Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bokeh Machines

I have to admit, I'm an addict for lenses that produce quality bokeh. Those who are not familiar with the term bokeh, check out this Wiki article. Typically the lenses that produce very nice bokeh have large apertures - f/2 or lower in aperture number. When shot wide open (although not required) the circles of confusion these lenses produce in out of focus areas are a joy to look at. It creates that "dreamy" look at least that's how people with non photographic backgrounds have described it to me. There are some favorite lenses that I have in each format that I shoot with and I call them Bokeh Machines.

Small Format - Typically 135mm film size or smaller. It's also known as "full frame" or "cropped frame" in digital world depending on the size of the sensor.

Hexanon 57mm f/1.2 -  This lens is amazing and truly affordable compared to some of the other lenses that I own. It can be adopted to 4/3rds or micro 4/3rds format but it's true home is in Konica SLRs. I have shot this with Konica T3 and Olympus cameras. Konica T3 is built like a tank and has an amazing shutter sound (I know that's very geeky!). Here is one of my favorite pictures I shot using this combo.
Untitled

Here is a shot with the lens adopted to 4/3rds digital camera Olympus E-510.
Lean


Medium Format - Typically 120 or 220 films fall under this section.

Carl Zeiss Planar 80 f/2.8 - I shoot both  6x6 and 6x7 formats when it comes to medium format cameras. Hasselblad 500C in 6x6 is my favorite. The lens of choice for Bokeh is Carl Zeiss Planar 80 f/2.8. Unlike 35mm format, it's very difficult to focus at f/2.8 especially if handheld. So one has to work with patient subjects to get the nice bokeh, shooting wide open.

Untitled

Untitled


Large Format - Typically 4x5 or larger size films fall under this section.

Kodak Aero Ektar - It's not a secret that this is my current favorite lens. I even posted a blog entry about its mystical powers! I shoot it with Speed Graphic 4x5 camera. It's very difficult focus and extreme patience is required on subjects' part while working with this lens. But when you get it right, the results speak for themselves. There is just one small area in focus and the rest is thrown out of focus.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Friday, November 8, 2013

MJ with Aero Ektar and Speed Graphic

I finally finished processing all the film shots from my shoot with MJ. All pictures are shot with Aero Ektar + Speed Graphic combo. First two are shot on Arista EDU 100 and the rest are on Ilford Delta 100. Arista is nice and cheap but the emulsion is not so good. When zoomed in at 100% the scans have spots. Ilford on the other hand is simply amazing.  All the negatives are self developed and scanned using Epson V700. I'm happy with the overall results and love the bokeh.











PS:Blogspot is adding some type of tint to all the pictures uploaded for some reason. None of the pictures have the coffee tint.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fall Portrait Shoot

Probably the last outdoor shoot of this year. It was great working with MJ, I love working with creative individuals like her. Here some of the digital pictures. Yet to process the film sheets.






Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Velvia!

Velvia is special for me. Of all the color slides I have shot with, the result Velvia produces amazes me everytime. In Velvia blues, reds and greens especially stand out. It can be a little too contrasty for portraits but for landscapes it is perfect. The results are very consistent even with the home development of E-6 using rapid kits. I develop all my E-6s with using my Jobo CPE-2 either with Tetenal or Arista rapid kits (pictured below). I'll post a detailed development process soon. I don't print from my slides so I just scan them with Epson V700 and digitize. Although scanning doesn't do justice to the richness of the slides but it is acceptable, given my small investment in equipments. I feel every film photographer should experience Velvia goodness at least once!


 
Velvia development in progress using Jobo CPE-2


O'Velvia
Sinar F 4x5, Horseman 6x12, Velvia 50

Untitled
Mamiya RZ67 ProII, Velvia 50

Entry to Waterhole Canyons
Hasselblad 500C, Velvia 50

Little Sable Lighthouse
Mamiya RZ67 ProII, Velvia 50

Untitled
Calumet 4x5, Velvia 50

Friday, October 11, 2013

Black and White Landscapes

Some of my recent black and white landsacpes. I certainly have shot more black and white pictures than color. First two are shot using my Hasselblad 500C and other two are digital pictures shot using Olympus E-3.

Untitled
Delhi Metropark, Dexter Michigan - Hasselblad 500C, Carl-Zeiss 80 f/2.8, ND3

Untitled
Little Sable Light House - Hasselblad 500C, Carl Zeiss 80 2.8, B+W ND110

Blue Hen Falls
Blue Hen Falls, Ohio - Olympus E-3, B+W ND110

Untitled
Great Falls of Tinker's Creek, Ohio - Olympus E-3, B+W ND110
 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Aero Ektar Magic

Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f/2.5 was a world war 2 era lens adopted to work with Graflex Speed Graphic 4x5 Camera with a focal plane shutter. I have seen this lens being used with Sinar Shutter & other third party shutters with other 4x5 cameras. Although I own a Sinar shutter, I like shooting this with Speed Graphic because it makes a beautiful, portable pair. The lens needs to be adopted to work with Speeds, the main component of this process is getting the lensboard to fit. Jo Lommen makes lensboards to fit a couple of Speed versions, which is I what I use my Aero Ektar with. This combination when shot wide open is a bokeh machine. It creates such a dreamy look, it makes the pictures look 3 dimensional almost. Hopefully I get use this combo more in my photography.


Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Friday, October 4, 2013

Some of My Last Kodachrome Pictures

I am not a big 35mm fan but Kodachrome was something else (I only could my hands on 135 format).It was an excellent film to use Hexanon 57mm f/1.2 + Konica T3 combo. These days I mostly shoot and develop E-6 slides. RIP Kodachrome. Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled

Monday, September 30, 2013

Large Format Love

I absolutely love shooting large format cameras. The process of shooting one takes me to the basics of photography. No auto exposure, no metering, no auto focus..nothing. Actually it's just a black box with the lens on one end and film on the other. The view that appears on the ground glass is inverted. As a photographer one is forced to think and make all the decisions involved in the picture making process. So at the end of it you feel like, you are in charge (which is great for control freaks like me!). Because I process all the film that I shoot on my own, I have complete control over the creative process from shooting to development to scan/print stage. This gives a lot of flexibility and room for experimentation. Personally for me one major factor that sets the large format cameras apart from others is the camera movements. The front and rear standards of the camera allow shift, tilt, swing, rise and fall (Hopefully I can blog about camera movements in future). The large negatives/positives the cameras produce are a joy to look at. These days the cameras have become so inexpensive and the films have gotten so better, I feel like this is the best time if anybody wants to get into large format. Until recently I had 5 4x5 cameras, now I have downgraded to 2 4x5 cameras that I really love (Sinar F2, Speed Graphic). I have been resisting the temptation to get into 8x10 mainly for logistical reasons...but certainly it's not out of the picture. I also acquired a 6x12 back for my 4x5 camera, now it can take medium format film and produce amazing panoramas.

Here are some of my large format pictures that I love ....
Untitled
Sinar F2, Rodenstock Grandagon 75mm f/4.5

Untitled
Sinar F, Rodenstock Grandagon 75mm f/4.5, Horseman 6x12 back

Untitled
Sinar F2, Rodenstock Grandagon 75mm f/4.5

Untitled
Sinar F2, Rodenstock 135mm f/5.6

Untitled
Sinar F, Rodenstock Grandagon 75mm f/4.5,Horseman 6x12 back

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Return to Film Photography

When most people transitioned from film to digital, I returned to shooting film. Like most photographers I started photography with film and was comfortable with 35mm photography. I did get a digital camera when those became affordable and eventually landed in dSLR land. After shooting digital for a few years, I was beginning to get the feeling that I was burning out with my photography. I wanted to do something different, away from pixel world. I got an excellent deal on a medium format camera and bought it. It was a Mamiya RZ67 ProII (pictured below). I loved the big negatives the medium format camera produces. It was a world of a difference from my 35mm days. After looking at some 6x7 slides, I was convinced that film photography is what I need to pursue again mainly in bigger formats. Since then I have acquired several cameras... Hasselblad, Rolleiflex, Sinar F2, Speed Graphic 4x5 and even a Holga.

My Mamiya

Reviving a Dead Blog

Okay so my blog was mostly dead. I was cleaning up my bookmarks in Safari, found the old link to the blog and thought I'd try to revive it. I don't know how frequently can I blog but sure will make an attempt to update it. It was weird reading what had written four years ago and compare it with my current photography philosophy.  Certainly a lot of things have changed, I got back to film and have been mostly shooting medium and large formats. I will add more posts about those. Also in general I have figured what I like shooting and what makes me happy in photography. So watch for it!