More like odds and ends than anything else

Fuji Superia does it for me again.  I started this roll right after finishing another one, and sort of used this as the backup body just to have around, so there are a few outtakes thrown in.  I started this roll on Oct 17 and finished on Nov 30, so I kind of shot this roll the way I used to do it back in the day, taking my time and not using a whole lot of film.  I don’t feel like there’s anything all too wonderful here but I just love the color.  Fuji Superia really is like an old friend that I can always count on.

Looking up

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an update:
It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for almost a year now.  I’m running out of pictures from my back catalog (that I’m OK with people seeing, that is) and it seems a bit like I’m running out of steam, but there’s still more to come, it will just be a bit of a transition from what I’ve been doing the last few months.

I’m planning on investing in another film scanner early next year and will be able to show a bit more of my work from the Intro to Photography class, primarily done with a Minolta SRT-MCII.  I’ve also signed up for another photo class, Alternative Processes which I think will cover things like pinhole photography and things like caffenol.  There’ll be a lot of black & white coming next year.

Besides that I have one more roll of film to get back from processing, and I also received a commission to make some family portraits.  It’s not going to get quiet any time soon.

Made in USA

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This is part of the Mead paper mill in Chillicothe, Ohio.  I snapped this from the car window as we were driving along (you’ll see the door frame in the top left).  Since going back to college I’ve always tried to buy Mead 5-star papers/binders when getting school supplies.  It’s nice to be reminded from time to time that things are still made in my country, and to have a part of that so close to where I grew up.

Not a trickle, but a flood

Esther Sparks & the Whiskey Remedy

Kodak Tri-X pushed to 1600.

Successful experiments in slow shutter speeds, handheld

Every now and then as photographers we just don’t have the light we could have hoped for.  The general rule of thumb is that your speed should at least equal your focal length (for a 50mm lens, at least a speed of 1/50 sec, etc), but sometimes your camera will tell you to expose for 1/30 sec or less; what to do then, push the film?  What if you’re in the middle of a roll?  If it’s just one stop you need, you might get away with underexposing without pushing.  However if not, you might just have to expose at a far slower speed than recommended.  Do you have a tripod on you?  No?  Then the choice is to either skip it or take a gamble and hope for the best.  I’ve become quite comfortable with doing this myself and it is my wish that people reading this will consider it as well.

All the above were taken with SLR cameras.  I’ve read that leaf-shutters are incredibly steady and one can get even slower shutter speeds.  I don’t have too many rangefinders and don’t use them often, but here’s one slow shot I like:
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Rangefinder camera, 45mm lens taken with the Bulb speed.  Steadied against a tree

Then there are a few shots which have obvious blur.  They might not be razor-sharp images, but they turned out extremely well in my opinion, and I’m proud of the effect that they create:

Finally, a few failures on my part:

Overall though, I’ve been pretty successful with slow shutter speeds, enough that I don’t sweat it if my camera’s telling me I need more light and I’m already at 1/60.  I just let my breath out, hold steady, slowly pull (not jerk) the shutter release, and then move on.

Rocking out

This is a group I’m a part of at school; they’re a good bunch of kids.  Ostensibly we’re the Visual and Performing Arts Club but so far all our members save one are all musicians from one school ensemble.  I decided that day to forgo the keyboard and represent the visual arts.  Taken back in October with my new (to me) Pentax ESII.  This is the most recent roll of film I’ve shot.

I’m really loving the ESII so far.  It’s a spotmatic with aperture priority, which is awesome, if you happen to have SMC Takumar lenses.  Thankfully I have a few now, but the one non-SMC lens I have is the 135mm Super-Takumar, which is primarily what I shot here.  Thankfully, the ESII also has manual speeds 60-1000 which are good to use with any of the older (or non-Pentax) lenses, or one can use the depth-of-field preview button on the side to stop down the lens, allowing aperture priority of non-SMC lenses.  I forgot a few times to stop the lens down and it led to a few blurry pictures.  In most circumstances it wouldn’t be much of a problem to compose, focus, and then stop down the lens before taking the picture but things were happening too quick for me, if I’m trying to get a particular look or pose it ended up being easier in manual.  I’m just grateful that I have the option!

This was my first roll of Arista Premium film, but since everyone knows it’s re-branded Tri-X there’s really no point calling it anything else.  For less than $3.00 a roll it would be crazy not to pick some up; who cares if it’s about to expire?  Remember, expiration dates for black & white film are more like guidelines than actual rules.  I bought myself a 10-pack in September and you can bet I’ll buy more as soon as I have the funds.

Does anyone else think these scans look just a bit too contrasty?  I do, but since they’re lab-scanned there’s not much I can do about it at the moment.  However, I am finally breaking down (again) and will be buying another film scanner in January.  More on that later…