Maybe we’re just crazy

I shot a job yesterday. I had to deliver images fast so I shot them on digital. They look great. I also shot some video. I also shot this on digital. But then I also shot a roll, just one, of Portra 400 on the RB67. 
Now I’m up at the crack of dawn, hopping on my scooter and off to the lab to get it developed. I didn’t have to shoot it at all. It’s inconvenient. It’s a little slower. I had to carry a very heavy camera and a couple of giant lenses. All for 10 shots. 
Maybe I’m a little bit crazy. But I love it. 

I love the heavy old camera that takes an age to shoot. I love the cold air in my face as I ride in the fresh morning breeze to drop off my film. I love the wait  to get the scans back. I love the interaction I have with the people who lovingly develop and scan my film. I love the final result. 

Call me crazy then.  
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Some overdue HP5

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted on the blog – sorry about that. Got out of the habit and I completely kinda just stopped posting. I want to get back into the swing of it and will try post at least once a month. Just so long as I have something interesting to say 🙂

I’ve been shooting at lot of film again for both personal and paid work and am loving it. Here are some shots taken on a Canon AV-1 (a fantastic and heavily under-rated aperture priority camera) on Ilford HP5.
The first picture is of my neighbor and friend Susie Dinneen who is a great writer and has just had a children’s book published. This is Susie doing a reading at Love Books in Melville of her book Nombulelo and the Moth. It’s a wonderful story, beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated. Here’s a link to it for sale. Highly recommended. This was shot with a FD 28mm f3.5 wide open. I actually have a much better 28mm f2.8 with far better coatings and sharpness, but I really dig this lens with its more basic coatings. The images it produces have a really nice look, softer with lower contrast.
This next picture is inside one of my favorite coffee chains, Seattle Coffee Co. Their coffee is delicious. I adore how the tones came out in this image. HP5 is my favorite B&W film and the contrast and detail here just puts a big ol’ smile on my face. LOVE this photo even though it’s nothing terribly special. That’s the joy of personal work… This was shot with the 50mm, can’t remember the aperture, probably about f4.
Next up is a requisite photo of Pablo. Here he is nice and spaced-out during one of his many daily sun-bathing sessions. I love to have a nap with him in the sun. Freelancing FTMFW man… Love how, even in hard sunlight, HP5 just holds the shadow detail in a black cat’s shiny coat. Awesome. I left the pillow a little blown out. I like the contrast. Such. A. Cute. Cat. 
This next photo is all about texture. Just look at how great the tones and texture in the leaves and the dirt on the window is. Damn. Another reason why I just ADORE film, especially B&W. You just get the most beautiful results and no time spend sliding sliders in Lightroom. I must say, I have been spending many, MANY hours on the computer editing digital images this year and being able to just nail a shot as I see it in my head and get that result back from the lab is a serious joy. I’m getting evangelical here. Can’t help it. Don’t care. 😀 Shot on the 50mm
Lastly, here’s a really lovely family photo of my sister-in-law, husband and baby, Matteo. Capturing family memories on film is just special. I don’t know what it is, but there is just something powerful and memorable about shooting important moments of life on film. I feels more serious and important. Maybe this is all in my head, but it just feels different. Maybe it’s because you have a physical object in the negative that you have to physically store and look after, maybe it’s the process of being more careful when you shoot. I don’t know. But I definitely feel differently about this image compared to one I took on my iPhone or a DSLR, even though there are all lovely. Shot with the 50mm

Thanks for reading. See you soon.

Leave a comment, it’s nice to know you’re out there. 🙂

Recent shots on ‘Le Boeuf’ the Mamiya

Misbehaving Technology
Toby, on set, looking through some ones and zeros that were misbehaving.
Mamiya RZ67, Fuji Acros 100
Things Go Wrong
Sometimes, loading a roll of film wrong creates magic. Sometimes is ruins an image. Which is this..?
Mamiya RZ67, Fuji Acros 100
A Pear
I’ve always loved still lives. Especially of fruit and veg. Combine this with the fact I shoot film and this makes me nostalgic. Or a massive relic. 
Mamiya RZ67, Fuji Acros 100
Guitar
Every year she sounds sweeter.
Mamiya RZ67, Fuji Acros 100 
Overcome with Lines
Architecture, vertigo and a day out with friends.
Mamiya RZ67, Fuji Acros 100
Ben
I don’t know which I prefer more of in the photo: Ben Skinner, an artist’s moustache in semi-profile, or that tapestry fading into bokeh behind him.
Mamiya RZ67, Fuji Acros 100
Lulu
I never get tired of photographing this beautiful girl.
Mamiya RZ67, Fuji Provia 100
Orchid Study
I’m just glad these are still alive…
Mamiya RZ67, Fuji Provia 100
Dad & Coco
My father and the adorable Coco, named after Chanel, outside the delectable Hillcrest Berry Farm in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. I had some seriously delicious scones there.
Mamiya RZ67, Fuji Provia 100
Tree and Roof
The shop at Hillcrest Berry Farm in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.
Mamiya RZ67, Fuji Provia 100
Dad
My father a man whom, I am glad to say, I respect immensely.
Mamiya RZ67, Fuji Provia 100
Pear and Oranges
Pears are delicious. Except when they are floury. I suspect this one was. So I shot it instead of eating it.

Mamiya RZ67, Fuji Provia 100
Want to order a print of any of these? Prices are:
8×10 inch unframed – R750
10×15 inch unframed – R1250
A3 unframed – R2500
A2 unframed – R3500

Email me to order a print. Shipping can be arranged worldwide.
Framing can be done on request, just let me know in your email.

The Green Pillar

This is another example of why I love film so much. The colours and contrast are just ‘there’. No need to post process them. And even if I did, the software can only get me so close and I’m always left wondering if that is actually how the film would have looked…

It’s that disconnect, at least that’s how it feels to me, that leaves me cold when I shoot digital and then try to make it look like film.

I adore the colours of film. Each film stock has it’s own look and I love being able to customise the look and feel of a shoot by choosing different film. This is Fuji’s Superia Reala 100. Superia is consumer film and not as expensive as some of the pro films but has a huge following because it looks so damn gorgeous. Punchy colours, beautiful grain, great contrast and super sharp.

I love this film and I love this shot. I turned out just like I wanted and really feels like it was on that cold, rainy day with the moist air and the wet tar.

__________

Like most of my images, this one is available to buy as a print. (The print comes without the watermark obviously…)

Prices are:
8×10 inch unframed – R750
10×15 inch unframed – R1250
A3 unframed – R2500
A2 unframed – R3500

Email me to order a print. Shipping can be arranged worldwide.
Framing can be done on request, just let me know in your email.

Nighttime in Wynberg

Nighttime in Wynberg

This was taken while on a stroll in the late evening with my father. Wynberg is a suburb in Cape Town, South Africa. It was dark and chilly, having rained a bit that afternoon. This scene caught my eye and reminded me of the superb work of Todd Hido. You should really check out his work, excellent. Anyway, I was carrying my Canon AV1 with a 50mm lens and shot this with a tripod to allow a long exposure to let the light ooze into the film. I just adore the way that film captures light and also how it captures evening skies. I really love the way this image came out.

Like most of my images, this one is available to buy as a print.

Prices are:
8×10 inch unframed – R750
10×15 inch unframed – R1250
A3 unframed – R2500
A2 unframed – R3500

Email me to order a print. Shipping can be arranged worldwide.
Framing can be done on request, just let me know in your email.

Shooting DA lenses on a Pentax Film Camera

So I’m shooting Pentax now and as any Pentaxian will tell you, there are mixed feeling over the issue of full frame: will Pentax (or Ricoh?!?) ever make a digital full frame camera?

The answer looks like no. Fans of the brand have been asking this question for years now and Pentax looks to only be producing crop-frame lenses. This is no bad thing as the lenses they are making are unique and extremely high quality and the recent APS-C bodies are superb. But this is nonetheless frustrating when you are building a system and contemplating which lense to buy in case Pemtax does in fact ever make a full-frame digital SLR. Which they should. Seriously.

This issue is most frustrating when you have a film body. I am sticking with Pentax as my main system for a couple of items, one of them is the scintillating 50mm FA F1.4 lens and the other is the MZ-S camera. More than one person has fondled the MZ-S and just said “best camera ever made” under their breath. Really, they all did. And it is amazing, though quite complicated to get to grips with and set-up.

And so the reason for this post: since I am new to the Pentax stable and have not yet decided which other lenses I’m going to buy (also, I gotta save up a bit – jees those Limiteds are lovely but so friggen pricey…) I have a distinct lack of lenses for my MZ-S.

I have the brilliant 50mm FA which will be my main film combo but it is irritating that I have the very, very good DA 18-55 kit zoom and can’t use it on my film body. Or can I? It does mount. It works (albeit in Program mode). So then?

Fact is, the DA lenses only cover the APS-C image circle. That means they vignette or leave a black edge on the film on the edges where the image is not fully projected. But this actually only really is problematic at the widest angles of view on this zoom lens.

When zoomed into 24mm and beyond, the image looks fine. Here’s an example, uncropped:

Pentax MZ-S, Pentax DA 18-55 @ 24mm, Ilford HP5

Looks pretty good! On a digital body those corners would be easily fixed in post. I’m not saying they’re tack sharp in those corners. They’re not and that lens was never designed to be scrutinised there anyway. But not bad at all…

So how does this look in the real-photo-world-and-not-my-random-handheld-lounge-test?

These were also shot at 24mm (no point wasting film on the wider settings that would show the pure black in the corners…):

Pentax MZ-S, Pentax DA 18-55 @ 24mm, Ilford HP5

Pentax MZ-S, Pentax DA 18-55 @ 24mm, Ilford HP5

And this is a pano stitched from two images also shot at 24mm:

2 image stitch, Pentax MZ-S, Pentax DA 18-55 @ 24mm, Ilford HP5

Moral of the story? Get out and shoot and use those DA lenses if you have ’em!

More to come as I experiment and shoot more.