Bookin’.

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… and lookin’ so fly.

The Shutterfly book I put together using pictures from our Portugal/Spain trip arrived in the mail last week.

Except for a few text alignment issues and me not making the shot on the front cover large enough, it turned out pretty nice.

Love the materials they used for this basic order. The cover is quite thick, nice and glossy. The pages are sturdy and semi-matte finished.

I’m happy with the results.

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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.

My latest film camera crush.

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PENTACON six TL.

The PENTACON six TL is my current film camera crush. 120. Love the square.

The 9 shots above are examples I snagged from Flickr. No attributions, sorry, but here’s the Flickr group photo pool >
https://www.flickr.com/groups/pentaconsix/pool/

Here’s the tag if you want to see more pictures on IG >
https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/pentaconsix/

… and here’s a fairly critical review >
https://www.thephoblographer.com/2017/07/25/vintage-film-camera-review-pentacon-six-tl-6×6-square-format/

And a good guide >
https://emulsive.org/reviews/camera-reviews/pentacon-cameras/camera-review-pentacon-six-tl-a-hopefully-comprehensive-guide-to-a-legend-by-ludwig-hagelstein

I definitely wouldn’t mind adding this medium format shooter to my collection…

Every once in a great while.

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Not often, but…

Every once in a while an image I’ve made gets a little attention.

One of my pinhole images was published in SHOTS Magazine, Fall 2019 Issue No. 145 “The Journey.”

It’s 35/45, the picture I made with the Zero Image 6×9 and an expired roll of Fuji Acros 100. The story of this pinhole adventure/experiment is well documented in an earlier post.

I pointed to the same same post when I uploaded the image to Flickr.

To my delight, the picture in that post ended up on Flickr’s Explore, which is something that hasn’t happened for my work in a really long time.

I noticed it earlier this month. Any comments on Flickr are rare these days and the notification made me check it out. At the time there were 58 faves. Crazy. The comments indicated the picture made Explore.

I went there, scrolled through until I found the image. Verification! Pretty cool!

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As of today “35/45. a little experiment” has 9,121 views, 75 faves, and 4 comments.

Amazing.

I make images to satisfy a personal need, but it certainly is nice to have this kind of reaction to my work. And I appreciate it.

Four from the past.

Mystery #1 solved.

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diana

These are the only four out of 16 exposures that came out decent from that undeveloped roll of Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100 I posted about earlier.

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pattern

The others were either too blurry or the light leak from the fat roll made the shot unusable.

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embossed

Still pretty cool.

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go slow

Mystery roll #2.

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Not a clue.

I’m going to develop this and another roll today. I honestly can’t remember what this one’s all about.

I’ll know soon enough, though.

About 9 minutes in D76 1+1. I’ll have to presoak, then put this and the Holga roll of Pan F Plus in the same tank.

I botched the Hassy roll of Pan F Plus trying to get it on the reel. That happened yesterday. Failure happens, lessons learned.

Use what you have, revisited.

scan-comparison.jpgA little experiment.

An update on my adventures last Sunday morning with my Zero Image 6×9 pinhole camera.

I developed the Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100 that was in the camera back on Thursday, along with the *fat roll I posted about last Tuesday… more on the mystery roll soon.

Everything went smoothly with the developing. Stock D76 @ 68º for 7 minutes 15 seconds.

The negatives hung in the hall bathroom until the next day, and they were dry by the time I was ready to scan.

The Epson V500 I have has been a work horse over the years, handling everything I throw at it. But things went south from the beginning on this particular task.

Things went south from the beginning on this particular task…

There’s a white background that snaps in-and-out of the scanner lid, it’s not needed when scanning film. Took it out. Then I pulled out the 120 negative scan tray and loaded up a strip of three shots, set up the scan software per usual, and went through the process of creating a preview before actually scanning.

That’s when things started to go awry. The preview was splitting up the negatives in a way that was totally unusable.

I fiddled with every the setting I could, but the results did not change.

I remembered watching a You Tube video some time ago that showed how to scan a negative as if it were paper. I figured I’d play a bit and put the white background back in the bottom of the lid and removed the negative from the scan tray, placing it emulsion side down so the film curled away from the glass, then ran the software as normal for scanning documents.

Well, that worked. Kind of…

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Intrigued, but not totally satisfied that I couldn’t get the scanner to work properly, I set about fiddling some more. I noticed a button near the bottom of the interface that was labeled “reset” and thought, what the hell, then clicked it.

And this time the machine worked as designed. Happiness.

After a few dialog boxes, everything seemed like normal, so I set the scanner up again for negatives.

And this time the machine worked as designed. Happiness.

Here’s the result…

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I like them both. You can see more detail in the shadows of the first scan, and I like the somewhat distressed appearance. The second, proper scan is very clear (for a pinhole shot) and not as washed out.

It’s a 3 second exposure, taken at the La Frontera shopping mall, from a car wash located in the southeast corner of the property. I asked permission to park and played in an adjacent field, with my tripod and camera set-up in the shadows cast by the fly-over.

Love the lines, curves, and shadows. The sun was still pretty low in the sky and being blocked by the column on the left side of the image.

* a fat roll is when 120 film does not roll tightly around the take-up spool, usually resulting in light leaking to expose the edges of the last few coils at the end of the roll.