Now I’ve started scanning film, I’m having trouble stopping. The other day I found out a file of old negatives in my darkroom, shot mostly with my old Mamyia C330 on 120 Tri-X. I’d forgotten they existed, so it was a nice surprise. I’m now in the process of scanning and editing them. This should keep me busy for the most of lockdown, at any rate!
Here are a few so far, all of which were shot in 2008:
Also, today’s film scanning music is provided by The Black Keys 🙂
So as I said in my previous post, I was going to start playing with my lensbaby and adapters on the Z6. Well I have been. At present, my sweet 35 optic eludes me, so I’ve been using my sweet 50. The sweet 50 is a bit broken, in that the f/stops won’t click into place so it’s more of a continuous scale and is a bit loose. That said, it still works! So here are a couple of images, from the past few days. All taken with the Z6, FTZ adapter and Lensbaby Composer.
Firstly, it’s where I started. It was several years before I tried a digital camera and even then, I kept using film. But nowadays, digital is so easy to access. I’ve been guilty of trying to decide whether I shoot one of the other that day and going for the digital camera for ease of use. After all, I just download the photos and edit them in Exposure X4.5. Easy, right?
But here’s the thing. There’s magic in shooting film. I love opening the developing tank to see if I have got images. Not whether they’re any good… whether I’ve cocked up and not developed them properly (and I’ve been doing it long enough to not mess up). There’s a rush when I take the film off the reel and see negatives. After that, it’s all gravy!
OK, so once the magic of getting some negative is out of the way, what makes film so appealing? For one, it’s tactile. Holding your negatives and looking at them on a light table feels good. A print, made on good quality paper, has weight… has presence. There’s the process itself too and creativity.
It also leads to my love of lith printing, where I feel I can be creative. Where I can build and trust my instincts to get a certain type of print. I can’t do that with digital. I can edit an image, get it how I want it, but I don’t “feel it”.
Maybe all these reasons are superficial, maybe not. It all boils down to “because I like it”!
We went for a very long dog walk today. There were lots of photographic opportunities . I’ve wanted to photograph the graffiti at the entrance to Los Altos park, but wasn’t sure how to approach it. I’m quite happy with how it turned out.
Just things like this padlock jumped out at me. Using the Edge 35 Optic I took an interesting slice through it.
One of the best pieces of photographic advice I’ve had was to always look back the way you came. Things have more potential if you look again. That’s what I did for this image of trees in Los Altos park.
Sometimes the imperfections in something so bold can make for interesting photos. This was a bollard that has seen better days.
All taken on a dog walk today. It’s amazing what you can find to photograph if you just look. Still using the Edge 35 Optic at the moment. Went to change it out yesterday and couldn’t find my Sweet 35, so left the Edge on. Kind of glad I did now, as I like how these turned out.
I also like playing with false colours when an image just doesn’t “pop” for me. I found the structure of this shot to be really interesting, but the feel of it was quite dull. While I could have pushed the saturation, I felt it just needed something else, so started with one of the presets in Exposure X4.5 and went from there.
I was very tempted to crop out the top of this image, but I think it’s better balanced by keeping it in. Lots of gnarly texture to enjoy.
… Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the blur.
What are lensbabies ? Essentially they allow you to create certain effects in camera. They come as lenses or as optics for a lense, having a modular approach. I have only explored the optics for the lensbaby composer series, the other lenses being currently outside of my price range. The Lensbaby Website can explain better than I can.
They create distortion and imperfect images, which I fine very appealing. Different optics give different effects, some more subtle than others. You can also use certain lensbaby optics with extension tubes, to create interesting macro effects.
If you can afford the initial purchase, lensbabies can give you a lot of pleasure as a photographer, as long and you’re not in pursuit of the “perfect” image.