For the past week I’ve been a trip in the Yucatán! Been too busy to update my main blog, but I still frequently post on my instagram. Traveling light, some might disagree (I define this based on whether or not I’m hauling around my 120 Mamiya). All film and all Nikon! The Nikon F6, 35ti, Nikonos V, and the superb 70-200 VR II and 24-70 with nano-coating. I found myself using the F6 and 70-200mm with the 35mm 35ti in my pocket, fantastic combination! If I needed anything wider than 35mm, I could just bust out the 24-70mm, which is quite the clunker. Fantastic lens and coating, got it originally to fight glare while shooting basketball, but I don’t recommend it for anyone but dedicated professionals. Feels nearly as heavy as the 70-200!
Tearing down and setting up my wet lab for the third or fourth time. I am moving it to another room in my house. Not only will I have more room but it’s a dedicated room that won’t need plastic walls to be light tight, huza! I am adding a refrigerator which will do a better job of keeping my chemicals consistent, and I am also adding a new sink! My roommates will be happy to have the kitchen sink back.
This camera has seen the Pacific and Atlantic ocean all within a week! This camera is impervious to the elements, water (up to 160ft), sand (quite the killer of anything with moving parts), and snow! Came out in the ’80s, and features a very sharp lens. It has a rangefinder with no auto focus, focusing is scale based. Taken some practice but I’ve come to enjoy estimating distance along with the other manual controls. Scale focus is astonishingly accurate, I lose maybe a shot or two a roll from focus, but I try to use a smaller aperture to give me leeway. The meter isn’t bad, I tend to overexpose according to the system, which can quickly lose shadow detail. I highly recommend this camera! Use it in the rain and when traveling, and it makes me feel safe because it’s a steel brick.
New camera came in the mail last week. The display on the top looks like a pretty watch or gauges on a fancy yacht! Lens is incredibly crisp and I love that it fits in the pocket. Metering system is pretty spot on, especially for color positive but I still wish I had full manual!
These are the notes I took today while printing in my darkroom. I like to think of this as analog ‘⌘ + S’. I include aperture, filter, time exposed, test strips used, paper used, enlarger used, developer dilution, burn time, and dodge time in my notes. I start with a test strip, after developing and fixing, I write down what I think the next step needs to be. Once I get to a work print, my notes are more detailed and refer to local areas, such as ‘graffiti too dark’ or ‘burn corners’. I do this so I can return to an image and reprint it if necessary. It’s not always perfect, every batch of paper and chemicals can be slightly different but it’s a great place to start, saves lots of time. And it’s a great way to account for the dry down effect.
I started scanning the black and white 120 film I shot in Central America last year of this month. I am very excited to start printing these in the darkroom.
I’ve found a very solid workflow. I scan the negative, edit it, and then print it in the darkroom. This way I get a better look at the negative, much more detailed than looking through a lupe. Secondly I am able to edit the image in photoshop where I have more precise control before going into the darkroom, visualizing the print I want beforehand.
My favorite part of photography is that it can be extremely multifaceted. Digital photography requires you to be a techie and analog photography turns you into a chemist! Today , analog photography turned me into a electrician/handy man. Yes I love an excuse to pull out the toolbox.
The equipment, seen above under maintenance, is called an Arkay Flipper (F-15 B to be exact). It is used to dry analog prints, the metal heats up, and a piece of fabric tightly stretches across. The device is called a flipper because it can dry two prints at once, the other side is identical, so one would ‘flip’ it over to use the second spot. It is mainly used to dry fibre based prints, and I am taking it apart to clean the cloth.