Wrapping up the weekend trip during the last leg on a hike at the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, there were a couple of 8×10 free plates left and we decided to do something fun. With a very short shutter cable, we attempted to do a selfie in 8×10!!!
Here is the setup.
Here is the result! Taken with Kodak 2D 8×10 camera + Fujinon 2400mm f9 lens + Kodak Ektascan B/RA x-ray film.
April 2016 had been the most productive month for lotophotos. Here are some large format portraits done for my visitors this month.
First one is Joseph Wei, a drummer and music producer from Hong Kong. The photo is taken inside a studio (with multiple flashes) from Kodak 2d 8×10 camera + Fujinon 250mm f6.3 lens + Kodak B/RA x-ray film.
The second one is of Michael Ho taken with Graflex Speed Graphic + Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 lens + Expired (1993) Kodak Plus-X Pan 4×5 film. The Kodak aero ektar lens is always my preferred lens for 4×5 portraits. I am also happy that the very expired plus-x film still very useable despite metering it at ISO 50 (instead of the stock 125).
The following one is of Richard Fung in deep thought. Also shot with Graflex Speed Graphic + Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 lens + Expired (1993) Kodak Plus-X Pan 4×5 film.
My friend Pouya Ashtiani models for the next shot. He was enjoying the warm San Francisco weather in this photo shot from Graflex Speed Graphic + Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 lens + Kodak Plus-X Pan film.
Graflex Speed Graphic + Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 + Kodak Plus-X Pan film
The last set is from the lovely couple Marko Kudjerski and Yandra Lluch. These polaroids were taken from Graflex Speed Graphic + Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 lens + one big 1000 LED panel as light source.
Here are the portraits taken from April 2016 and I hope the models are as happy with the images as I was!
World Pinhole Photography Day (WPPD) was held on April 25, 2016, more information here (http://pinholeday.org/).
Pinhole day used to be the only day that I shoot with these cameras, but this year, I actually prepared for it. When I was in Shanghai earlier this year, with the help of Kirk Lau, I 3D printed a 6×18 (actually I find it more 6×19) camera called terraPin Kaiju. I had a ton of issues with that camera and I will discuss this in a later blog. After sorting all the issues out, it’s actually a really fun camera to use.
I started WPPD this year with a few plates of 8×10. I used my Kodak 2D 8×10 camera with 0.5mm hole size and arranged it for 150mm and f/300.
Kodak 2D 8×10, 150mm f/300
I shot the following with Kodak Ektascan B/RA x-ray film. Here are a couple of developed plates, the details are just amazing and the exposure is also dead on.
To walk around town, I took the 6×18 panoramic pinhole, equipped with a 0.4mm pinhole, 86mm, f/215 with a view angle of roughly 116.5 deg. The film that I used was my favorite, Fuji Acros.
First I hit South Beach Harbor and it was a beautiful day.
The shots from that roll had a light leak when I was changing film. This is to remind myself to use the film clip and also change the film in darker places!
As I walked towards AT&T Park, the Giants were playing.
I was trying to get a silhouette photo which came out like this. I would like it to be sharper but it was crazy windy that day. It was tough to have the whole thing stable, even for a few seconds.
Next are a couple of shots of the Bay Bridge from both portrait and landscape orientation.
Behind the Ferry Building is the Golden Gate Ferry Terminal and a statue of Gandhi. In the high resolution copy, you can actually faintly read off Gandhi’s name under the statue. This is amazing detail, consider the lens is just air! No fancy optics at play here.
Next is Pier 7 and it was quite empty for a Sunday afternoon.
The San Francisco Belle was docked and check out the sharpness!
While walking on Broadway, there is an alley with a great view of the The Transamerica Pyramid. I always love the vertical panoramic but it is often quite hard to frame.
I have to say it was a lot of fun this year on WPPD. This is the most I have shot compared to previous years. The final stop was at Liquid Gold with four limited edition Ballast Point beers on tap!
I was nominated by Joyce Peng to do a 7-day self-portrait challenge: 7 days, 7 self-portraits, and 7 nominations to keep this going with other artists/photographers. I invite Cheung Billy Ka Ming to take the time to extend the fun.
I put a small twist to this challenge as well. I will be composing self-portraits through the viewfinders of different cameras.
Today, I am viewing through my 1921 Kodak 2D 8×10 camera with Goerz Dagor 300mm f6.8 lens. Yes, it’s upside down and reversed from left to right! Beside me is a Burke & James 8×10 Grover with a Fujinon 400mm f8 lens. The year of make of the camera is unknown but these cameras were made from the 1940s-60s.
During a recent visit of Henry and Wendy in SF, I invited them to have their portraits done in large format. Setup of the day was my 91-year-old Kodak 2D 8×10 camera with Fujinon A 240mm f9 lens and Kodak Ektascan x-ray film. The strobes, I used two light sources, one direct light above the camera and a reflective light from the left of the subject. The dark background is a big piece of black cloth that is about 2.5 feet behind the subject.
Here is a collage of photo of me in action, courtesy of Henry and Wendy.
The film is developed with Kodak D76 1+1 for 10-12 minutes at 19C with rollers and scanned with Epson Perfection V700. Scanning this time I was faced with a lot of Newton ring issues. I have an AN glass but that only prevented newton rings from one side of the light. I have to scan the negatives with emulsion down on the scanner glass, then I put the AN glass on top of the negative. This way I was able to get rid of most of the newton rings. I guess I probably need another piece of AN glass and hopefully this issue will go away.
The first photo is that of Henry. It was shot at f11, 1/30 sec and turned out quite nicely.
Wendy here featured in the second photo, also shot at f11, 1/30sec. I have asked her to look into the left (her right) reflective light.
The final shot is of them together, shot at f16 1/4 sec. I had cranked up the strobes to be the highest level. The init negative is dark and about a click off. I need to double up on the flash to get more light next time. I have focused on Wendy’s eyes and even at f16, the depth of field is so narrow that Henry’s eyes were very slightly off focus. I need to add more light sources and try at f22 or even f32 next time for group portraits.
Overall another fun shoot that yield some fantastic portraits.
Basil the westie is a happy and friendly dog and always bring joy to me whenever I see him. After a recent dinner gathering with his owner Natasha Hsieh, we decided to head back to our home studio and take some portraits. Basil was a superb model and here are some highlights of that shoot.
I was trying to teach Basil how to operate the Kodak 2D and he got the hang of it quite quickly. Photo below entitled: “His master’s visage”.
Finally took my umbrellas out of their boxes and setup some lights at home. Rick was visiting and took the chance for a portrait sitting. I tried several setups and ended up with two lights. One from the left back with diffuser at 45deg and one in the front with diffuser at about 45deg from the left. A reflector is also placed around waist level. Here is one from the shoot.
Shot with Burke & James Grover 8×10, Fujinon 400mm f8 lens, Kodak Ektascan B/RA film. Developed in Kodak d76. Scanned with Epson Perfection V700. Even though the Fujinon 400mm lens was meant to be used with 5×7, as seen here, at f8, the image circle is big enough for use with 8×10. The lights used are a pair of Yongnuo YN565EXII and a pair of YN622 and YN622TX triggers.
Six months ago, I did some test shots with my Burke & James Grover 8×10. I finally got them developed and scanned recently. With a couple of flashes and remote (without any diffusion), I shot a few portraits when my friends Norris and Fiona were visiting. Here is the result.
I used Kodak Ektascan B/RA x-ray film metered at ISO50. Burke & James Grover 8×10 with Fujinon 250mm f6.3 lens. Lighting setup with two Yongnuo YN560II flashes on two YN622C and a YN622C-TX. Developed with Kodak D76 1+1 20C for 10 minutes. Scanned with Epson Perfection V700.
Lighting is harsh, this is due to the lack of deflectors (they were still being shipped from Asia at the time). The harsh lighting reminded me a bit of a prom shoot would of looked like in the 1960-70s. Nevertheless a decent shot for first trials.
The last test of 12x was slightly over-exposed so the new test was a 10x compensation for one minute exposure. It looks like a working combination. I was also testing out my Kodak 8×10 2d with a Goerz 12″ f6.3 lens. It’s amazing that a 91-year-old camera is still holding up and taking great photos just like it did when it was out of the factory. Film developed in Kodak d76 1+1 22C for 10 mins, scanned with Epson Perfection V700.
I had some doubts with the Goerz lens as it was over 90 years old. Initial inspection showed a perfect lens (with only two tiny tiny air bubbles in the front element that won’t affect the photo). The shutter is snappy (seemed accurate) and both B and T modes work. The middle of the photo is pin sharp. The left side however, was slightly off focus. At first I thought it was corner sharpness of the lens but then I was shooting at f8, so this is not likely the issue. I inspect the camera again and found that the rear tilt adjustment was off. The left and right gear was somehow off by at least three clicks. I think it had been in this position for a very long time and I had to spend sometime forcing it back to right position (without breaking it). Now both left and right gears are matched, this focus issues should be fixed on the next shoot.
I never shot Kodak Ektascan B/RA xray film at night. There were also no information online regarding the reciprocity of this film. This film is normally used for health x-ray applications and there is no need to worry about long exposure. I decided to do a test shot. Shanghai and TriX has terrible reciprocity characteristics. For 1 minute exposure, I generally compensate it by 8x and it worked well. I know Ektascan is probably equivalent if not worse, so I decided to try a 12x compensation for 1 minute metered exposure.
Here is the result. Burke & James Grover 8×10, Fujinon 250mm f6.3 lens, developed in Kodak D76 1+1 10 mins and scanned with Epson Perfection V700.
It looks like a working combination. I think it might be slightly over-exposed, perhaps I need to try one with 10x compensation.