d noticed another shooter using a slightly different JJC lens hood, and thinking it was pretty cool that the original Fujifilm lens cap fit over it, I switched to the JJC LH-JX100II, a cool lookin’ hood without any slots.

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The good thing about both JJC hoods is they fit over a 49mm UV filter, no adapters necessary.

Well, today the Squarehood MkII arrived in the mail. Another cool lens hood for the X100s.

I’d seen pictures of them on IG over the last year or so, mostly the black model, attached mostly to X100f cameras.

I like the look of the Squarehood, but I didn’t get the filter adapter. It’ll do just fine without.

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At some point I’d like to move up to a Fujifilm X100f – or whatever the next iteration happens to be, but I’m still diggin’ the X100s.

Rusty shutters #24.

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Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10.

June 2017.

A lot of photo review sites panned the Fujifilm Instax SQ10, but I really like this funky little shooter. A hybrid digital/film instant camera just made sense to me.

I like the fact that you can shoot first, print later. Makes for fewer wasted shots and that, in my opinion, saves money.

IQ is what it is. I did a side-by-side comparison of photos made with the SQ6 (which I’ll feature in the near future) and I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. Plus, the LED display on the back of the SQ10 makes framing a shot super convenient. You see what you’re getting in realtime.

From vignetting to a number of creative filters and brightness adjustment, the SQ10 makes tweaking shots easy. It even does double exposures and the quick auto-focus is nice.

Along with 35mm and 120 cameras, I carry the SQ10 plus an extra pack of film in my film-only camera bag. Its small footprint makes it an easy choice to always have at the ready.

I like this little guy lots.

Resolution: 3.7 megapixels
Film size: 3.3 x 2.8in
Image size: 2.4 x 2.4in
Display: 3in LCD @ 460,000 pixels
ISO: Auto (100-1600)
Shutter Speeds: 10 sec – 1/29500 sec
Aperture: ƒ/2.4
Focal Length: 28.5mm
Macro: 3.9 in
Metering: Multi-segment
Dimensions: 4.1in x 2.3in x 1.3in
Weight: 15.9 oz
Power: Fujifilm NP-50 lithium ion – MicroUSB charging
Memory card: MicroSD/SDHC card
Size WDH: 4.7 x 1.9 x 5in

Ready to roll.

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It sure took long enough.

I finished shooting these four rolls of C-41. Finally.

I’m still deciding who’ll do the processing. There’s a nearby shop, Austin Camera, on Burnet Road. It’s a little over 20 miles and a half-hour away.

Another possibility is Old School Photo Lab, they’re located in Dover, New Hampshire. I’d be sending them the rolls via their free pre-paid mailing label. I used them for the roll of XP2 I shot earlier this year at the Civil War reenactment at Camp Mabry. The Shitty Camera Challenge.

My main concern is the Fuji 800 roll. It’s out of the Sprocket Rocket and I want to make sure the negatives don’t get cut in the middle of pictures.

The XP2 Super and Gold 200 were in my Nikon One•Touch Zoom 90. The Ektar 100 was in my Olympus Stylus Epic.

Decisions, decisions.