Archive | General

Reload

The blog has been reloaded and updated. Expect craziness, changes, dogs and cats living together in harmony. All older articles have been moved to the ‘Archives‘ category.

And then there was one..

And then there was one.. One month that is, if you’ve got any Kodachrome in the freezer waiting to get used up, you’ve got one month left. Actually, you’ve got one month to get your roll in Dwayne’s hands. And even then, I wouldn’t wait until you get the last of the developing chemicals.

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Zombie Nation

Let me say it, I don’t get the most recent ‘Zombies’, ‘Vampires’, ‘Pirates’ or other imaginary creatures craze or why they’re so popular. When I was asked to shoot the opening night of the ‘Zombie Nation’ exhibit for Geppi’s Entertainment Museum – I really didn’t know what to expect.

Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is located next to Camden Yards in Baltimore Maryland right above the Sports Legends museum. I’m not a big comic book fan, I can only imagine that their huge comic book exhibit is completely drool-worthy for even the slightest fan. Not to say you need to be into comic books to enjoy the museum. There are rooms full of old toys and lots of pop culture. Movie posters line the walls. There’s certainly something for everyone!

The museum has one specialized theme room they use to spotlight interesting exhibits. From now until December 31st, that spotlight is Devin Hannon’s amazing Zombie Nation exhibit. What’s the easiest way to describe the exhibit? Pop culture after the zombie apocalypse.

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Mystery Film Baltimore (K-Mart C-41)

It’s time for another game of Mystery Film. The latest contestant is a roll of K-Mart branded C-41 film left in a point and shoot 35mm film camera won from an auction in New York.

The contents of the film? Wouldn’t you know it – Baltimore. Interesting that the film made it back to my hands in Baltimore to be rescued.

It seems as if a New York Yankees fan came down to Baltimore for a day. Took a few shots of the Inner Harbor and some at Camden Yards. Checking box scores, I was able to match up the shot the photographer took of the scoreboard with a date. September 9th, 1992. The Orioles will lose this one 5-2.

Looking at other shots we see we believe to be a self portrait of the photographer on the first frame, and a capture from a television in the last frame. Most likely burning through the last shot of the camera.

This is the first roll I had that I have a self-portrait. Even though it is underexposed and out of focus, it’s there. With every abandoned roll there is a story. I believe this roll gave us enough clues as to what most of the frames were about – and that’s all we can ever really hope for.

Click more to see the gallery.

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Beginner bird feeding for Photographers

Blue Jay

I use the term ‘bird feeding’ because when I think of traditional ‘birding’ and ‘bird photography’ I think of birding enthusiasts dressed up in camouflage and hiding in bushes for hours on end. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Never say never, but that’s just not for me at this point in my life. Why not have the birds come to me in the comfort of my own home¬† instead?

Chances are if you don’t live in a skyscraper you can easily set up a feeder near a window and shoot through the glass. If I can do it, you can do it. As a matter of fact I was able to capture this photo of a Blue Jay the very day after I put up my feeder.

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Get with the times..

RolleiCord (CC: Camerafiend)

My most recent camera purchase was an early model Stereo Realist from 1951. For my birthday though, I wound up with something much more current. I figure three years newer is enough. My latest camera is a Rolleicord IV from 1954. I’ve wanted a beautiful Medium Format camera for a bit to use in the studio and in nature.

What is medium format? Without getting too technical, medium format takes a 6x6cm sized negative. It’s much larger than those taken by a normal 35mm. Now there are many flavors of cameras that can take smaller or larger sized images on the medium format film but 6×6 is certainly the standard.

The camera was purchased off Craigslist for $200. This marks my second Craigslist purchase with good success. The photographer selling it was actually running a roll through it as I knocked on his door. You’ve got to love that sort of dedication and he was thrilled when I told him that it would be used and well cared for. I wouldn’t want such a beautiful camera collecting dust either! He was selling it to make some extra cash and he was offloading some less-used gear. As I left he asked if I had any film for it, when I said no he gave me two rolls of Kodak Panatomic-X film, rated at 32 ISO and expired way back in 1986. I thanked him and was on my way.

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Sans-Reel Developing

Sans-Reel

Sans-Reel

It seems that in the developing world everyone is always interested in something new. Just like there are countless plug-ins for Photoshop, there are countless things you can do to Analog (Film) Photography to adjust the outcome of the image. Different films, developers, developing techniques to name a few..

There are even some people who damage the delicate emulsion on film on purpose. Why? Because scratched, burned, boiled, cracked and decomposed film can really give some amazingly artistic effects.

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First Thoughts: Dropbox

Dropbox

Dropbox

Dropbox is an online storage service that finally does it right. Once again wary of yet another online storage service I signed up for their free 2GB storage account to check them out.

The sign-up is simple enough and they give you a program to download to your computer. This program synchronizes a folder on your hard drive with Dropbox. When the program starts up it makes sure your Dropbox folder is synchronized. Since you can install Dropbox on many computers, this is a great way to make sure you have the latest version of a file at all times!

Lets say you’re on a computer without the program installed.. Maybe a hotel or friend’s computer. Your Dropbox can be accessed by web and you can upload and download with ease. There is also a public feature and you can select files to share with friends and family.

The folks at Dropbox are kind enough to offer free accounts with 2GB of storage and paid accounts with higher sizes. Sure, 2GB isn’t much space any more (I have more space in my cellphone) but I certainly have about a gig of files that I want to have access to at all times and I admit that sometimes I forget to grab my Flash Drive when I leave the house. This service for me may prove very valuable, all my important files will be with me anywhere there’s an Internet connection.

Security.. Their website says that all servers are encrypted and even employees of Dropbox are not able to access files and directories. Sounds good to me.

Overall, the service appears to be solid and stable. For me, I would never use over 2GB so I can’t justify paying Dropbox for a 50 or 100GB account. Sorry guys, I just don’t have that much stuff I need with me at all times. Security looks rock solid and well, I think it’s much more secure than a Flash Drive. Are your files password protected or encrypted on your Flash Drive? What happens if you lose it? There you go.. If you have files that you need to have with you at all times and most of the computers you use are Internet connected (which ones aren’t anymore?) check out Dropbox.

Link: Dropbox.com/GetDropbox.com

21st Century Enlargements

This weekend I was able to take my Beseler 67SC for a spin and create the first enlargement I’ve made in a long time. My first in this century, that’s for sure.

It’s not perfect, it’s quite overexposed. I didn’t use an easel or a grain focuser but I think I like it.

Enlargement

Enlargement

Exposure time was five seconds, way too long so I already know I need to invest in some ND filters to drop the light down enough to get proper exposure time to between 10-15 seconds. Lens was a 50mm 3.5 set at f/8. Paper is a 5×7 sheet of Ilford Pearl #3 RC. Developed in Kodak Dektol, since the print was so overexposed development time was mere seconds.

How’s the print you might ask? Even overexposed, the tones blow me away. Of course the process is fun too. The smell of an 8×10 tray of stop bath out in the open, the safelight casting a red glow over everything, the glow in the dark dial on my darkroom timer. The best part? Placing your exposed sheet of paper into the developer. Completely blank and watching it come to life right before your eyes.

Even if you have no interest at all in film or the whole wet-process, at least experience it once. Find a friend or take a class on working in the darkroom. Get an appreciation for what we had to do before digital. And if you don’t end up appreciating the process, you at least get to feel like one of those old time detectives working in the red-lit darkroom. So, there ya go.

Ahhh blix, I can still smell it..

First 21st Century C-41

My first roll of C-41 developed this century.

Two nights ago I developed my first roll of C-41 (Color Film) in years. If you would have told me that I would be back in the darkroom developing C-41 when I made the switch to (nearly) pure digital I would have laughed. I still shoot and process black and white for giggles and love how cheap and great for modifications the film is. I do still shoot slides for our local photography contests and for the thrill of seeing my images projected on a big screen.  Slides (E-6) get sent out for professional developing, however that may be the next processing kit I may purchase.

Its funny though, I don’t remember C-41 developing being this easy. How easy? Well, if you already develop black and white, have a thermometer and somewhat accurate timer (a watch with a second hand will work fine) – you can develop C-41. Guaranteed. There are too many articles on the internet today that scare people out of developing themselves – don’t believe it!

To compare, lets go over black and white developing first in case we have some readers that may be interested in the process but have yet to start..

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