This is the guy (along with his wife, a good friend of my mom’s), that got me into driving jeep tours. I’ve developed a reputation within the company as the resident photographer. A few of our drivers are actors or would like to be, and I suppose headshots would be a good first step.
Some taken using the legendary Nikkor-PC 105mm f/2.5, and then I went a bit wider with the AI-Nikkor 85mm f/2. They’re not all technically perfect as I did often refocus and sometimes didn’t quite hit it, but I’m still pretty proud of how they turned out. Of course I used movie film to give these a certain cinematic look, and I have to say that Eastman Double-X is just stunning. I took less formal portraits using Tri-X and it’s fun to compare the different characteristics; honestly I think Double-X will have to be my go-to black & white film for portraits. Whether it’s the differing amount of silver in the emulsion, the fact that it’s remained virtually unchanged since Kodak introduced it in 1959, or just that it’s formulated for motion pictures instead of stills I’m not sure, but whatever it is this film just has that look and I love it.
Back around 2015-16 my friend Kathy wanted me to take pictures of her for use as her official author photo…so far the book(s) she was writing have yet to materialize (I’d love to read them) but when they do hopefully the back photo will feature the photos I took of her using Cinestill 800T. She liked the portrait I’d done of our mutual friend Duncan and wanted something similar but in color and I did my best I could back then; I think I could probably do better now. But one thing that I did insist on trying more just for myself, was to put a couple shots through my Canon 7 rangefinder because I wanted to try that Summarit lens out with some Double-X. And here are those results:
There’s just something about Double-X that just works for me: the tonality, the contrast, whatever it is, it’s one of my favorite films for portraits. I don’t even think she saw these shots, the roll took a lot longer to use up and even though I posted some of the shots a long time ago I lost the digital files before I uploaded anything on here. I recently had my scanner out of storage and took the opportunity to rescan a few rolls I seemed to have misplaced, this was among them.
About as current as it gets here at The Resurrected Camera, these date to the middle of May 2022, barely a month ago. My job hired me to capture portraits of the new drivers at the annual pre-season meeting, to be used on the website; these photos amount to the first professional work I’ve seen out in the wild in quite some time, perhaps ever. The meeting was held at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort and I used Cheyenne Mountain as a backdrop, shooting out on the patio in the shade of a building as the sun was setting. I got a few of the not-so-new drivers as well: all in all I made portraits of 15 drivers and include my favorites below:
Besides the cowboys (and cowgirl) themselves, the star of the show was the AI’d Nikkor-PC 105mm f/2.5 portrait lens which was used for all but one of the exposures above. There’s been so much written over the last 70+ years about the 105mm Nikkor so I don’t know what I can add except to say that I picked it up because it was cheap, I wanted to have at least one portrait lens, and it had a good reputation. I’ve used it for a few portrait sessions so far and have been extremely happy with the results, as well as that from my AI Nikkor 85mm f/2 lens (which also makes an appearance here). I would call either of these lenses a must-have for a Nikon manual-focus system, whichever you happen to run across first. If you can, get both.
I suppose this means that I can call myself a professional photographer, right? I’m hoping that this can be springboard me to bigger and better things but we’ll see.
(Actually they’re both friends) It was Summer and dry and hot, definitely a memory I need in these cold months. My friends wanted some pics taken for their wedding, I was happy to oblige. There were all the standard pictures that are taken at weddings, though these are my personal favorites.
There were two other photographers so I didn’t have the pressure of getting all the needed shots, I could play around and have some fun. It gave me an opportunity to test out the re-released T-Max P3200, plus play around with a new point-and-shoot, one of the Olympus Stylus Epic line. I can’t complain about the camera (at least not too much), because it cost me $3 at the local Goodwill (the battery cost four times that), but I will anyway.
The Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80 has all the failings of its ilk: autofocus that can sometimes be inaccurate, a pretty salient and distinctive light leak (or that might be a plus depending on one’s mentality), a flash that must be turned off every time one opens the camera, plus automation in film winding and shutter release that might make one lose a critical shot. But if you know anything about these cameras you already know all the downsides. For the price I paid I’d say the camera was worth it. It’s small enough that I can carry it in a pocket or around my neck everywhere I go, and for that purpose it does what it needs to. For off-the-cuff shots during a wedding it was a good compliment to an all-manual camera; the zoom lens–though slow–came in handy too.
As for T-Max P3200, the jury is still out for me, but this is only my first roll of the stuff and I’ll admit that I did the film no favors by shooting it in the Colorado sun. I mostly wanted to look at the grain structure and can see that it will not handle high-contrast scenes as well as Tri-X, but then it’s designed for low-light shooting. I actually pulled the two shots that show the film to its best advantage, and I don’t think they stand out too much from the Tri-X I also shot. I fully intend to use this film for shooting inside where it’s dark, so until that I have nothing to say about the film yet.
I don’t do it too often but when my friends want pictures I’m there for them. I can’t say that I’m too used to portrait sessions in general and with infants in particular; Anne Geddes I’m not. But it turned out alright and I think my friend is happy with the results. Perhaps if I get enough practice I’d consider opening up a photography business. We narrowed it down to 20 pictures to print, these are the ones I personally like best.
Black & White is T-Max 400, and I pulled out a lens I don’t use too often, the Chinon 55mm f/1.7 Macro, to make sure I could get in as close as needed: the Chinon, while not a true 1:1 Macro lens, does focus to less than a foot, better than the 1.5 feet with my normal Takumars, and shooting indoors I wanted something faster than the f/4 S-M-C Macro Takumar. I knew there was a reason I bought it! Also it was a pretty screaming deal at my local shop, evidently they’re quite rare and go for several hundred dollars when they turn up on ebay, so it was too hard to pass up.
I pulled out the old Pentax ES as my secondary camera, and it went back to its old tricks (actually it did a long time ago and I just hadn’t remembered). So my original fix didn’t work, but then I haven’t gotten around to opening it back up again recently. The ESII I own was sent off to Eric Hendrickson for a CLA but he couldn’t get the speeds right so he sent it back…evidently it’s a common problem and I guess he doesn’t like working on the AE Spotmatics. But what that means now is that I have an ESII with accurate fast speeds and slow speeds that are much too fast. So much for having an M42 system: I have 5 bodies and only 1 that works 100%. I’ve been on the fence anyway about switching to Nikon and getting an F2 and F3, which it seems are much more serviceable…it’s gonna cost me though…