Diary of a camera addict

Tag: Ilford HP5

Zenit 3M Reloaded

Zenit 3M Reloaded

Last time when I wrote about my Zenit 3M, I could not show any sample photos as the shutter was very slow and ran uneven. It was the case only until I have found a neat little article Zenit E: Shutter Curtain Repairs with repair tips. I […]

Crazy to shoot film?

Crazy to shoot film?

For a long time ago, I am trying really hard to identify and  find the proper way formulate the reasons why I am pursuing film photography. My opinion has changed during the years quite drastically and I went through many stages. If I want to […]

Balcony door portraits

Balcony door portraits

Light quality is extremely important to a photographer, just like snow for an Inuit. We have  countless names for the different types of light while any average people would only call them “strong” or “weak”. The amount of light we get is very easy to measure and describe. But the quality is a far more subtle, much harder to formalize concept and therefore much more interesting to me. Modern cameras can handle low light extremely well thus photography is now possible under such difficult circumstances no one could foreseen just until a few years before. But high sensitivity sensors with great quantum efficiency and extremely sophisticated noise reduction processing cannot create great photographs just by extending the lower bound of minimum illumination necessary to capture an image. Although these new tools certainly aid the photographing process, the quality of light (among other factors) is and always will be key to a good image.

I am currently experimenting with mainly available light, trying to find situations which works for me so I can get the results I like in a somewhat predictable manner. One of my favorite spots lately is the door of our balcony. In my opinion this location  has nearly ideal light conditions for portraits during the most of the day. The balcony is relatively deep and only the front is open (sides are solid walls), then comes the big door followed by a deep room with white walls and furniture.

This setup has a similar effect to a  soft-box. Light comes through in a beautiful evenly distributed, soft way, which then decays rapidly as it penetrates into the room. A subject placed close to the door can be lit very well with a strongly directional but soft light while the background is lost in darkness.

I have taken several portraits at this place using different formats (APS-C, 35mm, 6x6cm), films and digital sensors, and a small, but representative selection can be seen in this post. I think it is interesting to see next to each other similar shoots using similar focal length but with vastly different capturing technology.

 

The conclusion is that, no matter what your medium is, good light (and composition) could always give respectable results but technology does not save the day if the light quality is poor for the subject. But it is again another subjective property, what is poor light for a photographer for a given purpose, could be magnificent for another. Nevertheless I think it is crucial to study light as a photographer, amateurs and professionals alike.

Many thanks for the proof reading to Ramon.

 

Last roll from 2013

Last roll from 2013

Yet another quick post with little written content but with a bunch of random snapshot images. This is what I end up with, when I carry the same roll of film over weeks and only occasionally have a chance to shoot.  I am basically on […]

Kiev 4 + Ilford HP5

Kiev 4 + Ilford HP5

If you followed the Camerajunky Facebook page you may have already read about my planned reunion with my beloved Kiev 4 camera after a longer period in which it was hidden in a box.  I really felt that I needed to use it again, and […]

Bring your giant medium format camera to work

Bring your giant medium format camera to work

A photographer is never really putting down his camera, no matter what crazy thing she or he is doing for living or filling the days with. Since we are not living in an ideal world, most of us has to face with limitation of time and availability of light in our every day life.

But limitations are not necessarily bad things! They teach us to utilize our possibilities more creatively by forcing us to see and think in ways we would normally not choose to. This of course influences our work as well as ourselves and vice-verse. Eventually this feedback loop can contribute our personal and photographic development similarly to the way the ever changing environment influences life forms and pushing them towards evolution.

Currently my job is to sit in an office and convince computers to obey to the needs of their human masters. Making their lives easier by sending them nice, well formed and most importantly correct invoices. As interesting as it sounds, but it is somewhat fulfilling to my geek side which likes to brain wrestler with abstract problems.

But it makes my photographer side starve  because the current situation has a very little room for photography. Especially now when the winter is coming. Days are shorter and shorter, so more and more frequently I end up to spend most of the hours filled with natural light in between walls  in my natural working environment.

To overcome of this obvious contradiction, I decided to make occasionally a “bring your giant medium format camera to work day“.  I started to bug my colleges and taking portraits of them during lunch brakes or when I need to wait to my computer to finish a long lasting blocking task.

The point is, you don’t need to stop being a photographer, just because the conditions are not ideal for the kind of photography you are normally up to. Try to get out the most of the situation and who knows this might drive you to completely unforeseen paths and discoveries.

Jogi
Jogi, Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm, Fuji Across 100, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F

Jogi is a musician beside of being a software engineer and in my opinion they are making pretty cool music.  Their website http://www.theflamingdugongs.at/  is not complete yet, but worth to have a look at.

Barbara
Barbara, Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm, Fuji Across 100, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F
Janez, Pentacon Six TL
Janez, Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 120mm, Fuji Across 100, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F
Kyrylo
Kyrylo, Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 120mm, Fuji Across 100, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F

Kyrylo was so pleased with his portrait that he visited me at my desk (2 floors below his place) to shake my hands right after I sent it to him.

Hannes
Hannes, Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm, Fuji Across 100, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F
Marco
Marco, Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm, Ilford HP5, Kodak D76, Canoscan 9900F

Naturally, it is not my top priority to photograph at work, and I always make sure that this does not have any effect on my everyday responsibilities. It took me quite a while (about 2 months) to get these images. Though they are not perfect, I enjoyed taking them they are part of my journey.