Thursday, January 4, 2018

First Snow Storm of 2018

Today we’re having our first snow storm of 2018 and pretty much the first real deal of the season in Brooklyn.

Snow storm with D700.It’s hard to resist taking some pictures. The first shot above I’ve taken with my Nikon D700 with a remote flash to light up the flakes.

Snow storm with Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic.Second set of two pictures Arosha took with his Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic camera which was his gift form us for New Year.

Snow storm with iPhone X.And the last one is simply taken with iPhone X. And they all feel completely different from each other.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Polaroid Project

Polaroid Sun 600 camera.For the longest time I had an urge to try taking pictures with a real Polaroid camera — another, now vintage, type of photography that I have never experienced. The project was hard for two reasons — I didn’t have a Polaroid camera and what’s even worse was the fact that Polaroid stopped producing the film back in 2008.

Barber shop. Impossible film.Some time ago I asked my dad to keep an eye open for an old Polaroid camera when he visits garage sales and flea markets. It took him quite a while, but one day he found one of 600 type cameras and was able to obtain it for all of $5. The camera had an old spent cartridge in it and was showing faint signs of life. Cartridge is the thing that powers the camera — batteries are inside of it.

Vika and Ignat. Polaroid film.I figured it was worth a try and ordered a pack of film by Impossible Project. They are an indy shop that tries to keep Polaroid hobby going for a lot of people with some mixed success. The pack ran me $24 for 8 shots — not cheap by any standards. I was happy to find out that my camera came to live as soon as I plugged a new cartridge in. I was not happy to find out that there is nothing “instant” about Impossible Project film — it takes 30-40 minutes for a photo to appear.

Some Polaroid photographs.After using up all of this cartridge we ended up with only a pair of decent shots. A lot of them just came out very blurry or overexposed no matter the time of day I tried to take the shots. I figured that to fully experience this camera I needed to find myself a pack of real Polaroid film. Of course that involved a gamble, since by now all the film that can be bought on eBay is expired film. And even though film could be OK, the batteries could be bad.

Impossible Project and Polaroid film packs.Either way I started following some auctions and ended up winning one. The auction was for a pair of 10 shot cartridges that expired at the end of 2009. I paid $40 with shipping included for both of them and eagerly awaited their arrival. And what do you know — they ended up being in working order and original Polaroid film is indeed instant. Half the fun is actually watching a picture appear right in front of your eyes.

Random Polaroid shots.All in all I’m quite happy with the whole experience. I still have an unopened cartridge with 10 more shots left, but out of the pictures that I already did take I like some of them a lot. Too bad Polaroid wasn’t able to keep this business profitable enough to keep it going.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Company Outing

John's house.Several weeks ago John has invited our whole Connecticut office over to his house for a company outing. Instead of taking my usual digital camera with me I decided to continue my film experiments and grabbed my dad’s old soviet made Zenit camera loaded with color film obtained at a local pharmacy.

View from the porch.I had the film processed at this point and I picked out a couple of decent shots out of the batch of 48 to post. I used The Darkroom for film development again. So the camera and film combination gave me nice soft focus, good looking bokeh and pleasant film grain.

Lake.I still had to pull out some color curves in post to get a more retro feel to the whole shoot. I don’t think I’ll be trying more color film at this point. If I ever have an urge to do more film photography I’ll stick to Black & White.

Kate and John.
Geoff.
Jen & Christina.
Erin, Deanna and Tom.
Guan & Andrew.
Game of cornhole.
Ingrid and Kate.
Terry.
John on the lake.
Ingrid.
Grilling.
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Second Roll

I’ve received the scans of my second film roll about a week ago and still haven’t posted the photographs. There are a lot of good shots again. I found these the most interesting. The most processing I’ve done on these was cropping and straightening in Photoshop. Nothing else.

Looking up.Arosha was reaching for something up high and I asked Alena to look up as well. It’s not very sharp, but it just works on this photograph.

Chess.I walked up to these guys and asked permission to take a photo. No response followed. Then one voice said — the silence means agreement. I took a shot and thanked them. No reply followed — they are all in the game.

Seagull at Sheepshead Bay canal.There are a lot of seagulls all around Sheepshead Bay canal. Each pole is occupied.

Alisa.The daughter of our friends Vika and Ignat — Alisa — playing in one of the local parks.

Shublik.Our Shublik is beautiful even in black and white. With age he’s got much easier to photograph even with a manual camera. He’s not a kid anymore.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.Verrazano-Narrows Bridge — even to this day every time I see it I’m amazed by it’s beauty and sheer size. Whenever I have somebody come over from overseas this is the first spot I take them to.

Roll & Roaster.Roll & Roaster is one of the oldest places on Emmons Avenue. This antique car looked very fitting in front of it.

Silhouette.I was sitting on bench at the end of the canal when I saw this man going somewhere in a suite and old style hat. It’s a good place to take photographs of people going on about their business without intruding.

Yom Kippur.On the last warm day of the year people were coming out from synagogues on a day of Yom Kippur to enjoy the passing summer.

That’s all for today. A good set, but I probably won’t be doing more film anytime soon. The age of instant gratification has ruined me.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First Film Results

Arosha up close.This morning I got an email from The Darkroom about my film — it has been developed and scans were available for download — they will send the CD with them and the negatives in the mail later. What can I say? I got extremely excited and anxious about looking at them and now that I did look at them I’m even more excited.

Alena at Floyd Bennett Field. Not sure what caused the scratch.Pretty much all of the photographs came out well. Some might not have a great subject or not have a good composition — this one I definitely should pay more attention to, but overall — great results that are beyond my expectations. Good exposure, good light, good focus, good subjects, great results.

Street. Williamsburg.I’m looking and looking at these over and over and I’m completely psyched. As my friend Andrey said that this moment with film is much more pronounced than it is with digital. You’re taking the photographs without seeing what they are, you are waiting to complete the film, you send the film out, you wait for the results and all this time the feelings get built up and then you see the scans. And when they are a good — excitement overflows you! That’s what I’m feeling now.

Brooklyn Heights. Promenade over looking Manhattan.In fact, and this is a rare one, the only thing that I needed to fix on some of these is the level of horizon. Also some scan got a large thin scratch going through them. I’m not sure weather it’s my fault or the lab did something wrong. Otherwise I’m very happy with sharpness and contrast. I love the grain and how the light got rendered. I really don’t have anything to fix.

Williamsburg shore line. Brooklyn Flea.I’m still surprised by the forgiveness of the film with respect to the exposure. If my D700 can adjust aperture and shutter speed with 1/3rd of a stop and has a very advanced metering device, Zenit advances in full stops and has an antique metering wire powered by selenium. A lot of these shots in very different conditions were taken with me somewhat winging the exposure setting, yet none of them are ruined.

Flowers. Floyd Bennett Field.Maybe a lot of the credit for this should go to The Darkroom. I’m not sure whose fault the scratch is, but I surely am going to use their service in the future. I also will be shooting more film it looks like. I bought two rolls to start with anyhow.

Self portrait.I can go on and on with my rambling and photos, but I think I’ll stop now. I’ll pick out some more photographs from this roll and make another post. But do not fear, I will not post all 36 of them. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and load a new film into the camera.

P.S. I don’t remember the last time I posted straight out of camera photographs. Remarkable.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Film Photography

Soviet made Zenit-E SLR camera.As I have mentioned in some other posts I decide to try some film photography. I don’t think that it’s anything more than an experiment. I just want to try. All this vintage feel to it attracts me for some reason. The days before everything got consumed by plastic.

Ilford HP5 Plus 35mm black & white film.The camera that I’m going to try first is soviet made Zenit-E. It belongs to my dad and I remember it very well from my childhood. Not only the lens focusing is manual, so is the metering. This one has a guide of a kind. It measures light with a built in light sensor on top of the lens and a small wire moves around in a window. You use that to manually calculate the right exposure.

Soviet made Zenit-E SLR camera.I bought 2 rolls of Ilford HP5+ black & white 35mm film. I loaded up one of them into the camera and I’m ready to shoot. There is a pretty big chance that I’m going to end up with 36 blurry photographs that were not exposed right, but that’s what the experiments are for.

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