Ilford Pan F 50 Film

In the days of having more stores carrying film a few years back, I absolutely adored using Ilford PanF 50 film. I mainly only shoot on my off days, which means it can only happen once I drag myself out of bed and have large amounts of coffee. By then, the light conditions are much more conducive to using ASA50 film without a tripod. 

This particular roll of Ilford PanF 50 was taken during a trip to Chattahoochee Nature Center a few years ago. While I know it may be a bit of a cop-out to post old photos instead of new things, these photos are worth sharing.  They haven’t surfaced before now because I have a problem critiquing the images I take. I get the negatives back and always think most of them are terrible. Now that I have the ability to scan them and inspect them on a larger scale, I’ve learned to hold my judgement until the scans are finished. I usually find that I like more of them than I would have otherwise thought. When I only had the prints or contact sheet to critique, it was very difficult for me to “see” the images in front of me.

At any rate, these shots using my Canon Rebel Ti and Ilford Pan F 50 film turned out great, and I’m delighted I gave them a second look. These were scanned with an Epson V500 using their negative holder. The photos, amazingly, were not touched up in any way other than removing dust bunnies here and there.  These have the tones that I usually have to play around with in PS to achieve.  Pardon the excessive patting-my-own-back  narrative in this post. I love these images enough that they deserve a little respect. Enjoy!

For me, this shot was the winner of the day. The tones, the composition, and the clarity of the subject against the  blurred background were all pretty much spot-on.

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Carpenter bee taking a late lunch. I love the way the left and right halves of the photo are different enough to stand on their own as perfectly good images.

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Photo two of the carpenter bee. i like the one above a bit better, but the bee was in better focus in the photo below.

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This shot was a surprise. I didn’t even remember taking it, but I think I pretty much nailed the composition.

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One of the nicer covered bench areas for taking a rest from the nature trail.

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The clarity on this scarecrow is simply amazing. I can’t stop looking at it.

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There are a few shots left from this roll that I’ll post in a day or two. I didn’t want to post everything in one post, plus  I can tell this post is already incredibly long and image-heavy. I hope you enjoyed seeing these. I always appreciate feedback about technique or recommendations of any kind. Feel free to chime in with a comment if you’re so inclined. Thanks!

Tea Time

Shopping in thrift stores is the one thing I love to do about as much as I love taking photos. Like anyone afflicted with the thrift store obsession, I have certain things I like to collect. Among these are mid-century California pottery, cameras (of course), some Japanese porcelain figurines, and tea sets. I don’t even care if there’s a little damage to some of the pieces or if the set isn’t complete.

A week ago, I happened upon a couple of early 1930s harp tables and decided that I would use them as a base for taking some still photography shots of some of the tea sets I have. Using the same extremely shallow depth of field to showcase a certain detail or design, I took to task. The photos you see here are some of the highlights. Incidentally, these photos were taken with a Pentax K-1000 that was also thrifted somewhere in the midwest by my partner in crime. I cleaned it up and replaced its light seals the night before these were taken. Anyway, here we go!

First up, the most complete set I have. Some gorgeous hand-painted Chikaramachi from Japan. The teapot’s spout has some damage, which is the place most teapots are injured. Even with this damage, the colors and scenery in these pieces was just too gorgeous to pass on. I wonder whose pantry these were sitting in for 70+ years? Strangely fascinating.

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Next is a tetsubin with three tea cups and holders. I’ve had the tetsubin for at least a year and a half, but these cups and holders came along a couple of weeks ago. I had been hoping to find something that would even remotely go with the set. Luckily, these came along.

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Finally, my most recent find was several pieces of a Nippon Noritake pattern. The teapot is badly damaged on one side, which I may show in a later project. For now, I wanted to let this girl show off her beauty in all its glory. Sadly, this is the only cup I was able to get. Luckily, there’s a saucer to go with it. I  hope I can get my hands on more of this pattern.

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And to end this post, here’s my shameless plug for Kodak Portra 400. I was so excited about using the Pentax K-1000 for this project, I forgot to set the ASA on the camera to 400. The camera was set on 200 the entire time.  On top of that, many of these shots were overexposed on purpose by about 1/2 stop. With latitude like this, I’ve already ordered and received another 15 rolls. Now if Autumn will just get here already.

Photos From the Past

I’ve had these photos for some time, but hesitated to post them because they’re not my work. They’re mostly my mom’s work. The images in this post came from a photo album I smuggled out of my parents’ house several years ago. Good thing, too, because a hurricane all but destroyed this house four years ago.

When my sister called me to tell me what had happened to the house, the first thing I said to her was “Get the photo albums OUT of that house! Any pictures you can find, get them out!” Turns out, my sister had gotten them out of the house shortly after my father moved in with her because he could no longer live alone due to health problems.

In these photos, I am roughly the age my father is in the pictures he’s in. Every time I look through them, I’m drawn into what was my parents’ world before I came into existence. They’re in my hometown of Jackson, Louisiana, which is less than a blip on any map you might come across.

A final note. I pained greatly over whether or not to digitally clean these photos up, as some of them are pretty badly damaged. I am in the process of cleaning up some of the photos that are more extremely damaged, but I decided to present the photos pretty much as they are. I did balance some of them out for better contrast, but only a little bit.. and they’re easy to spot. At any rate,  I do hope you enjoy them.

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This is my mom at roughly 30 years old. This photo was taken where she herself grew up, which is an even more remote place than where they raised me. And it’s not your imagination from the photo. She’s pretty tall.

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This is my dad at roughly 38 years old. I love this photo beyond words. My dad looks so incredibly happy here. Mom and dad had both fairly recently divorced from previous marriages, and it looks like they were really enjoying one another’s company. The shadows in this photo make me smile every time. It’s amazing how the shadows can tell a little more of the story than was originally intended.

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So one thing you might not guess from the photo below is that my mom was the daughter of a preacher. And from what I’m told, he was very devout and extremely strict. That makes me love this photo even more. Mom was a bad girl! I

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This is the last photo I’m posting today, but it’s one of my favorites out of the entire bunch. I love this one because dad is reading a trashy detective magazine. I would have never guessed him to be the type to read such a publication. In all honestly, he was probably bored.

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I hope you enjoyed these. I’ll be busy tomorrow re-sealing a Pentax K1000 that my boyfriend picked up for me in the midwest. If I’m done early enough. I’ll be putting a test roll through it. Once all that is done, I’ll be touching up some of the really bad photos from the series you see in this post. I am all about keeping things as they are, but some of these photos are damaged beyond being really enjoyable. I hope you have a great weekend, and I’ll be posting soon.

First Roll of Kodak Portra 160

Yesterday, I did the first part of a photo project I’ve been itching to get started. I used Kodak Portra 160 and a Canon Elan 7 to take these photos. There are lots of them, so my next 5 or 6 posts will be from this series. Because of the “macro” nature of the characters, I decided to use blur to fill out some of them so they wouldn’t seem so scrawny. In a few shots, I used a very narrow depth of field to give objects in the foreground a sense of movement, as if the photo was taken while the subject was moving its head or weapon (see the last photo).  The overall result was absolutely surreal. This approach did not work in my favor with a few of the shots, but generally it was very effective. The series was lots of fun to take, and some of the results were unexpected (read that as “learning experiences”), but most of them were great. I hope you enjoy them!

 

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One word about Portra and this series. In many of the shots, the shutter speed 1/20 to 1/60 of a second. Most of them were closer to 1/20.  I used a small rubbermaid container as a stand for the camera and looked through the viewfinder at a 90 degree angle to focus and compose. Strangely enough, this made composing MUCH easier. Go figure! 

Also, I did test using Tv on the Canon to get a shutter speed that was more conducive to taking some of these photos handheld. Canon did not like my selected shutter speed and could not give a ‘proper’ aperture value, meaning the shots in question were not exposed properly. The Portra’s latitude more than made up for my gear limitations. As far as this film is concerned, I’m in love. I have 15 more rolls of Portra 160 on their way to  my grubby hands as I type this. Yes, it was that incredible. I do have a few rolls of Portra 400, but the ability to overexpose 160 by a stop or two makes it a superb film to use in some of my older cameras, too. 

I hope Kodak is around until my fingers are too bent from arthritis. I want to use this film until they have to pry my camera from my cold dead hands!

Summer

I haven’t had a real holiday this summer, but it’s fast approaching. Vacation might not even happen in the proper season of Summer, but that’s the thing about the South (and sometimes the Midwest). It stays hot long after Summer’s gone. I’m waxing a bit nostalgic over the past couple of years, as they’ve given me some of the most fun holidays I’ve ever had.

Captain and his crew on the deck.

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Stealth photos on the lake are always fun.  This one is of Matt enjoying a beverage while we motor around the lake.
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The bar on the dock is completely decorated in what I affectionately refer to as “liquor swag.”
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After a tough day on the job, this Stylus Epic got a much-deserved break.

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I hope all of you are having a great summer so far. Thanks for reading!

 

Doughnuts and More Found Film

Nothing gets my sweet tooth more excited than driving past a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop and seeing the “Hot and Fresh” sign flashing in the window.

During the day, Krispy Kreme looks like just another place with a fun sign.

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But once night falls, its evil glow can topple even the strongest effort at resistance. The glow of the sign gets into your head and you can’t get it out. Every time I pass the place at night, I say to myself “The glow gets into your soul.” Hah! Luckily it isn’t getting into my belly.

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Here are a few more of the “found film” shots. I love these!

Atlanta skyline with just a wee ( read as “a lot”) bit of lens distortion. I need to take some better gear down to that overpass and try this shot again.

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Here’s my friend Dan, who was with me the day I shot the roll of film. I think he was over the whole thing. 🙂 Nine years of waiting to be processed did soften these shots, as can especially be seen in the photo of Dan. The cast has also gone very green. I chose to leave these photos as they are instead of doing any color correction on them.

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Apologies for the short post today, but my day is starting earlier than usual. Have a great day and take a picture of something!