Jun 30 2013

People by Fiona Howarth at the Kariton gallery

PeoplePoster

If you see a lot of imagery and primarily online it can be easy to forget the pleasure of looking at a quality photographic print. This is the case with Fiona Howarths ”People” at the Kariton Gallery, it is an absolute visual delight. The prints themselves have a consistency that ties them together along with the subject matter and strong yet subtle compositions. The use of the medium of film as the means of capture lends a certain look as well, it was after some reflection that I realized that they reminded me of the photographs I was familiar with from the National Geographic magazines of my youth.

This collection of imagery presents a candid look into moments of the subjects day. The physical distance often held between the photographer and the poeple gives the viewer the sense they are there as an unseen flaneur. The pictures transcend the notion that they are travel photographs, rather they are sincere glimpses into the subjects lives and visually rich environments.  Seen from the point of view of a western life the differences are immediately apparent yet the humanity captured allows you to believe that it could be you in the scene.

The show runs from June 28, 2013 to July 23, 2013 and if you are able I strongly recommend seeing it, I will be returning for a further look.

As is with the structure of the Kariton gallery the prints are available for purchase.


Jun 29 2013

#Instapoem 1 #poem

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Gatherers of light

Hewers of would and could

You know what I did

Not because it was true

I posted a picture

You liked it

Do you like me?


Jun 29 2013

Minox GT-E

Minox-9753

I picked this little Minox up at the 2013 Vancouver camera show.  It does have an issue with the needle in the viewfinder that should indicate the shutter speed but doesn’t. However the actual shutter is working properly so it’s not the worst problem to have.  There are many perfectly good cameras that I use where I have no idea what shutter speed the camera chose, at least with the Minox GT-E and it’s aperture priority I am selecting the aperture.

As for batteries it requires 5.6V to operate and some of these batteries can be hard to source.  Fortunately 4 zinc air hearing aid batteries give 5.6v and fit perfectly so that’s what I’ve used.  In keeping with the miniature nature of this 35mm camera the film advance requires two strokes per frame.

The camera is focused at the front of the lens where you also set the aperture, this allows you to easily select a range of focus based on the depth of field for a given aperture.  This type of zone focusing is ideal for quick shooting where any other type of focusing is just too slow.  For example when I took the image of the bronze horse I was on a moving escalator I saw the horse ahead and set my focus for about 10 feet and when I reached that distance I just snapped.

If you look at the picture of the camera bellow you can see that with the aperture set for f5.6 that the depth of field would give acceptable focus from about 12 feet to infinity focus.

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Minox-9744 Minox-9740

Even with its case it is a very small camera but feels quite solid.  I like that the viewfinder is located right above the lens, this doesn’t seem to get much mention but it limits the parallax error to up and down when framing a shot.  I dislike framing a shot of a nearby object with a rangefinder only to find that I’ve included something I didn’t want in the frame.  That’s one reason I love the 100% viewfinder on my DSLR and is also an attribute of cameras that use an  LCD screen. But back to the little Minox, don’t let its cuteness fool you its a great camera and offers just that extra bit of control that is missing from another comparably great little camera the Olympus Stylus Epic.

And of course here come the images

 


Jun 27 2013

Kodak Portra 800 images

To go along with my previous post about Kodak Portra 800 here are some more images from my first roll.


Jun 25 2013

Kodak Portra 800

Portra_800_Family_LR

With all the film I shoot it may be a little surprising that this is the first time I’ve used the well-regarded Kodak Portra 800 film.  I’ve seen what others have done shooting with it and particularly like the look when it’s shot in high key situations.  I made no special effort to do anything specific with it but instead just shot it like any other film I use.  One thing that is immediately apparent is that in some cases it could have benefitted from a little less exposure and a little more shutter speed but I was using my Yashica GX with its aperture priority and electronic shutter and just went along for the ride.  For an ISO 800 film though the performance is amazing it really has quite fine grain and a relatively small amount of colour noise.  You might be surprised that I refer to ‘colour noise’ when talking about film but any unwanted information in a transmission system can be considered as noise and a photograph is most definitely the transmission of information. In addition the very process of scanning a negative is a transition from the analog world to a digital one.

Here is a close up from one of the images with no sharpening or noise processing done, just straight from the scanner.

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Not at all bad considering it’s ISO 800 film.  One thing of note and right in Kodak’s marketing literature is the amount of shadow detail that your able to retain and I agree.  The film captures highlights and shadows all in the same image while retaining detail in both.  For this reason the raw scanned images can be a little flat almost like a mild form of HDR but it provides plenty of information to work with, after all that is a reason to shoot with film particularly this one.

A comparison between an image from my Pentax Q at 1250 ISO and frame from the Portra 800 in the Yashica GX.  The field of view is slightly different as the GX has a 40mm lens vs the Q’s 50mm equivalent and I didn’t move. I have to say I prefer the film image and think that even if I had used a better low light performing camera like the Pentax K-01 it wouldn’t necessarily sway my opinion.

Portra_vs_Digital

And 100% crops from both images

Portra_vs_Digital_detail

Here are some of the images, I’m breaking this into two posts because of the number of images.


Jun 23 2013

Olympus Epic May 2013 Ektar Roll 2

Yet more images from Calgary with the fantastic little Olympus Stylus Epic.

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Jun 20 2013

Voigtlander Vito CL

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These are the 12 exposures I managed to take with my Voigtlander Vito CL before the film stopped advancing. I first noticed it when I advanced the film and could hear it skipping the sprockets. I thought I was at the end of the film. How could I think that I had taken 24 shots when I only took twelve? That’s easy I was carrying a ‘litter’ of cameras and not really paying attention to which one I had used as well as the fact that I hadn’t set the counter for the Vito CL back to zero when I loaded the film. The only real loss was the potential of taking another 12 shots as I rewound the film as soon as I ran into the problem.

The Vito CL is a viewfinder camera and you focus by the scale on the front of the lens. I prefer an actual rangefinder but scale focusing works too, it just requires estimating distances accurately. I am happy with the quality of the pictures from the Lanthar 50mm f2.8 lens. The shutter button is actually a sliding switch on the face of the camera and works quite well if you grip the camera with both thumbs on the back. Holding the camera this way ends up further reducing the already low camera shake of the leaf shutter.


Jun 18 2013

Calgary Alberta trip Miscellany 2

More non-film images from my trip to Calgary Alberta


Jun 16 2013

Polaroid T-20

I’ve broken into my last remaining box of Polaroid Spectra.  I now have 19 frames left after which I might try some Impossible Project film.

Jun16_2013_Polaroid_001


Jun 14 2013

Minolta Explorer Freedom Zoom EX

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Why would anyone choose to use this camera now when there are so many different options even just in the film world? No one needs to, I just did, you are welcome. If you must though the reasons are; the lens cover retracts like a pod bay door that’s cool’ish, at the wide end the lens is 28mm that’s wide’ish. Other than that it’s not that memorable a camera, although it does give decent results with 400ISO film. I wouldn’t use a film slower than this because at 75mm the maximum aperture is f8.9 so in low light the shutter speeds will be quite low. Enjoy your Freedom while it lasts.