Well the news yesterday was not unexpected, but sucks nonetheless. I have lots of hobbies to keep myself busy, food and stocked local shops to keep me fed, and a live in dad to keep me pestered.
I just received some film from Kosmofoto and chemicals for the photoing side of things. But what to photograph? I have a couple of books with ideas, but this was just published today on one of the blogs I follow…
Yesterday…and today..the UK was in the throes of Storm Dennis. As the area I live in, well, most of the UK…was under a yellow storm warning…Scratch all that. Yesterday there was a storm and I decided to stay in and hunt through my photo equipment boxes to make a list of what I had.
Basically, I wanted to know what lenses I had for what mounts. I was looking for a Minolta 100-300mm which I thought I might have. Despite the storm, spring is on the way and I will be going out birding and wanted a lens to fit the Sony a37 I have. That camera is my, take out and don’t mind if it gets destroyed camera. Rather than my, holy crap please don’t break, camera. I know lots of people take their best, most expensive camera everywhere. I am not one of those people. If I am going to drop a camera in mud or bash it against a rock by mistake, it can be the one I got for £100 and can afford to replace. I doubt I will ever be in a position to take a photo of a bird where I absolutely need a Nikon D750 to improve it. And I certainly can’t afford a super zoom lens for it. Anyway…I didn’t have one. I left it in Japan, bugger. You are enjoying this post aren’t ya 🙂
Here is are some photos of bird I took to make yourself feel better.
So what was in the box? Or boxes, I took the time to organise them better too. Now one box is for flash stuff and filters, one box is for lenses and adapters. AND in that box I found two Nikon reversing rings. well, I actually I found two ringy type things that I had no idea what they were. The packages said AT 58mm and AT 52mm. So I did a google search…and voila reversing rings, cool!!! and they would fit my Nikon, double cool!!!
Well, might as well give them a whirl.
To use it, I put the camera in manual mode and focused by moving the camera backwards and forwards. With the lens on in reverse, you have no control of the auto focus or the aperture adjustment. Luckily, there is a handy lever on the side of the lens.
You can use that to adjust the aperture, pushing it will open it wider. The effects are visible through the viewfinder immediately. You can also use an old type lens with a built in aperture selector. I have found with this type of photography, you need as much light as possible.
The last time I tried macro photography I used a film camera and a bellows attachment. It was tricky to get the exposure right. I much prefer digital for this type of activity. It is cheaper and you don’t have to wait to see if you got it right. Once attached I wandered around my house and then, during a break in the rain, I went outside. I didn’t take many photos as I was just trying it out, but I am really looking forward to trying it in spring…or if there is ever some snow/ice.
Here are the results.
As with all macro photography, there is a very shallow depth of field. You can see two photos of long leaves that I took on rapid shutter, the difference in focusing points was caused by my slight camera movement..really slight. I might try a tripod setup in the future and try some focus stacking. I haven’t done that before either.
So what else was in the boxes?? At least 3 lenses that I have no body to attach them too…that drives me crazy. One of them I can’t even tell what it would fit, nothing I own right now.
One of my goals for last year was to self publish a zine. If you are not sure what that is then remember, zine is short for magazine. A zine should have original content made by you. This website has a number to view and explains more about what a zine is.
I have made iBooks before, but never an actual paper copy of something I have created. The first iBook I made is featured on this post. I have made a few other which you can either download for free or buy for a small amount. You can find details of those from this link.
For my first attempts I wanted to use a platform that was free. I wanted to know about the process before investing my own money. Once I had made a few iBooks I then moved on to the next phase, an actual published zine.
First I needed a project and as luck would have it, I had just been invited to take part in an exhibition. That meant I had my subject matter, well partly. I used two models for the exhibition photos and I had a model release from one of them, but the other model never returned theirs. As they were both friends I decided only to include photos of the one who felt more comfortable with the process. I had the right to use the photos, but not the heart. It did mean I had less photos to choose from, but I felt I had enough for a short zine. If you do have a model featured in your zine, make sure you get a model release and have discussed the possible uses of their images before you start the process.
Next I needed to find a cheap and reliable publisher. I have seen some exhibition accompaniments or self published books that are stunning, obviously costing a lot of money that I could not afford at the time. My other choice was printing the zine myself each time an order came in, but the cost of ink made this uneconomical in the long run. The company I chose in the end was Mixam. There are a number of other choices, but in my opinion this one had the most intuitive platform and was very competitively priced. With this website, first you decide on the type of zine or book you want, as in the paper and binding, then you add that to the cart. Next you are asked to upload your pages. That means you make the zine first, offline, using any software you like. Once saved as PDF pages you then upload them to Mixam. I much preferred that to the websites that wanted you to make the zine online using their own software. To create the zine I used Pages as I have a Macbook.
AND then a week later…tada, you have your first zine printed. Opening a box full of your own handy work is pretty cool.
Now it has been a year since I ordered 50 copies, I have about 10 left. I sent some to the model, gave some away, and sold the rest. I covered my printing costs, but the cost of posting them around the world took away any profit. At the moment, for me, making zines is for my heart and soul, not for my pocket. For my small following, I found 50 enough. If I need any more than that I can log back in to Mixam and reorder more.
I am at the point where I want to make another one. The best way to make any money is selling them directly at fairs or exhibition, which is on my list of goals for the future. I went to an Etsy fair recently where I bought a zine about making zines by Kristyna Baczynski. It has lots if information inside.
Anyway, the hardest part of the process might be having a concept. I have a few ideas for my next zine and am in the process of putting something together. I will try to make the next one available both digitally and in physical form. If you do make a zine, let me know. I might not be able to buy every one, but I would like to hear about it.
I haven’t completed any reviews for a while, busy life and such. So this is a photo post.
I decided to try out my Mamiyaflex C2 again. It has been stuck in a cupboard for a while, which is a real shame. It started when I took it to Blackpool and the exhibition I am feature in. I had taken a few cameras to show and , it garnered a fair bit of attention. Someone even offered to buy it, but as is the usual case, that made me love it more and decide not to part with it and make better use of it. So the weather being of the typical crap kind and time short I decided to pick a subject that was handy and compliant. Hello Daddy. Stay still, watch TV, don’t look directly at me…I am Medusa 🙂
Once developed, the film had the usual few white hairs which I removed post processing. BUT they had lots and lots of tiny black fibers, what is the deal with that?
White hairs is a blocking of light, an actual hair. A black thing is light getting through, it is within the film base?? yes??
Hmm the only thing i did differently with this film processing was during the agitation stage. I used the little stick instead of inverting the tank. So is that it? All help and thoughts appreciated.
All that being said, I still love the photo of my dad. He can be quite patient at times.
This week has been quite busy photographically for me. Firstly I went to Blackpool to visit the exhibition which has moved there from London. While there I was invited to give a talk about film cameras on the 4th October. I haven’t planned yet what I will talk about as I was just asked. But I will explain the process I used to produce the photos in the exhibition. I will also take along some cameras to show how I have reskinned some in various designs.
Here are some examples.
The other announcement is that I will be at the vintage fair in Wakefield on the 12th October. I will have a few cameras to sell, plus other odds and ends. Last time it was there I spent most of the time chatting and convincing people that film is still alive.
Please come along and say hello, there will be a few bargain point and shoots to buy. Anything I sell me allow me to buy more film and enjoy my hobby a little longer.
Having seen some APS double exposures on Facebook and Instagram I decided to have a go myself. I have previously reused found APS film by moving the cartridge symbol back to one with a screwdriver. So I figured reusing a whole roll shouldn’t be that tricky either.
For the first trial I put the shortest roll of film I had, a 25exp 200iso Truprint, in a Canon IX7. I chose that camera as it is the only APS camera I have where I can override the film’s preset iso. I set the camera to an ISO of 80 and shot the first pass of the film in my garden and local park. I took photos of textures and nature. I really didn’t want to put too much effort into finding locations as I wasn’t sure it would work. The following day, while I was completing a Wherigo cartridge, I took the camera along for the second pass. The camera was still set at 80 iso. As all APS is out of date I wanted to overexpose the film slightly. If you use a regular point and shoot I actually think expired film could be used twice at its regular iso with no adjustments. For the second pass I took shots of buildings and street furniture. Again, I did not put much effort into the process.
So how did they turn out, these shots that I did randomly with little effort or planning?
Well not bad if I do say so myself 🙂
The magnetic aspect of the film seemed to assure that the two passes lined up perfectly. I think that would be true if you chose to use two different camera. I think that will be my next experiment. It certainly was easier to create these than with 35mm film in a camera without a multiple exposure feature. Plus this way you can use two different locations and times. With regular double exposures on film you have to take one straight after the other, not so with these. That gives a whole new scope to the genre.
I have already tried this camera, but I gave that away ages ago and found this one for $3. There is a BC version which means black corners indicating more vignette. As you can see from my example photos the original camera already has quite a lot of vignetting.
I was quite excited to try this camera again as every 120 Holga I have tried has had pleasing results. I didn’t really give this one a chance when I first tried it as, but my opinion of fantastic plastics has chanced since then.
As I was going to London for the 100 heroines exhibition, I decided to take some time to try this camera in an area I have not visited before. I did a search for places to see if you have already seen the top tourist spots and Shoreditch came up as a choice. For fun I thought I would try to capture the graffiti around the area with a black and white film. I loaded a Fomapan 100 with the intention of push processing it to 400. I thought it would have a different look to it and show off the vignetting.
I absolutely loved my day in Shoreditch, an area I had not even thought to visit before. Everywhere I looked there was something else to see. Using the Holga was easy and the resulting photos are by far favourite series of photos that I have completed recently. I have already put another film in the camera, a colour one this time. Where shall I take it?
What super weather we are having recently! So my weekends have been spent reading and playing with my toys…cameras and literal toys.
I decided to start a new project just for the hell of it and to freak out my friends. It is based around a toy I got when I was about seven years old. Meet Charlie the Chatter Chimp, though he doesn’t chatter without help any more.
Honestly, if I get bored I tend to find things to do and they might be a bit weird. Some friends call them mini passions, some call them projects, some think I need help. I don’t mind any of those descriptions, I am enjoying myself.
I can come up with projects myself, but there are plenty of creative exercises out there, like this one. I especially like suggestion five, take a roll of film and limit yourself to 24 or 36 shots. Well, who would do that these days?! Or what about suggestion seven, take a something with you to photograph…Hello Charlie 🙂 Though I did think of it before seeing the video, it is hardly original.
And now I am going to demonstrate how dumb I can be sometime…sometimes, I said. I was playing with a camera, a Vito B which I am currently testing.
I added the rangefinder, because I could. When I posted these photos on my instagram feed a friend said, “why not set the camera to f8?” I though fair enough but close things would not be focusing. Then I remembered another friend telling me how he zone focused and didn’t really need to use a distance gauge. And I began to wonder, is my idea of zone focusing the same as theirs? Do I really know what zone focusing actually is? I know of the symbols on zone focused cameras, but beyond that I have not really thought about it. So I googled it and found this great article. And then I felt dumb, the gauges on the lens barrel with the diamond…
I had never really looked at them before. Oh well, I have tested over 270 cameras and never once looked at or thought about that scale. I think this might become a mini passion/project for one of the cameras I will test soon.
What else might I be missing? Well if you read the comments below you will see that I missed the hyperfocal distance which is shown on the photo markings. This great article explains all about that and how it relates to zone focusing.
It would be a great system to understand if you are a street photographer, which I am not. But either way, it just shows you can never be at a point in your life where you can’t learn something new or gain a better understanding of a subject.
For now I will carry on relaxing and enjoying the women’s world cup. Talking of world cups, don’t forget to vote in the Black and White World Cup.
Finally, do you own and Olympus OM 20? If so please check the serial number. If it is serial number 1032853 then please read this article as the camera could be important in a murder case.