There is an excellent restaurant in Northwood in Shropshire set up by family friends and outside there is a quite epic display of the proprietor’s tractor collection. There must be 20-30 tractors there, all Fords, mainly shipped back in containers from New Zealand. It reminded me my camera collection at least doesn’t take up too much space. My wife did not share that point of view.
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Whilst portraits are not something I do often, I’ve been trying to do more of my friends and family. Medium format film captures so much detail enabling all the character of a persons face to be recorded. The 80mm f2.8 lens is also a good performer and can create a nice and shallow depth of field to make the image pop. Below are 3 generations of the Walmsley family – my Brother, Father and Grandfather.
Below is a list of what I have been some of the most interesting reading material on the internet regarding film photography. I’ll keep updating this list with any more that I read regularly!
Despite only being an hour and a half flight away from London, I had never previously visited the Emerald Isle. After living abroad in the US and New Zealand I realised I had traveled far around the world but had not spent enough time exploring whats on my doorstep. I booked a 3 day long weekend trip flying to Cork with the plan of driving around the coast and the Ring of Kerry.
I drove from Cork to Cloanakilty for Lunch and then take the coastal roads to Bantry where I’d stop the first night. Saturday the route was through the Killarney National Park and onward anti-clockwise around the ring of Kerry, staying the evening in Waterville (apparently Charlie Chaplins favourite holiday destination!). The next day would mainly consist of the drive to Cork and a short trip to the Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the Blarney Stone (if thats your sort of thing – and it does seem to be the thing to do for busses and busses and busses of American tourists).
From a photography perspective I took my Bronica as I hoped to get some good landscapes in medium format. I also took my digital, which to be honest I should have left at home (although it was useful for metering!) What I would say is that (good) weather can be unpredictable. The light for the whole trip (including sunset and sunrise) was relatively poor as it was a mixture of fog, rain and only small glimmers of blue sky. I’d taken 3 backs for the Bronica with a roll of Portra 400, TMax 400 and FP4. As it turned out I only took 2 exposures on FP4 (this was supposed to be for long exposures keep reading for more context). Getting the photos back I must say that I much prefer my B&W TMax images (another post with these coming soon). I took quite a few similar shots at the cliffs of Kerry in both B&W and Colour and I think the B&W works alot better with the overcast sky. The colour ones are ok, I like the purple heather, but I think colour is actually more of a distraction to the power of the landscape with these. Despite generally being a big fan of the square 6×6 format I’ve found myself cropping quite a few down to a conventional image ratio. Acquiring a 6×4.5 back is definitely on my to do list.
I ‘d taken a tripod expecting to do some long exposures with an ND filter, something I’ve not done yet on film. However, somewhat stupidly, after setting up my first shot on a beach just out of Cloanakilty I went to change the shutter to Bulb mode and I was perplexed; where the hell was it? So it turns out there is no bulb mode on the body, but some lenses have a switch on them to allow this. I didn’t end up trying this out until I got home and I can report its a bit of a pain in the arse. You’ve got to unscrew something and then flip the switch back to stop the exposure. At least this way it doesn’t run down the batteries.
If you’re reading this researching a trip like this some tips I would give:
- Check out Giles Normans work (such as Ireland: Timeless Images) for inspiration
- Leave more time – 3 days to do the ring of Kerry and the south Coast from Cloanakilty was not really enough time to relax – it was alot of driving.
- Definitely visit some seafood restaurants (such as O’Conners Seafood in Bantry which was excellent)
- Try and see some music while you’re there. I saw some excellent traditional Irish music at the Lobster pub in Waterville.
Lugging my Bronica up England’s highest peak at least was worth it for this one shot. It was an overcast and foggy day, but I like the way the film has captured the texture and tone of the mountainside here. Unfortunately I only have two shots left from this trip due to an error in development.
In an effort to reduce my costs while shooting more film I’ve started to home process black and white film once more. During my Imperial College days I learnt the basics in the excellent darkroom the photo society had there and then continued with a makeshift bathroom in my flat after graduating. I never really got back into it when I moved abroad and I’d stopped using monochrome films so much because to get a roll processed at my normal labs in London were over a tenner each; this soon adds up and also was making me hesitate before each shot when really I should be experimenting with photography more.
Anyway, the error. This was the first 120 film I had self developed in at least 4 years. Whereas before I had a nice dark bathroom to use, my current flat does not, so I am having to use a changing bag for the first time. Its pretty much a pain in the arse and seems especially so when loading 120 film onto the plastic patterson reels I have. I completely butchered this film. When the roll went stiff I didn’t realise the film had got so jammed that it crumpled and ripped. Trying to keep my frustration at bay I decided the rip was too bad to continue winding it on so cut my losses (literally). I couldn’t actually remember what was on this film so at the time I wasn’t too bothered, it was collateral damage in reacquainting myself with self processing.
The remaining shots came out well but I was pretty gutted to realise this was my Scafell Pike roll. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to go and lug my Bronica up there again sometime!
Lens: Ricoh 40mm f2.8 Color Rikenon
Focus: 3 Zones with clicks, but does also have a distance scale in metres.
Shutter Speed: Auto only – not displayed in finder
Aperture: Auto only – displayed in finder via a needle
Meter: CDS sensor on the lens
ISO: 25 – 400
Price Paid: £2.50
I picked up this little compact camera, presumably from the 1970s, from a flea market in Christchurch NZ for the princely sum of $5NZ (~£2.50 at the time). It was completely covered in dust and the light seals were decrepit but it seemed the shutter fired. The needle didn’t move in the finder, but I thought I’d take the risk anyway. It looked pretty cool though and I was intrigued if the f2.8 lens would be a hidden gem. So on my return to the UK I bought some light seal material and had a go at fixing it up. I’d never done this before but its really easy (although more on this later). It took me the best part of a year to actually get through the expired roll of Ilford Delta 100 I put in there, mainly because I kept forgetting to take it with me. There wasn’t much excuse for this – its relatively compact (it’ll fit easily in a coat pocket) and not all that heavy, even though its construction is mainly metal.
So here came the moment of truth, I decided to start home developing B&W again recently and picked this test roll to be the first. Not great scientific method (testing my B&W developing skills and also a camera I didn’t know if was working in one shot). It became clear quite quickly after removing the film from the Patterson tank after development that something had gone wrong. After inspecting the negatives I deduced there must have been a light leak on one side of the camera. How could that be? Hadn’t I replaced the seals well enough? So I picked up the camera and realised that I’d missed adding a strip by the film door. I guess because all of this had pretty much perished, I’d not noticed that there should be foam here. Furthermore on inspecting the camera I also saw that there was a weird oily looking reflection from inside the lens. This certainly had appeared recently and after some quick searching online for the symtoms the results seemed to imply that the glue in the lens had come unstuck. So in summary, not a great test of this camera, but it does look like they have alot of potential (see a review below with some good image samples) and are going cheap on eBay so why not try one out?
More information from external sites:
Whilst Canary Warf is a place I almost never go, its tube station is pretty impressive. It was designed by British Architect legend Norman Foster and was opened in 1999 and is worth a visit if you can think of any other reason to goto Canary Warf. The tones of TMax capture it well, however I can’t believe I scanned it with so much dust on the negative. Its certainly a candidate for a rescan when I get time. Also its one I developed myself, probably with Ilfotec HC, in the Imperial College darkroom. I’m about to start developing my own black and white film once more in my new flat. I don’t think I ever mastered the process before and got relatively inconsistent results but I’m going to focus this time on trying to get better. I think as well I’ll try to settle down on one B&W film to use as I’ve never really got into the habit of just using one for more than a few rolls. I haven’t fully decided which one yet but the tones from this TMax scan are making me lean this way.
It was a cold snowy start to 2013 in London. I’m a big fan of photographing in the snow – its effective at removing distractions and helping you to see scenes that you see every day with a new perspective. This scene I saw almost every day walking from my flat into work. The road is popular for graffiti artists, but this piece in particular was my favourite from during the time I lived in the area. Its a cartoon skull on its side, with a great mouth that wraps around a doorframe. I captured a few shots of this street art from different angles, but I quite like this one with the eye peeping over the snow capped hedge (although the chromatic aberration around the tree branches and the busyness of these branches does detract a little from the poignancy of eye looking over). I chose this image after stumbling across it on an old Facebook album, but upon searching my photo library in my library it appears that I had lost all of the scans from this roll of film. Luckily I had recently been sorting out my negative storage so I could quickly rescan. It just shows that multiple backups are so important in general and its pretty handy to have a physical one as well as digital!
Lightbox Monday is an idea I’ve, ahem, borrowed from another blog I enjoy reading each week. I’ve at least changed the date… Anyway after a crazy few years of moving about (and a brief spell of living in a van the other side of the world), its been nice to go back through my photo library and do a good bit of sorting out. Its cool to see some photos, underrated at the time, become much more interesting with the passing of time.
This is a shot from a roll of HP5 plus I took with me to Morocco. I’d managed to get a standby flight on Ryanair for £25 round trip for me and a mate and this felt like the most exotic place the budget airline could take me in January. We stayed in Marrakech but did an overnight excursion to the northern edge of the Sahara desert, where we did a couple of hours on a camel and camped in a traditional berber tent. I am quite fond of this picture, much more than any of digital shots I got of these camels. For another favourite from this trip check out this one.
I have seldom used telephoto lenses with my film cameras, usually really as a novelty, as the situations that require a telephoto tend to have me reaching my my digital. Whether its wildlife or sport generally the need for fast focusing and rapid fire generally mean I feel like its a waste of film. However the Whitchurch Young Farmer ploughing match provided a good opportunity to try out my reasonably new Nikkor 80-200mm f2.8 AF-D on film with some slow moving targets. One of the things that is great about the Nikon system is the great interchangeability of lenses and bodies, and this lens works great with the F3. It does however feel a little unbalanced due to the weight of the lens and the lack of full handgrip like on later SLRs. I particularly like the colour rendition of this lens with Kodak Ektar (especially the brown of the soil). As for the manual focus, 3/4 of the shots from here were keepers, which I didn’t think was too bad.
Its been a while since my last post due to moving flat and many other things. In that time I’ve made a few impulse purchases from eBay, one of which being the mighty Nikon F5. Its remarkable that today you can buy a camera that was the best in the world in 1996, today, for a little over a hundred quid.
I’ve run two rolls through it so far, using mainly the 50mm Series E Ai lens, which is of course manual focus. I’ve been pleasantly surprised using my Ai lenses with this camera. The 100% viewfinder is bright and easy to focus with. The metering with these is only spot and center weighted, which is OK, and I wonder if it was a technical or purely a product decision to remove the matrix metering the F4 had with these. As for the handling, its a relatively heavy camera, but coupled with small light lenses like the Series E 50mm f1.8, it honestly doesn’t feel too burdensome to carry round.
These photos are from a roll of TMax 100 I’ve had sitting in my freezer for years from a short trip up to the family farm. I had them processed by a lab and scanned them myself with an Epson v500. Whilst these shots were pedestrian for a camera of the F5’s spec, the main thing that I could appreciate is the ergonomics of this camera. It fits in the hand just right, is so well balanced, and has controls in what feels like the most intuitive place. They must have got it right, because over 20 years later every camera Nikon has made since then looks and feels pretty much the same as this.
In 2012 I took a vacation to Rio with my F3 loaded with Fuji Provia and a FM with Ektar. By this point I was fully enamored with shooting film, so much so that I decided to exclusively take film cameras on this trip (my first time doing so). I was also very much enjoying using these two manual focus Ai Nikon Bodies and took a lens selection of the 24mm f2.8 (non-ai version Ai’d), 35mm f2.8 Ai and a 50mm f1.8 Series E. I find this to be a decent travel set-up (so much so I took almost the same gear on my 2017 trip to Utah save for the 24mm which I decided to swap out for a 20mm), although the bodies are made out of metal, the lenses are so small and relatively light, that overall its less weight then I’d have normally taken with digital gear.
I must admit I felt a little uneasy about not taking my DSLR (which was a D90 at the time). What if the X-Rays fogged my film? What if I didn’t nail the shot and didn’t realise until later? These fears proved to be misguided (the film went through 6 X-Ray scanners to no visible detriment) and my decision was also helped by the fact that the year before when traveling with a friend in Belize we had a load of camera gear stolen. He had all of his digital gear taken, whereas I lucked out, in the sense that they only went in the top of my bag and stole my F100 and another 50mm Series E lens. If they’d have rummaged further they’d have found my D90 and lenses. I figured taking older film cameras would make them less desirable to steal and make me stand out a bit less.
One thing I completely misjudged was how much film I should take. I can’t remember exactly how many rolls I’d bought, but put it this way, now in 2017 I still have rolls left from this trip sitting in my freezer. This error I guess was all part of the transition to shooting film. The limitations of the number of shots per roll has made me have a higher value on each shutter press. So naturally I take less photos. But hopefully a better percentage of good ones. I estimated the quantity of film needed based on the digital shots I’d taken on a similar trip which proved a schoolboy error.
As for the photos, looking back on them I enjoy them greatly. The fantastic sunlight of Rio brought out the best of the Ektar, especially around sunset. I love the gradient of how the highlights are blown out as the sun is setting on the mountains of Rio in two of the pictures below. I find this behaviour much more pleasing than digital. As for the Provia – well I’ve had pretty inconsistent results with slide film in general, really down to me not exposing it well (see last picture in the below series). I took it on this trip as a bit of a trial, and to be honest my only regret is not choosing to take some black and white film instead.
I recently purchased Ansel Adams: In the National Parks and its a thoroughly inspirational and enjoyable book. I’ve also been reading up again on the zone exposure system he devised for B&W photography with the aim of improving my exposures for my next trip somewhere wild. For now I have revisited the series of images I captured on my Bronica SQA with Kodak TMax 400 film during my 2013 trip to Yosemite. Its an incredible landscape and the Bronica was a joy to use in capturing it.
I’d wanted to visit the national parks in Utah again ever since I’d been to Monument Valley in 2013; I’d initially set my sights on going to all of Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches and Canyonlands for this trip. However I soon realised the week I’d organised the trip was memorial day weekend (a bit of an error) – so there were tons of people in each of the parks and also lines to get in. This also made the logistics of the trip quite hard, as all of the campsites were fully booked. So this meant we ended up staying at near St George UT and driving to the parks each day.
In an effort to beat the crowds, the first afternoon we visited Bryce. They’ve got an convenient shuttle service so you can park easily outside the park and take the shuttle to all of the main sites. We got off at Bryce Point (the first bus stop after the visitor centre) and walked along the rim to sunset point. Then we took the hike down through the hoodoos which was pretty epic – the scale of these eroded monoliths is best appreciated hiking around them.
Then we drove to near Capital Reef national park and secured a campsite there to break up the drive to Arches. It was not really a fun drive, along winding roads in the pitch black, with deer jumping out in front of the car. The next day, with a significant drive to Arches still ahead of us, we powered on and didn’t stop in Capital Reef. The scenery from the car was still fantastic.
We arrived to Arches to a queue of cars waiting at the entrance. This was at maybe 10.30am on the Sunday of Memorial day and it took maybe 45 minutes to finally get through the date. Once inside we headed straight for the hike to delicate arch, as we figured this would be busy already and only more so as the day progressed. The road into the park is stunning, to be honest photos don’t do this place justice – the shapes and scale of these eroded rocks is phenomenal. I had to stop for a few snapshots along the way.
There is a short easy 3 mile hike from the bursting full car park to the arch itself It seems so improbable that rock would erode like this, so its easy to see why this is such an icon. An icon that everyone wants their picture taken under, perhaps unsurprisingly, and there was indeed a massive disneyland style line of people waiting to have theirs taken. Its great that the national parks are accessible for people to enjoy, however the next time I visit here I’ll definitely plan it for the off season. I managed to get a few snapshots of the arch (with the poor lighting) finally without anyone underneath. We stayed for a while longer in the park itself but finally the mid afternoon heat got the better of us and we decided to get on with the 5 or so hour drive back to Ivins, leaving Canyonlands next door for a future trip.
So Snow Canyon State Park seems to be an absolute undiscovered jewel of Utah. Its right by the town of Ivins and on the Monday of Memorial Day weekend there was barely anyone there. The scenery is sublime, with petrified sand dunes, lava flow rocks and lots of great trails. Its easy to see why they shot Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid here. Theres just one road through it so its easy to see in a day, but we spaced out a couple of visits to the middle and north side of the park over two mornings.
Finally, we visited Zion National Park on the Tuesday after memorial day, hoping the park would at least be a bit quieter than the weekend. Perhaps it was, but we arrived around 7am and already the visitor center car park was already pretty full and there was a big line for the shuttle busses. The Angel’s Landing hike was my most anticipated of the trip. It did not disappoint – its a pretty strenuous 5 mile round trip hike with a narrow trail with steep drop offs at times. There was already a good number of people who were coming down the mountain by the time we got near the top, and many sections are essentially one-way for any given time, so there was plenty of waiting for people to pass. The view from the top was spectacular. After descending we stopped at a few other spots in the park, and drove around the other side before heading back. I view this trip more as a photography scouting mission, as I aim to return again to get a few more shots. Things to work on next time is definitely metering – as you can see from below. I realised there was a fault with the meter on the FM quite late on into the trip, leading me to overexpose quite a few shots from where I’d wanted to be.
After getting back into film photography after a couple of years not really shooting any rolls, I did not hesitate to decide to exclusively take analog cameras. However deciding which gear to take was pretty tough. I was torn between taking two 35mm Nikon bodies or my 6×6 Bronica SQ. In the end I went for the former due to a lower cost per shot but as I do really enjoy shooting 6×6 I also decided to take my Zeiss Ikon 517 as well. This is such a great travel medium format camera as it is so light and compact. I’m also consistently impressed with the colour rendition and sharpness of the lens.
Its very easy to take kilograms and kilograms of photo gear on trips like this, but with Nikon Ai lens being so lightweight and compact this set up seemed a good option. I went for a 20mm Ai f4, 35mm Ai f2.8, 50mm Ai Series E f1.8 and a 200mm Ai f4. These all also have 52mm filter threads which is also a boon, as I mainly used a Nikon R62 filter for the black and white photography, so it could be used across all of the lenses. The only lens that I’d reconsider is the 200mm as it didn’t get much use really. I think a shorter telephoto like a 105mm would have been better for compressed landscape shots. The lens itself though is great and light, and if there had been more in the way of wildlife I suppose it could have come in handy. This was also the first time I’d used the 20mm Ai f4 which I was quite excited to see the results from. It was definitely a great focal length to have, but to be honest I was pretty disappointed with the corner sharpness of this lens. Most of the shots were taken at f8 or f11 and focussed to maximise DOF from the scale on the lens. Maybe this was the issue as I have since read that corner sharpness is better when focussed towards infinity, or maybe I have a poor copy of this lens.
I also took the opportunity to buy a lighter travel tripod. An aluminium Giottos tripod has served me well for the last 5 years, but its nearly 3kg with a ballhead attached. I’ve never hiked with it and its always felt like a pain to lug around. So after some research I decided to get a Manfrotto Be Free carbon fibre tripod which only weighs 1.1Kg. To be honest its not a cheap purchase but its built really well and comes with a 10 year warranty. It was no hassle to attach to my camera bag for hiking.
So this was a fantastic trip and I am happy with the photos that came back, but I see it more of a scouting mission as I hope to return at some point in the future. However next time I think I would choose different B&W film – one I was more familiar with like Delta 100 or TMax 100. I wasn’t blown away but what I got out of SFX. As for the colour film I was surprised how much I liked the muted colours of Portra, as this isn’t a film I’ve used much before. Normally I go straight for the Ektar so it was pretty cool to shoot both on similar landscapes. But the main thing I’d reconsider going back to these places is to camp nearby and visit less places in a similar time. It was hard to get to the parks when the morning light was good (sunrise was around 6:15), and due to the late sunsets (somewhere near 20:45) the same applied as we generally had long drives back to where we were staying. The heat in the midday was also very exhausting. I think September or October could be a good time of year for my next trip there.
This B&W film is a near infra-red (i.e. extended red sensitivity towards IR wavelengths) film made by Ilford. I’d wanted to try it out for a while and decided to take a chance on it by taking it on my trip round Utah’s National (Bryce, Arches and Zion) and State (Snow Canyon) parks. I’d been somewhat inspired by the completely black skies in this post and thought I’d be able to get some good detail in the foreground and some silhouetted rocks with a completely black sky when using my Nikon R60 red filter. Reading more after the fact a deeper filter such as an R72 may have been a better choice to achieve this effect.
Above was one of the first shots from the roll. As you can see the sky is nowhere near the black I’d hoped, but not too big of an issue on this shot as that wasn’t the focus. A few of the ones below are better. Overall the contrast turned out low which is disappointing, but to be fair logistical reasons in getting to the parks (as being memorial day weekend it was hard to camp near the parks) limited the availability of good light (i.e. early morning and evening before sunset). However I still, perhaps naively, hoped for the images to come out better. They seem grainier than I’d expected and the sky was not as dark (though this may be due to the filter and unremarkable-poor light). In addition this roll of film has made me stop and tell myself I should read up once more on the zone system for better B&W exposures.
I’ll be writing a full trip report and also sharing some more photos soon. But for now some medium format images from the trusty 6×6 Zeiss Ikon folder.
This classic Olympus 70s rangefinder is a camera I thought I’d love. After all, it looks stunning, its compact, and on paper has a great fast sharp lens. I’d only ever used SLRs at the point when I bought it and wanted to try a rangefinder with a view that it might get me to try out street photography. Unfortunately it never really lived upto my expectations and despite running quite a few rolls of film through it, I never ended up really enjoying using the camera.
On paper this camera has some excellent features – a 40mm f1.7 lens and full manual mode (not requiring a battery). To use the meter and auto mode you need a mercury battery which isn’t so bad because you can pick up replacement ‘wien cell’ batteries easily. The downside is that the lens cap is the on/off switch for the meter, and it’ll be wasting power if you leave it without the lens cap on when not in use. I’d always forget and needless to say that meant the batteries didn’t last very long. As for the lens, f1.7 wasn’t really an advantage for me, as the rangefinder patch was pretty dim, and it was a struggle to focus accurately.
I picked this up off eBay winning an auction for something like £35 in 2011. After it fell out of use between the latter half of 2012 and early 2013 oil got on the aperture blades and they got stuck up. So I had to sell it on as spares/repair, which was a shame as I think these go for decent money in working order.
Its funny though that I do still find myself drawn to the Olympus cameras of this era. Maybe I’d have enjoyed the camera more if I’d properly tried street photography and relied more on zone focus. Whilst I wouldn’t buy one of these again, I do find myself tempted to try out the smaller Olympus 35RC.
So I’ve had it in my head that I wanted to try out a 6×9 camera for a while now, and given how much I’ve enjoyed the folding Zeiss Ikon Nettar 517, I set my sights on another folder. I almost pulled the trigger on one at the Vanves flea market when visiting Paris during my last visit, but upon inspecting it I couldn’t quite figure out if I was doing something wrong or the focus was jammed. Probably the latter so I left it where it was, and did something illogical a couple of weeks later by taking a risk by buying one on eBay that looked very old and tattered. It was only 11 quid though, so what the hell, buying an processing the film costs more than that.
The unboxing was an unceremonious affair and a quick inspection shows that the glass was clean, the shuttered fired nicely on all speeds and the bellows didn’t have any obvious holes. I will admit though prior to this it had taken me a good 5 minutes to figure out how to open the case, back and bellows. The bellows seemed to sag a bit and they didn’t fold neatly in one place, but I guessed that wouldn’t affect the image.
As far as I can tell the camera is a Ikonta 520/2 model which puts it at somewhere between 1929-1937, so over 80 years old. It has a Telma shutter with B,25,100 speeds and a 110mm Novar lens and can take 8 photos on normal 120 film. I missed the first frame because for some reason the backing on my Kodak Ektar was unclear where to start as it didn’t show a 1. The viewfinder if the little circular mirror arrangement on the top right of the front bellows. I must admit it took me the first 4 pictures with the camera to actually realise what this was. Then it dawned on me and I felt a bit stupid for not realising sooner. I felt even more stupid shortly thereafter when I realised the focus scale was in metres and not feet (like the Nettar 517). It was also apparent that the field of view for this lens was much wider than I’d anticipated. Ah well, thats why one does a test roll.
I got the photos back from being developed today and scanned them in with my Epson v500. The pictures were snapped away at my parents farm in Shropshire the weekend before last as if the roll was successful I planned to pack it to take with my to Zion National Park this week. Alas it was not to be. On the back of the camera is the red film counter window. On the Nettar this has a built in metal cover that goes over it, but on this camera it has none. I almost put something over it and it seems I should have from the red light leak you can see from the below. The other small light leak in the corner doesn’t bother me too much, so if the red patch can be fixed with a simple bit of tape then that’ll do! However I’ll try that out at home instead of in the national parks.
I took my Bronica along with me when taking a helicopter tour shortly after moving to NYC. It was quite a challenge to frame shots with the movement of the helicopter and the back to front nature of using the waist level finder, so I had to straighten them up in with cropping. I’m also not really sure if I like how the colours scanned in, so I tried to correct the white balance in digitally. Despite this I do really enjoy these photos, particularly the one above. I used to work in one of these buildings so its a pretty nostalgic shot for me.
This above is a shot of Iceberg Lake in Glacier National park. Its nearly a 5 mile hike to this spot, but it these crystal clear waters were definitely worth it. I’d debated not bothering to take the Bronica with me and just sticking with my digital Nikon D7100. However stubbornly I took it and put up with the extra weight in my backpack. I find this constantly a tough decision when on hiking trips, as I do really enjoy capturing images like this on medium format, but traveling with a MF body and a couple of lenses along with a DSLR (+ lenses) does sometimes feel like overkill. For my next trip (which is to Zion National Park) I’m going to take one of my Zeiss Ikon folding cameras instead to save on weight. Maybe I should go the opposite way, and just take the Bronica instead!
This was the first roll of medium format slide film I’d used. To be honest I think I would’ve been better off using Ektar instead for its latitude, as I clearly didn’t nail the exposures as well as Velvia would like (an getting a bit of a purple tint that I’ve tried to edit out digitally). That being said I think the way it captures the crystal clear water in the photo above is great and to be honest the time of day these were all shot (mid afternoon) was not really good light to shoot with.
Here are some more shots with the Bronica from the trip (all with velvia 100).