Photographically, that pretty much sums up the past few months for me. Yes I know it’s probably not best to start off this update post with a lamenting and needy statement but there it is. Can’t take it back now.
I guess it’s partly because the weather has been so unpredictable lately that nearly every attempt to head out and shoot has been thwarted by rain, thunderstorms, grey skies or just bad timing on my part. I’ve probably spent more time under cover trying to keep myself dry than I have composing and making photographs.
Add to that a general malaise with “my work” and you have a recipe for grumpiness that’s difficult not to bake at 200c for a couple of hours until it’s just the right golden brown color.
Anyway, no-one ever accused me of being a fair weather photographer so I did what I needed to do; shut up and carried on.
Here are my results for April 4th – May 1st 2016.
Week 14 – Ilford HP5+ and Fuji Acros 100 (4×5) – Various EI
Part of my high level of grump (I think), was to do with officially beginning my large format journey at the end of March. I quickly tried to settle into a routine of taking my new 1957 Graflex Speed Graphic wherever I could but failed…miserably.
This was largely because I was ill prepared for the weight of the damned thing and partly because that whilst I was aching to go out and use it, the opportunity took a while to present itself. In fact, after the trip that resulted in the images below, it was nearly a month before I could successfully shoot with it again.
I’ve included a couple of frames here – not sure if that’s allowed but that’s the way it is.
Both photographs were taken on my Kodak Ektar 127/4.5. It’s a wide lens by 4×5 standards – about equivalent to 35mm on 35mm film – but not quite wide enough for my tastes.
That said, to say I was shocked at the quality of the resulting scans is a bit of an understatement. The scans you see here have been scaled down to 1000px on the long edge from 2000DPI scans which came out at about 10000px wide. To try and demonstrate the resolution of both the film and lens, I’ve included a 1000 x 1000px 100% crop of the second shot. Stunning.
More recently, I’ve supplemented my lens collection with a projection lens and the legendary Kodak Aero Ektar 178/2.5 (I have the K-24 camera it came with if any one wants it). I’ve also recently begun experimenting with 6×12 format exposures using a 120 film back. More on that another time.
Tell me that 100% crop isn’t something you’d be blown away by on medium format, let alone 35mm…wow.
Week 15 – Rollei Infrared 400 (35mm) EI 400
I like Rollei films a lot. All dues to Ilford for their SFX 200 but if I want a fine grained black and white film I can choose to shoot as infrared or not, I pretty much always reach for Rollei Infrared 400. It’s really flexible, has buckets of contrast and is really easy to work with in development to get the results you want.
There’s not much else to say here about it, I’ll let the photos do the talking.
Week 16 – Fuji Acros 100 (120) – EI 100
I was in Hong Kong for a few days at the end of week 16 and whilst the weather wasn’t anything to write home about, it was relatively dry and I had the chance to snap off a few rolls over the course of a long weekend – a welcome break from the norm.
I really enjoy visiting Hong Kong. It’s still close enough in part to England and much of the north of Hong Kong island reminds me enough of the City of London to put a smile on my face. Away from that hustle and bustle though, Hong Kong has so many places to explore and cuisines to try that it’s really quite difficult to know where to begin; even though I normally make a pilgrimage twice a year.
Here’s what I came up with:
Week 17 – Ilford Delta Professional 100 (120) – EI 100
Back to reality and I decided to head out one morning to one of the local universities with my Hasselblad, 80mm Planar F and my teleconverter (more on the teleconverter here). I took Ilford Delta 100 and over exposed it a stop in processing for a high contrast, blocked-out shadow look.
I also took the opportunity to test the lens at f/8, 11, 16 and 22. Amazingly (for me), I’d never done a test to see what, if any, diffraction occurred at smaller apertures and to my untrained eye, I can say that the scans exhibited no real difference to me at 100% crop.
Here are a few shots from the roll:
I’ll try and be more upbeat next time, promise. May was a little better and June is looking better still but I’m still partially in a funk – one of the reasons it’s been so long since my last update. Oh, you can also find this post over on EMULSIVE!
Anyway, back to the grindstone for me.