Aug 25 2018

The Minolta Talker


The Minolta Talker has a limited vocabulary but just enough to be annoying.  I’m sure that in 1984 it was quite the novelty just like the Chrysler K car being able to tell you that your door was ajar or did it actually think your door was a jar?


So what does it have to say?  I’m glad you asked.  It has three different things it says: Load FilmToo dark use flashCheck Distance all in its annoying you don’t know what your doing “voice” thankfully you can turn it off.

What about the Minolta Talker itself, well it has a lens cover that clips on the front of the camera something that could be easily lost.  The lens is a 35mm f2.8 4 element lens which shouldnt be judged from these images shot on expired Fuji Xtra 400.   The lens is actually as good as its ability to speak is ridiculous.

One thing about one camera:  The Minolta Talker (Minolta AF-Sv) has a maximum shutter speed of 1/625 of a second which was faster than any other similar camera from the time.

Aug 19 2018

The Inevitability of Piss Shark in the Brain of Somebody

The Inevitability of Piss Shark in the Brain of Somebody-2

‘The Inevitability of Piss Shark in the Brain of Somebody’  – After Andres Serrano, Damien Hirst

I don’t recall exactly when the idea of marrying these two iconic works of art developed in my mind.

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living – Damien Hirst 1991

Immersion (Piss Christ) – Andres Serrano – 1987

I think it was somewhere around the time I read about Damien Hirst’s ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ becoming murky and requiring a fresh shark.  Both works were and remain controversial, Hirst’s primarily is questioned as to whether it truly is art and Serrano’s for its perceived blasphemy.  The Hirst work exists as a three dimensional object in the world while the Serrano work is a two dimensional photograph but both spring from conceptual art.

So what is this image that I created then? Maybe a little blasphemy of contemporary art or satire of the actual works and how we perceive them? Ether way I found the idea amusing which is usually good enough for me.

On a technical note, I recorded the image using 35mm Kodak Portra 400 film which I then scanned and then had printed.  I created a small print 4″x6″ to fit the requirements for a miniature print show called ‘Compartments’ curated by Latent Image Magazine and held at the Gam Gallery. Compartments

And don’t worry I don’t need to see a urologist that’s not urine but its deceptively difficult to create a reasonable facsimile of what was used for ‘Piss Christ’

The two other images I created for Compartments.

Compartments_010 Compartments_005


Aug 12 2018

Yashica Samurai with Agfa Ultra 100


The Yashica Samurai is a half frame camera which is great because it allows you to get twice the number of images from a roll of film.  And that matters when the outdated film is rare like this roll of Agfa Ultra 100 a friend Duncan kindly gave me to shoot.  Agfa Ultra was described as a saturated film with punchy contrast but after being outdated for a few years it seems to have mellowed out to a pastel pallet and much lower contrast. The sort of contrast like that between a large shrimp and a prawn they look the same to me and are both delicious.  Introduced in 2003 (the same year digital cameras first out sold film cameras)  It had a brief existence.


The above spectral graph is an indication of how Ultra compares to Kodak Eltar 100 a film it is often compared to.  One interesting thing you can see is that the green sensitive layers of the Agfa Ultra are relatively insensitive to blue light compared to many other films including Ektar. (Its the green line bellow 500nm that I’m talking about). Intuitively this would suggest that it would reproduce clean deep blue skies better.  Agfa claimed that the colour sensitivity of Ultra and Vista more closely matched human colour perception and referred to it as ‘EYE VISION technology”  This is a good time to remember that film is really a 3 dimensional capture medium, while it may be very thin it is comprised of somewhere around 7 layers on top of the substrate that light must pass through and be filtered and absorbed by.  Film is amazing stuff!

One thing about one film: Agfa claimed an exposure latitude of -2 to +3EV for Ultra 

Get ready for a wack of images because I squeezed 70 shots on the roll because of the Samurai being half frame. (Best viewed in full screen)



Aug 5 2018

Pentax MZ6 Portra 400


Not so much a post about the camera and the film as just some images to share.  I choose the Pentax MZ6 often because its light weight and shares many lenses with my digital camera and I choose Portra 400 because its a lovely reliable film with fine grain and isn’t the normal random out of date stuff that I accumulate and shoot.