Saturday, May 31, 2014

Quest For...

Yet another quest!
I started off today walking to the local Safeway.
I was looking for something in particular and didn't find it.
So it was across the street to Walgreens.
Then across the street again to Long's.
Same as Walgreen's except a different name.
Why they are competing I don't know, the same company owns both.
That would be CVS.
So anyways, I was sad.
Then I was happy for it was  a really nice day and I decided to go out for a ride.
Quest on a bicycle!
For a magazine.
See three months back I was Waikiki taking some pictures of the Honolulu Festival and I get an email from some dude who says he's from a magazine and that they would like to run my picture.
Sure, I say.
Send me the file, he says.
Okay, says I.
So I send it off and another dude emails me asking for some info on the taking part; what I was doing, what I was thinking etc.
Then that was it.
Until now.
Now I can't find a copy of that freakin issue!
Modern Luxury Hawaii.
If you flip through the May/June digital issue you, the reader, will find a picture taken by yours truly.
I am officially PRO!
Except I haven't gotten paid.
Hopefully a check is in the mail.
Or something.
Anyways, while I Questing for Magazine, I got me some lunch and went down to the waterfront:

I was feeling sort of down, you know, cause I couldn't find any proof of my PROness, so I stopped off  to get me some huli huli chicken.
Huli means flip or turn over in Hawaiian so basically is grilled chicken that has been flipped over.
You sort of have to be there to understand:

Lunch consisted of half a flipped chicken, some musubis and some kim chee.
Oh yeah.
I was feeling pretty happy after that!
Still no magazine though.
I even went to Barnes and Nobles and if they ain't got it, well I'm out of ideas!
How will I be able to brag to all my students that I'm officially PRO?
How will I be able to brag to anyone that I'm officially PRO?
I need proof!
Anyways I hung around the beach a bit cause it was a really nice day and all sorts of folks were out enjoying the sun:

Or at least hanging out in the shade.
I wanted to finish up a roll of film in one of my cameras but I never got around to it.
Sometimes it's nice just to take everything in.
Since I'm officially on vacation.
Oh yeah.
Except my room looks like this:

Which means I'll be going back in next week to clean things up.
Which is a good thing cause it means I got a job next year.
Speaking of jobs, I got this part time thing going on this summer to supplement the ole income.
More on this later.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Double Trouble

I mean it might be trouble.
Or error.
Or something.
I was going to call this post XX but then I know you, the reader, would get the wrong idea.
Oh yeah, I know how you think out there.
It is about XX, or double exposures as I call them:

Actually that's a XXX.
Triple mistake.
More on that later.
Double exposures can look cool, but for now they are for the most part, unintended so they are mistakes.
User error.
Operator misoperation.
You know what I mean:

In the examples above, I exposed half a roll then took it out to put some different film in the camera.  Then I forgot about the roll and reloaded it up in yet another camera and well, double exposed the film.
Imagine my surprise/chagrin when I developed the film.
I think I expletiveded.
Out loud.
Still the results are sort of cool and unique.
Even if I ruined some possibly very nice shots.
The camera can actually do this on purpose, though my examples here aren't.
On purpose I mean.
I can still learn from them as double exposures are sort of hit and miss but now I think I understand them better.
Even if they are unintentional:

They do have potential as they can be surreal.
Something for me to work on this summer.
Speaking of summer work.
Well, more on that later.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Through Red Colored Glass

So the last few days I've been experimenting a bit.
Shooting low speed film through a red filter:

It's supposed to add more contrast and darken the sky, which it does, but it also allows me to shoot with a lower f/stop and take advantage of some depth of field.
The unfortunate thing is sometimes my shots come out really dark:

Even when I try to remember to shoot a bit over exposed.
I like the effect when the images do come out:

You really have to be conscious of your composition.
Light and dark high contrast work, even light not so much though I suppose it could.
The difficult thing is looking through the view finder and seeing all red!
Again, what you see and what the camera sees are different things; this may take a while to get used to.
I have red filter adapter for all/most of my cameras so this is something I'll be working on this summer.
Oh, here's some dude firing up the bobby cue on the second floor of a parking lot:

I guess it was okay because of the rain:

Which I was trying to outrun all day yesterday.
I had to take a shelter a couple of times to wait out the really big drops, but other than that it was a thick drizzle most of the time.
I'm starting to prefer overcast days, especially at mid day.
The light is diffuse and not hard and I like the effect.
Of course afternoon and mornings are still the best.
I also got me a new scanner:

By next week I won't have access to the school stuff so I figured it was time to get my own.
Scanner I mean.
The Epson V700 is like a middle of the road model as they make an upgraded version too.
I'm sad.
I'm not quite PRO.
As you can see it can do 24 frames of 35mm at once time and in 6x6 it can scan two strips for six frames.
It's also a lot faster than the school scanner, which is an Epson V600.
I was actually going to get one of those cause it's just about all the scanner I need, but this one came up on the ole CL and it was at a price I couldn't refuse.
If you know what I mean.
So I'm pretty much all set for the break!
Got my scanner, film and all the cameras I'll ever need!
About the camera part I mean.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Final

There's something in my eye.
No really.
Okay, that's better.
So today, we let the prisoners out from jail.
Lemme get a kleenex.
It was pending rain all day; I walked around a bit and got caught up in some of it but as it neared the afternoon it got down right ugly.
The skies were really dark and it looked like it was going to pour.
So two hours before the ceremony was supposed to start, they moved it all into the gym:

Freakin impressive!
Chapeau to all the made the last minute changes!
We ended up starting an hour or so late, but I think it was worth it.
The Seniors:

The ones I could fit in the frame anyways.
I was expecting outside and only had my long lens; I should have gone back home and grabbed a wide angle.
Anyways, I think it's around this time, when they're just about ready to leave, when it finally hits them, you know, all this school stuff.
They start to act like one class and you can see the pride they have come out.
A couple of the class speakers started to break down a bit and that's when I got something in my eyeballs.
Thankfully I was wearing my shades.
I only get them for two years or so, some are lucky to have me for three.
Or maybe not lucky.
I wonder what they'll remember, not so much the photography stuff, but the other stuff I tried to instill in them about what they need to do to succeed outside of school.
They were singing the alma mater and I got something in my eyeballs again:

I think graduation should be mandatory for all teachers too.
This is the time to self reflect: did I do my job?
Are they ready?
Are they prepared?
I hope so and I think so.
I went around a bit after but it was such a madhouse I couldn't find all my students.
As I walked back home, to be honest I didn't know how I felt.
I still don't.
Part of me is sad, another part happy.
Then there's the part that is already anticipating next year.
Aloha Class of 2014!
You entered as students but leave as men and women.
Good luck and godspeed.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Dark Knight

I found out the other day that Rollei is pronounced roll-eye.
Sort of like Leica except with a Roll.
Like Nikon is supposed to be knee-con, no one pronounces it that way.
Well no one I've ever talked to anyways.
So a couple of nights ago I took the ole Roll-eye out to see how it did with night lights.
I just took a walk over to the new Longs/CVS store that opened up across from work so it's like just up the block from me.
It's an all nighter store which works out great just in case I need like toilet paper or Spam at 2 in the morning.
There wasn't much to photograph, I mean I've pretty much covered that ground but I found some stuff anyways:

Yet another pic of the slush place.
Focusing is way better as the image is way brighter!
Almost like looking through a real camera!
Remember, most of the glass I'm looking through is f1.4 so I'm still losing 2 stops of light.
I shot 400 speed film to compensate.
I didn't really miss the 1/15 shutter speed as I shot mostly at 1/10 or 1/25.
The shutter button is bit stiff and will take some getting used to though it's not jerky like my Konica Autos.
Framing and composing is difficult mainly because I often cannot see what's in the whole frame.
Part of that is my subject matter and part of that is again the slower lens.
The 'Flex focuses front the left which is different from all the other TLR's I have and I find it a bit awkward,
I suppose if it was the only camera I had it would be fine, but I prefer the right side focus knobs with a right side shutter.
Being right handed and all.

The Zeiss Planar lens handles light and flare well.
None of that 'glow' like my Nikon S2.
I didn't get a chance to get background blur, so that's still a question.

I like this camera and it looks like it's ready for Prime Time.
The 400 speed film looks nice and I don't think I'll have a problem with the shutter speeds.
There are some quirks I'll need to get used to and I'll have to work on my shutter firing control as the button is not the smoothest.
Over all though it is a nice camera to use, better than the 'Cord.
More on this later.
Okay, three day week end with a forecast for rain and that's not good as Sunday is graduation.
On the other hand I like shooting in the rain and overcast so I better get out and take some pictures.
Maybe even ride my bicycle.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The End is Near

No, really.
It is.
After all these cameras and stuff I've finally started to get rid of some of them.
I suppose they are like bicycles in a sense that you have to try them out before you know if you really like them.
Some of them look good, but just don't perform the way you want or do the things you want them for.
So I've got five or six that I'm letting go.
I told myself when I got into this that I wasn't collecting; I was going to keep the cameras that I use.
Then I got this:

That's right waist level view finding fans!
The Dark Knight.
That's what I'm calling it.
I couldn't resist and I went into some debt for this one.
This one is a Rolleiflex 2.8C, the 2.8 meaning the size of the aperture.
You can see the difference between the glass of the 'Flex to the 'Cord:

Sort of like going from a .410 to 12 gauge!
Oh yeah baby!
Supposedly it's only about a half stop, but that's a large half stop.
I've fooled around with these cameras enough now that I figure I like shooting them and since I shoot mainly at night, I went for the glass.
Right JRA?
Lemme tell though, speed costs cashola!
The differences are not minimal, especially in use:

Here is an impromptu test of the two focusing screens, the 'Flex on the left and the 'Cord on the right.
As you can see, there is a visible difference.
When I took the 'Cord out at night, I had a difficult time just seeing my subjects.
I'm no expert, but that looks more like a full stop difference in light.
I'll do a side by side later, mainly because I haven't seen one on the netz.
The images:

As you can see, I'm still having some trouble framing with these things.
Everything is backwards!
In the viewfinder I mean.
Taking one step to either side actually makes a difference with these cameras; something to do with the optics and film size and other stuff I have no clue about.
All I know is that they are less forgiving than 35mm cameras when it comes to composing.
Okay, as far as sharpness they all look about the same stopped down.
I got this puppy for low light:

Some test shots I took in the parking lot of the dialysis place.
So far it looks like it renders light pretty well.
Pretty sharp without much of a glow.
I still need to take it out on the streets to see how it does.
Which I did.
Just about an hour ago.
Film still drying.
Being an olden days camera it does have some quirks, like ye olde shuttre scale which skips 1/15 of a second.
Which I use often.
It goes from 1/10 to 1/25 which may be a problem; I won't know until I do some live testing.
I might have to compensate by pushing the film a stop to get it past that zone.
So I'm all stoked to have this thing in my arsenal, especially since summer is coming and between the laziness drills I'll be having all this free time!
Summer is already here:

Not that it ever left.
If you know what I mean.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


No, not wide angle, just wide.
Than the 6x6 I've been shooting.
The Miniature Speed Graphic camera shoots 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 sheet film, but I got an adapter so that it can shoot 120 film in a 6x9 format:

The Adapt a Roll thingy was made for 620 film, a Kodak proprietary thing, but it can also shoot 120 film as long as you're careful.
More on this later.
I took the camera to school so that the kids could try and have a go:

Three shots I gave them.
I got three blank frames.
Nope, no Auto setting on this puppy!
The aperture works fine and the shutter sounds okay:

I haven't had time to go out with it so I shot mostly around work.
The camera is deceptively simple.
I say deceptively for if you don't know what you're doing well, you don't know what you're doing.
If you know what I mean.

The light leaks there are because I took the film out in daylight.
The 620 spool is slightly smaller in diameter than the 120 spool so the top most exposures on the spool are well, exposed on the top and bottom.
I sort of forgot about that.
I since have changed out the film using a change bag, one of those things you use to do things in the dark.

That's part of my cell block there.
I'm off to the left.
I shot the camera tripod mounted though I suppose you could use it without.
It weighs about the same as my DSLR, though it's a lot larger and bulkier and I would need to check the adjustment on the rangefinder.
I'll do a more complete review on this thing later.

It fun to use!
Just like in the olden days, you have to take your time and compose and set everything up before taking your shot.
As long as you know the basic camera functions and the Sunny 16 rule you are good to go.
I'm thinking about using this camera as a final exam for the advanced class, you know, to make sure they know what they're doing.
I also have a folding camera that shoots in the same wide format.
I've had trouble composing with that camera; my shots are crooked and uncentered mainly because it has only a rudimentary viewfinder.
I was wanting a more reliable camera to shoot this 6x9 wide format but I'm not sure this camera is it, mainly because of the portability.
Which I will test hopefully later today.
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Brownie Sprockets

So the other day I was telling you that I figured out how to load up some film in my little Kodak Brownie Bullet camera.
I've had this thing since summer and I fooled with it once, but never got around to actually getting film in it.
Well I was bored the other day and decided to try, earnestly this time, as we all know the importance of being earnest, and I finally got it to work.
Sort of.
First the film:

That's a regular ole 35mm spool wedged in there.
You sort of have to twist it and snap it in and not all spools are created equal as the tolerances are tight so try a few if you got em handy.
Then I just attach it to the 127 spool on the other side:

Make sure it's on good or it will slip off.
The film should sit just about in the middle of the film plane:

Yeah okay, it's not in the middle but I had trouble with the demo spool.
Anyways, you do all this in the dark or change bag so you can't really see it even if it is a bit off.
You can also see the almost panoramic size of the pictures.
So first time I tried some 400 speed film figuring if its like some other cameras the aperture is small so as to create a nice deep depth of field.
Over exposed:

Except for the ones I took indoors:

As you can see, I still haven't figured out the number turns on the knob to complete a frame and I was shooting for multiple exposures anyways.
The bright dot is from a light leak from the film counter window in back.
So since it was all over exposed, I figure let's try some ISO 50 stuff and seal that back window:

Looks right on the money.
Which I should have known since the shutter sounds like it's firing at about 1/30 of a second or so.
Not bad for a plastic lens thingy!
I still haven't got the knob turns down but I'm getting closer.
So I figure if the 400 film during the day was over exposed, let's try it at night!
Nope, all I got was black unless the lighting was fairly bright, like at the service station/slush place:

That looks like it was exposed about three or four times as I got to the end of the roll and the take up spool just got tighter.
I think I got the right amount of turns though and I think if I push process the 400 to 1600 or so I can get usable negatives.
I gotta load up another roll and try it out later.
Again, not bad from an olden days camera with a plastic lens.
Which brings me to another olden days camera with a better lens:

I finally got the roll film adapter for this puppy:

That camera was meant to shoot sheet film but the adapter is so that I can use 120 film.
Well okay it was really made to shoot 620 film but it's the same thing.
Sort of.
I'm about to load it up along with my tripod and do some testing.
So off I go!