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!
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.
Since the disappearance of Fuji FP3000b, I was almost too sad to open another pack. This weekend in Napa, I took the Polaroid Land 250 out again and took a bunch of photos. It’s like riding a bicycle and the photos turned out to be amazing as usual.
Here is a shot of Rebecca and Melissa on their visit to Napa this past weekend.
Hardly shot anything in the past six months, I finally got my dark room setup last week. Rolls of 120s and tens of 8×10 sheets were waiting to be developed in the past nine months. Honestly I don’t even remember what I took in the medium format rolls. I mixed some d76 last weekend, got the development tanks, measurement cups all cleaned up. Timer, thermometer all in place. Dry hanging rack and enclosure all in tact. After studying past notes on development, in the past weekend, I finally developed my first roll of film in nine months.
Opening the jobo tank, I see images, images that I didn’t recognize and had no recollection. I didn’t think too much of it and let it hang dry. I scanned some of the photos today and saw this photo.
I looked at this and I was like wow. The Zeiss Ikonta is one of those under-rated cameras. It folds nicely, has a Zeiss Tessar at f2.8. The rangerfinder is also easy to use and you can focus really quickly. Looking at this photo, instantly, I wanted to go out and shoot more. Jaded from all the moving and change in the past year, I guess this was a catalyst for me to get back into what I love doing.
Early this year I was in Tasmania, Australia. Every time a long vacation comes headache as what photography equipment to bring. The digital department is quite set, usually the trusty Canon 5D3 + 24-105mm + 40mm pancake + one prime (usually 50mm f1.8, this time I brought a super wide 17mm) and the tiny Sony RX100 II. The film department is where the headache comes in. 35mm usually is out of the question as a full frame digital can cover this. It comes to either medium or large. The SG is manageable but not too good with a family trip, since you don’t want them to wait for you for too long setting everything up. At the end, I brought my Mamiya Universal, sort of somewhere in between. Next is film. I know there will be some large nature shots, but unsure what to use. At the end, I brought a handful of Fuji Reala and Fuji Velvia 50 films.
The photos are developed and here are the result. Photo taken with Mamiya Universal + 50mm f6.3 lens + 6×9 back. I had the luxury of several backs and I took the photo from the same location to compare. Which one will you prefer? The positive (Fuji Velvia 50) or the negative (Fuji Reala 100). Both look quite good, what’s better is for you to decide.
Day 3 of 5 of black and white photo challenge. Each day I am trying to post a photo that is taken from a different camera and a different medium. Today I picked a BW polaroid that I shot at the Sake Bar Ginn in Hong Kong a while back. Ayuchi was working late as usual that night while I took the photo. Photo taken with Mamiya Universal + 50mm f6.3 lens on Fuji FP3000b scanned with Doxie Flip. When it comes to Polaroids, it wasn’t too hard to name my next challenger, Charlie Xia. He has been the biggest ambassador for my Polaroids and we need more people like him to keep this alive! So Charlie, I nominate you to the BW photo challenge, in which to post one BW photo per day for 5 days and also nominate someone each day because it’s fun.
One of the best LF portraits I have taken recently is this one of my mom. Taken with Graflex Speed Graphic + Buhl 9″ f3.6 lens + Fuji Acros. Developed in Kodak d76, 20C 11 minutes, first minute agitation, 4 flips every minute. Fixed with Kodak RapidFix and scanned Epson Perfection V700.
I had a few shots left on my Zeiss Ikonta 532/16 before I boarded a plane at SFO. The sun was setting and made a nice reflection on the ground. Taken with Zeiss Ikonta 532/16 on Fuji Acros. Developed in Kodak d76, 20C, 11 mins, first minute agitation, then 2 flips every minute. Fixed with Kodak rapid fix and scanned with Epson Perfection 4870.