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!
Each time I use the Graflex Speed Graphic with the Kodak Aero Ektar lens, I am always so amazed on what I get. After a professional photo sitting Sunday afternoon, I threw in a pack of Fuji FP3000b and took some portraits. For lighting I used an Aputure Amaran AL-528S LED hitting directly at the subject from the front. All polaroids scanned with Doxie Flip scanner. Here are results of that session.
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 Kirk Lau 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.
The last of the challenge, I feature a very special camera. The 1955 Graflex Speed Graphic camera mounted with Kodak 178mm Aero Ektar f2.5 lens. Being large format, the focusing screen is again upside down and reversed left to right. At f2.5, the screen is super bright and you can see the bokeh clearly. Today I am holding my first camera, the Kodak Instamatic X15 which is in 126 format. This is the exact same camera that Dustin Hoffman used in Rain man!
About a year ago, I acquired the legendary Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 lens and it was another few months after that I got it mounted on the speed graphic. The first trials of this lens gave me some headaches as I experienced micro-shakes from the large focal plane shutter. Finally, recently I went back to the beast and re-strengthen the mount, so far so good. Can’t wait to go out and take some shots with this!
I also went back to the Graflex speed graphic box and looked at the flash attachment. At first, I thought it was incomplete but in close inspection, everything was intact and looked amazingly cool once attached.
After some practice with the Polaroid Land 800, I was at a point of no return. I finally drown myself in the Large Format world. After seeing some photos from the Kodak Aero Ektar lens, I have decided to get a Graflex Speed Graphic. A couple of months ago, I was lucky enough to acquire a 1955 Graflex Speed Graphic from the US. In the original box of goodies, from the expired pack film inside, it seems like the machine had not been used since 1967.
The machine was in mint condition and was definitely taken care of. From the warranty card inside, I traced back to the original owner named Charles H Marshall, whom purchased this from McCurry Foto Co in Sacramento, CA.
Prior of receiving this brick, I purchased a Polaroid back which was proven to be super handy for testing out this beast. When I was back in Toronto early this year, I attended the yearly auction from the Photographic Historical Society of Canada. There, I picked up three Grafmatic sheet film holder for a great bargain!
When the camera arrived, I was faced with another issue, a super solid tripod for focus and film pack insertion. The Speed Graphic, I weighted it on the scale to be 3kg. The film back adding another 0.5kg. The Kodak Aero Ektar lens (which will arrive soon!) coming in at 1.5kg. This totals to 5kg. My old Manfrotto tripod can only support 2.5kg and a new tripod has to be purchased before I can go out and shoot! After some research, Gitzo is out since what I needed cost around $7k HKD. My beloved Manfrotto was also out since it will cost around $5k HKD. I am not too kind to my tripods and I can’t justify spending so much on it. Finally I settled on the Benro C-2570T + B-2 head. The tripod itself only has three sections and can support up to 12kg. The B-2 head supports 20kg. This combination is rock solid and the carbon fiber tripod only weight in at roughly 2kg.
I need a cloth for focusing badly in bright outdoors. I substituted that with my film dark bag for the time being.