Posts

Notecards Revisited

Image
This past summer I wrote twice about making notecards Making Notecards in the Darkroom Paper Scraps: More Notecards! In both cases I used scrap photopaper and made them in the darkroom. They have proved popular by recipients. I was contemplating making more and wanted to look at a less labor-intensive method using Giclee or ink-jet printing. The photopaper versions have been made on Ilford Art 300 paper which is a heavy 300 GSM 100% cotton rag paper from Hahnemuhle the German art paper maker. It has a pleasant coarse texture like water color paper. In the past I have made C-prints on Fuji papers but never ink-jet. Peak Imaging my go-to film developer and print maker does make ink-jet prints and exclusively on Hahnemuhle ink-jet papers. So I decided to dip my toe into this world. I ended up selecting 4 different papers to see what they were like.  Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308gsm Hahnemuhle William Turner 310gsm Hahnemuhle Bamboo

Fuji GSW 690 III is back: Thoughts on this camera

Image
I just got back my second roll of film from my Fuji GSW 690III since I broke it last February. Right before lockdown I was on holiday near Machynlleth in North Wales and on some wet rocks I slipped and all 6'3" of me was laid out flat on the ground before I knew what happened. The camera whipped over my head and slammed on one of the rocks.  Fuji GSW 690III Fortunately, I was uninjured but the shutter was knackered. With lockdown shortly afterwards, I wasn't in a hurry to find out if it could be fixed or how much it cost. Finally a few months ago I got around to  it and sent it into Camera Repair Workshop in Milton Keynes (UK). After a few weeks Dave sent an estimate for about £150 which seemed more than fair. I did speak with him on the phone and he said it might take time due to restrictions around Covid. After a couple of weeks I got the camera back in great shape and ready to go. I would recommend his work and plan to use him again. He said over the phone that when Fu

Note on Mamiya 645 Pro Cable Release

Image
I was struck by a comment on a Reddit by a Mamiya 645 Pro owner about not having a cable release. The Mamiya 645 Pro has no cable release capability without adding a small adapter. While the adapter is small and trivial but it can be expensive or difficult to find.  I know when I first learned of this I found it frustrating. I bought the adapter but have believed one could make one oneself very easily. So this Reddit user inspired me to confirm my suspicions.  The Mamiya 645 shutters are electronic and so don’t require a mechanical element to release. On the adapter there are four sockets and I believed only two are necessary. A simple switch is all that should be required. First I used an ohmmeter to test the contacts and found that contacts 1 and 3 are activated by the cable release. I made a simple prototype with some patch wires and a small pushbutton switch to test my assumption. Below is a photo of the adapter where I annotate the functional pins.  Mamiya 645 Pro Cable Release Ad

Photobook: Three Wood Lands

Image
I made my first photobook back in 2008. It was a memorial to my brother's photographs and was sent to a number of friends and relatives. I made it with Blurb and subsequently did a few more. Now it seems to be all the rage on YouTube and elsewhere. It is trendy to print photos as well as everyone is tired of consuming images on screens and they want to hold something real. Now photobooks seem to be an extension of this. I agree! I think there is something special about holding a physical image. Photobook Cover Spread Here is a video overview of the book with it's content and my commentary on how I put it together and what I thought about the results.  Three Wood Lands Genesis This past year I have been engaged in a project of woodland photography focused primarily on three local woodlands. I have written up my efforts here on this blog and most of the photos hav

Best of 2020

Image
Click Above to go Straight to the Photos on Flickr! The last couple of years I have done what a lot of people do and try and select a limited number of 'best' photos of the year. These are of course by my own judgment though I do factor in likes from Flickr users in my decision.  This year I was very prolific in terms photos taken at about 375 (compared to about 50 last year!). I also have to say the yield of good photos was better. I attribute the increase in numbers mostly to my retirement from full time work this year. Covid-19 has limited travel but also provided a basis for more focus. The number of photos I am happy with went way up I think primarily because I chose to focus on intimate woodland as as subject and my further focus on three local woodlands. I have also been steadily improving technique and looking critically at the results. I ended up with perhaps 30 candidates on my initial long list.  The year divided almost in half betwee

Woodwalton Misty Morning

Image
I was out again last week at Woodwalton Fen in the early morning as there was a forecast of some fog. I wasn’t disappointed as I walked in the pre-dawn darkness. I stopped in the middle of the reserve where a bench is located by a small pond. I sat and sipped coffee and ate my breakfast while I waited for the light to come up. When the light and color saturated I picked up my equipment and walked on.  I headed down a track I last travelled last summer along a line of oak trees. This lead to a little used trail and I found my first photo. Three interesting shaped trees in the mist. I setup first with my 150mm lens but needed the 90mm lens to capture it. This lens does not get much use. It is difficult to see the image on the ground glass because of the way the light disperses.  I was using my SINAR Zoom film back exclusively today and had loaded a roll of Fuji Provia 100. My limited experience with shooting in mist in fog has me favoring Fuji Astia and Provia. I find that Fuji Velvia an

SINAR Zoom Rollfilm Back: One year later...

Image
Last year I was watching a Steve O'nions' video where he used a Horsman 6x12 roll filmback on his Intrepid 4x5. I had picked up years ago an old 6x9 MPP filmback that I have used on the Intrepid I have. I am a sucker for the panoramic format (I really enjoy shooting a Fuji G617.) so when I saw the 6x12 I thought that might be something I could use.  With rollfilm backs on a 4x5 the inevitable question why not just crop the 4x5 image? The usual response is economics. 120 film is cheaper than the 4x5 equivalent. Processing is easier to find as well and more affordable.  I researched 6x12 backs and stumbled across the SINAR film backs and the Zoom model in particular. These backs fit like a sheet film holder and so do not require the ground glass to be removed for each image. The Zoom model allows one to shoot a variety of formats on the same roll of film. This means 6x12, 6x9, 6x8, 6x6, and 6x4.5. I am a sucker for versatility and fortunately at the time I found one for sale for