12. desember 2011

At the crossing and a grandaddy three

Just a small update.

I visited Glomma river on Sunday, because I wanted to use the Hasselblad for a bit, been a while since the last time I did.

I got a new lens for it, a Zeiss Tessar T* CB 160/4,8, which I actually hadn't tried out yet, so I was long over due.

I went to Fetsund lenser (timber floating industry area) at the river crossing at Fetsund (doh), because there are still bits and pieces of the old timber floating industry in the area, creating some interest in the photos along the river.

Temperature was around -7 degrees Celsius and it was pretty drafty up on the bridge itself, so it was a pretty chilly outing on my part. ^^

Haselblad 503CW, Zeiss Tessar 160, Tri-X 320, Tetenal Ultrafin

Haselblad 503CW, Zeiss Planar 80mm, Tri-X 320, Tetenal Ultrafin

Haselblad 503CW, Zeiss Tessar 160, Tri-X 320, Tetenal Ultrafin

Also, about a week ago, I was once again up in Maridalen in Oslo to stalk this three I found. The other times I've been there, the light wasn't right, so the photos weren't any good.

This time though, the sky and light was more interesting, these shots were made with the Mamiya RZ 67 pro II and the 50mm lens, I also used a very heavy red filter (#25)..

Mamiya RZ67 Pro II, Mamiya 50mm, Fomapan 100, Tetenal Ultrafin

From that session, I made a lith print of one of the photos that came out ok.
Sorry about the quality on this one, this is a photo of he actual print, it was still wet from processing.
Because of it's size, it is to large for my flatbed scanner.

The colors stame from the Lith process and are accurate.

Grand daddy three, Lith print. Mamiya RZ67 Pro II, Mamiya 50mm, Fomapan 100, Tetenal Ultrafin

Next I will be heading up to the polar regions of Norway, for the annual Christmas vacation. Hopefully the weather and solar flares will be on my side this year, as I am, yet again, going to try to hunt down the Aurora Borealis (northern lights) during my stay.

Have a nice Christmas by the way! \o/

1. desember 2011

Hair to stay

It's December in the year of the lord, 2011.

This means that I can now publish the photos I took in collaboration with Sunniva R. Jensen for her entry into the national competition for hair-dressers/hair stylists in October.

We worked together last year as well, and it was fun and a good challenge. ^^

This year, she used two models and did 2 separate hair-styles and then another two of the same style for a photo of the two models, Silje and Sofie, together.

4 jobs in total, and all that in the same day, wow!

MUA for the shoot was Sofie, wonderful job indeed. :)

We had to deliver three finished photos of the hair styling and the following three were the ones that we sent in.

First up was model Silje ( http://www.modelmayhem.com/221960)

A very classic romantic look with a very nicely worked curl over her right shoulder

After that, Sunniva created some funny looking pigtails, woven with a technique called fish-bone pattern weaving, they are designed to be frizzy and fuzzy and kind of rough-looking.

For the last setting, Sunniva created one impressive hair creation on Sofie (http://www.modelmayhem.com/1885385 ). I must say, with the existing style of Sofie, coupled with this creation, I really got the feel that I was photographing a vampire queen, awesome! =)

One helluva effort from Sunniva here on all of these styles. =)

I, off-course, also took the opportunity to shoot some Kodak Plus-X 35mm film with my analogue camera.
I wanted to see how this classic film looked and since I already had the lights up and measured, I simply fired a few shots at the end of the session where both models were present.

I really like these as well, they have a completely different feel to them.
Personally I think about those vintage grindhouse/70's b-movies with strong, murdering women, driving around, killing men, when I look at them. ^^

- Silje as the helpful and smiling little murder that lures you into the trap, and Sofie as the gang leader bad-ass who actually beat you up and kill you =D

The Kodak plus-x film was developed in Tetenal Ultrafin 1:20 for 7.5 minutes and later scanned.
I love the look of this film so it's sad that it will no longer be available.

Plus-X film is to be discontinued by Kodak, 120 format was discontinued in February and the last batches of 35mm are now being sold in the stores, after that is gone, the film moves into history.
May they license this emulsion to a 3rd party film manufacturer in eastern Europe, or burn in hell..

I really enjoyed this project a lot and I hope that the photos do well in the competition. Sunniva really did a great job with this and she really deserve a lot of credit for her hard work.

Sofie and Silje also did a really good job as models here, perfect for the assignment!

And now and can relax again from keeping track on which girl has which name, starting with an "S". =D


21. november 2011

Foggy walking Sunday......with unexpected IR ^^

Finally got the chance to take a trip, to try out a new 120 film on Sunday.
I've been dying to try it out, but weather and time hasn't been on my side, the sun also sets very early this time of year, so if you're not out at noon, you may as well just forget about it.

Here are some photos, taken with Rollei retro 80s, a vintage looking b&w film with some unique properties: It's sensitivity extends into the near infrared spectrum (up to 750nm), meaning you can use if for infrared photography when you use opaque filters like Hoya R72 and others.

Some even report IR-effects with yellow and red filters, but "pure" woods effect is usually only possible with opaque filters.

Very little grain, good resolution and excellent tonality in this film, cannot wait to try it out for people as well.

Anyway, weather is weather, cannot do much about the fog, so one may as well work with it, instead of trying to wait it out. =)

- So I decided to take a trip to Lillestrøm (more specific to Nitelva) to make some moody fog-shots. :)

All photos are taken with the Mamiya RZ67 pro II, then developed in Tetenal Ultrafin 1+20 for 11 minutes @ 20 degrees, 5 minute pre-soak.

I think the photos came out alright, very tranquil mood. The Sunday walk was a relaxing bonus anyway, nothing like getting out in fresh air, instead of being a lazy, weekend, couch-potato. ^^

Resting place
Tiny island
Swan-lake :P
The bend
River shoreline
River shoreline 20 second infrared shot (Hoya R72)

The wet-prints have another character, but I cannot post any scans from those yet, as they are still drying.
The toning in the above photos, simulate gold-toning (which I have done with my actual prints), contrary to what one may believe, gold toning gives b&w prints a cold blue hue and is used for archival, as well as artistic purposes. See: Wikipedia on print toning

Funny that the last shot showed any IR-effect at all, because it was pretty late in the afternoon, it's late autumn/beginning of winter and the fog was thick as heck.

Just goes to show; it pays to experiment a little. ^^

7. november 2011

Caffenol silverprint


Just got an enlarger (for photo, not that other thing :P).

So, now I can make my own prints, finally the last 50% of real photography can start.

I was out shooting in Frognerparken here in Oslo on Saturday, foggy and rainy, but made for an interesting session with my Mamiya.

Looked like people were amazed that there are photographers still using cameras bigger than their Ixus, because people gave me looooooooooong looks as I hovered above the massive Mamiya on the tripod, checking focus, reading the distance scale and measuring light with my light meter.

Yes, that's someone photographing, now move along :)

Anyway, I got a little hint on Apug that you can not only use caffenol to develop film, you can also use it to develop the paper as well (in the darkroom.......for those too young to remember that a lot of photographers used to do their own b&w film and print-processing at home ^^)

The print took "forever" to form, about 10 minutes or so....normally it takes 1-2 minutes in conventional developers.

Check it out (click the photo for bigger version):

Caffenol silverprint (Paper is "Work by Tetenal grade 3", developer is Caffenol-c-h)
This is a straight scan from my print, the print is about A4, the toning is from the coffee, cool huh?
On first glance, it looks kind of foggy, but it was a foggy day, so.....I may try it in another caffenol configuration to see if it gets a little more clear, although I doubt it due to the nature of the light and the natural haze in the scene.

It took a little too long to form in the tray (paper almost fell apart), so next time I'll probably use straight Caffenol-c-l or Caffenol-c-m anyway, no Potassiom bromide in the mix, to see if it develops faster.

If you're really hardcore, I suppose you can soup a film in Caffenol, pour the developer back into a bottle and use the same soup to develop a print from your coffee developed film later

(I'm not doing that yet, because I am currently testing out 1-2 developers for films that I have to get to know their quirks a little)

Too many variables will make the path of consistency difficult :)

Damn this is so much fun! =D

4. november 2011

Another medium format pick-up

A little update on my medium format adventure.

This time, I've gotten hold of a Mamiya RZ67 pro II.
I got it for a very nice price as well, with two lenses, one 50mm and one 110mm. (in 35mm terms, this is comparable to a 24mm lens and a 55mm lens)

Compared to the Hasselblad 503CW, the Mamiya RZ67 is one massive bugger and I loooooove it =D
The Mamiya shoots in 6*7 format, so the negatives are a little bigger than the Hassy negs. Still, it's almost square, the huge mirror and view-finder are something to behold as well.

Because the negs are bigger than the Hasselblad, you only get 10 frames per film, compared to 12 with the Hasselblad.

Check this photo as a reference on how bulky and big that camera is (external link):

I also got a nice carrying bag with the camera, a small Seconic l-208 incident/reflected light meter and a remote shutter release, oh an also some film! (Tri-x 320 and Velvia 50), basically all I needed to just go out and shoot, which I did. =D (after spending two days browsing the user manual and checking out youtube)

First trip, I loaded the camera with some (verified to be good) film: Fuji Acros 100 ISO, which I later developed in Rodinal 1:50.
I got to test both lenses with this film and I am very impressed with the image quality.

Here are some samples from my trip, it was mostly for shooting up a roll, test the camera and meter the light correctly and off course, to check the results. Aesthetics was somewhat downplayed, sorry for boring subjects. ^^

Restored old farm, tourist spot mainly, Fuji Acros 100 in Rodinal 1:50, Mamiya 110mm lens
Field, Fuji Acros 100 in Rodinal 1:50, Mamiya 50mm, 3-stop ND-grad, 2-stop polarizer
Hooorzzzie, Fuji Acros 100 in Rodinal 1:50, Mamiya 110mm lens

The second outing was last Sunday, I drove like crazy to reach the islands of Hvaler before the sun went down.

The camera was loaded with Kodak Tri-X 320 the former day, so once I reached the island area, I fired off 10 frames of that first (I wanted to develop and check that particular film, as I've heard so much about it from the older guys).

After that, I loaded the camera with one of the (expired) Velvia 50 rolls I got with the camera.

Metering was difficult, because I was short on time and I also used a combination of a 2-stop polarizer and 3 stops of grad-filters. Moving from ISO 320 down to ISO 50, while trying to calculate everything in your head AND having the wind blowing and sun disappearing, made for some funny math out there I can tell you :P

I kind of knew that the Velvias would be underexposed, because I almost guestimated the exposure-time, but I forgot to take Reciprocity failure factor into account, which, for Velvia means that when you are looking at measured exposure around 15 seconds, you almost need to double that to get the correct exposure for the film.

A table showing measured vs correct values can be seen here:

Ah....well, I'll get it right the next time around, cheesy sunsets happens every single day, luckily :)

First a Tri-X 320 shot with the 50mm lens:

Sea-scape, Kodak Tri-x in Tetenal Ultrafin 1:20 for 4 minutes, Mamiya 50mm lens, 3 stop ND-grad, 2 stop Polarizer
After changing film in the film back, I fired of a shot with the camera in just about the same position, too bad it was under-exposed though and the grad-filters were too low, I think it was like a 5 second exposure :)
Sea-scape II, Fuji Velvia 50 ASA, Mamiya 50mm lens, 3 stop ND-grad, 2 stop Polarizer
This last shot came out the way I wanted it to, I like the coolish magenta cast.
Sea-scape III, Fuji Velvia 50 ASA, Mamiya 50mm lens, 3 stop ND-grad, 2 stop Polarizer, 25 second exposure

All in all, I really like the Mamiya camera, this will definately be my landscape mainstay, while the Hasselblad will serve more for model-photography, a little landscape and this and that.
- Both cameras will see action in the studio and I am looking forward trying them out in that context.

Funny thing about the RZ67 is that, to get mirror lockup with bulb exposure, you need TWO remote triggers, one to flip up the massive mirror and another to fire the shutter on the lens, looks kinda funny.

Oh, the Velvia shots are developed at Labdoka in Oslo, I urge anyone with the need to develop 120 film to visit this guy, prices are reasonable and delivery is fast.
He sells films, developers, fixers and stuff too and he is also a nice and helpful guy, so you can ask and get tips and pointers for films and equipment etc, reccomended. =)

Time to finish work soon, so I can play some more with my new toys this weekend \o/

17. oktober 2011

First Hasselblad and medium format experience \o/

Exiting times!

A couple of weeks ago, I received a Hasselblad 503CW in the mail.

I bought the camera second hand from a very friendly working photographer and the body and lens looks nice and very well taken care of.

I have the "black edition", which doesn't have the brass corners like on the photo.

Also, the same week, I received a whole bunch of various packages in the mail, consisting of films, developers, fixers, negative sleeves for 35mm and medium format and even a brand spanking new Epson v750 scanner.

All I needed then, was the weekend to try and figure out how the camera and lens operated (how to load and exit film, how to mount/unmount the lens safely among other things) and then, later, some helpful people that could model a bit for me.

New stuff:

- New camera and operation
- New film loading procedure, loading the film-back and reattaching that.
- New manual focus and recompose procedure with a split screen ^^
- New light measuring technique, the Hasselblad doesn't have a built in light meter.
- New developing-spool loading procedure

Difference between 35mm and 120 film

- New developer. I ended up using Rodinal  for the shots in this blog entry
- New developing scheme.
- New scanning procedure with my new scanner.
- New negative scanning loading procedure.

Other than that, everything else was known, which isn't much  :)

I wanted to try out Fomapan 100 ASA 120 film, which has dark shadows, some really punchy mid-tones and pretty high contrast. Also, it seems to be less sensitive to red tones, behaving a little like orthochromatic film did in the olden days (dark reds).

I used my Seconic L-358 and my brain to figure out an exposure, worked out pretty well I must say. :)

This was surely what you would call "testing" in the purest sense, so I was very lucky to have three wonderful girls stepping up to the plate for me.

First up, was Sunniva, I've never shot her before, so I brought my 1ds mk II with me as well, and snapped a couple of shots as backup if I were to mess up any of the new variables mentioned above. 

Fomapan 100 ASA, Hasselblad 503CW, Rodinal 1:50 for 9 minutes

Conditions was heavy overcast and late in the afternoon, sun was about to set, as far as one could tell anyway. I was forced to use f2.8 on the lens and a shutter as low as 1/30s to 1/15s.

I had some issues with the focus, as the focus-plane is very very thin at this aperture on medium format, but the tonality in the resulting photos was just wow in my opinion, almost a silvery/metallic feel, just what I am after. =)

And Sunniva was cute and did a great job as well =)

Second shoot was with Eilin.
The conditions on this day, was sunny, low sun/sunset, so I opted to shoot in the shadow as much as possible. Still, I wanted to try at least a couple of shots in the sun, to see how the film coped.

As Eilin is a blonde, and the light was flatter than on Sunniva's shoot, the characteristics of the resulting photos was different. Interesting to see how the same film, same developer looks totally different with only the change in diffused light characteristics:

Fomapan 100 ASA, Hasselblad 503CW, Rodinal 1:50 for 9 minutes

Interesting to note: On the photo where Eilin sit by the three, I have detail both in her skin and in most of her black tights, the resulting scan is deliberatively lower in contrast than the other photos to show this.
Nice to see that this film has a fairly wide exposure latitude, even though it is a pretty contrasty film- type.

The final shoot, was with Sofie.
Again the conditions were different, this time it was lightly cloudy and late afternoon, which made for a little more fill-light than with Sunnivas shot and a little less flat than pure shadow light, as with Eilins shoot.

Fomapan 100 ASA, Hasselblad 503CW, Rodinal 1:50 for 9 minutes

I especially like shot number three here, half profile shot, lovely skin tones, and look at that shiny hair!
Looks like it was taken from a movie with fancy light of some kind ^^
(All the photos in this blog-entry, were shot using nothing but natural light)

I learned a whole heap of things from these three shoots, and I am very thankful to the girls who volunteered for these shoots, as the (any) result was not guaranteed.

My initial goal was to get photos -at all-
Second goal was to get the exposure right :)
Third goal was to get sharp photos by using manual focus
Fourth goal was to create something a little more personal and intimate in the photos and to create a little different mood than I usually do.
Fift goal was to get an impresion of contrast, grain and genereal behaviour of the film in this developer.
....and a gazillion other little things.
Final goal is off-course to leave people like Bresson, A. Adams and the whole oldie-lot in the dust.... haha!
(Hey, if you are to have goals, why not aim high? :P)

I am very happy with how things came out on these first shoots, and I am looking forward using this camera in the future, loving the huge negs and the major "KLAKK!" when you take a photo with the Hassy  :)

10. oktober 2011

A visit to the abandoned school

This weekend, I took a trip somewhere in the south of Norway to get up close and personal with an abandoned school that I heard of.

Apparently, the school was abandoned several years ago, so it still has some time left before it gets that really haunted feeling. Still it is pretty wrecked due to water leakage trough the roof. (which school in this country DOES NOT leak like a sieve anyway?).

The smell of mold hit me as I entered the building, even though the building was rather airy, due to several broken windows.

Also, some doors were slamming now and again, creating a bit of an eerie feel to the whole excursion :)

I am not afraid of the dark, so walking around and photographing a place like this really doesn't bother me, but the sounds kept me on edge, because there are people living near by and I was unsure on the activity.

- The "Klack, Klack.........KLACK" noises from my camera as I took my three, bracket-exposures also seemed to linger in the corridors somehow. :)
The first room I came to, was a regular classrom I suppose, a map of southern Norway hanging in front of the black-board, water damage on the floor and in the ceiling.
All the desks and chairs were removed, so there were only empty rooms left.

The setting sun made for some nice,warm light.
Geography class
1ds mark II, 3 exposure bracket, tonemapped HDR.

On the black-board it said "Last day, have a nice summer!".
- No one was to return, so last day indeed. :)

The next room I found interesting, was the school kitchen classroom (don't know the proper word for the place where you have the cooking-classes, Home Economics???).
Anyway, the tell-tale sign, was the fan-systems hanging from the ceiling.

There was a huge puddle on the floor in there, which I used to the max to get some nice reflections in the shot.

The shot could have been a bit messy, if it hadn't been for the lighting conditions, because the reflected sunlight, creates almost a gold-feel to the various objects in there.

Still, this room was far from gold plated :)

Kitchen classroom
1ds mark II, 3 exposure bracket, tonemapped HDR.

The final room i shot (there were several I didn't shoot), was also a regular classroom, just simply a few lamps dangling from the ceiling and some really gunky water damage on the floor (I actually think I saw something move or grow in the gunk, haha!).

Three lamps
1ds mark II, 3 exposure bracket, tonemapped HDR.

Unsure about the over-all light on this one, but the lamps came out pretty cool. ^^

Generally, the quiet mood and the sense of being vacated more or less in a few weeks, gave me the idea of giving at least a few photos a warm, end of summer-feel. Pacing around the corridors, passing doors with signs like "School nurse", "Science room" and so on, made me think about my own time from 13-16, being in school, getting vaccine-shots, being madly in love with some girl in the other class, getting slightly more mature in thought, hopes and dreams for the future and endless hours in the classroom, being utterly bored. =)

Not sure how this place will work as an location for future shoots, because a car pulled up as I was heading out and two men were checking out the building from the outside.
I had to wait until they rounded the corner before I sneaked out and left.

It's a two-floor building, but I never really did explore the lower parts, due to time and fading light, but I am sure there can be interesting things to be seen in the lower parts as well.

What I really liked about this place, was the absence of graffiti-crap.

Made for a real "Take only photographs, leave only footprints" experience. =)

22. september 2011

Going backwards in time, again =)

Ok, ok....I admit that 90% of my photography is digital, Lightroom and Photoshop.

The other 10% is analogue (film based).

Still, those 10% are part of a very different and fascinating world. :)
I am fascinated with the subject of old cameras and equipment and the manual, slower process, - how much of that is science and how is "touchy-feely" and pure talent.

I am currently looking to buy into medium format film as well these days, checking the marked for a decently priced Hasselblad 503CW, like this one:

They are expensive (but they cost just 1/5th of what they used to sell for when they were new).

The Hasselblad is a 6cm*6cm format camera, producing pretty big negatives on 120 film compared to the regular 135mm small format we are used to.

A comparison in relative film-size can be seen here:

Comparing medium format to digital is difficult, but a 6cm*6cm negative can yield between 40 and 80 megapixels of information, depending on film type and glass, processing etc.
So yes, medium format IS still better than most digital cameras today in that respect.

Naturally then, a medium format negative will yield more detail, less grain and better tonality than 135mm film, I can still develop the medium format film at home, as my negative-spools on my paterson tank can take 120 film as well. \o/

So anyway, I was doing some research on Ilford Pan f plus (50 ASA) and caffenol and stubled over this article at the caffenol blog.

Polypan F film, in 90 meter bulk-rolls. The film is actually 135mm film-film..:P ok then it's Cine-film ^^
Trough a process called "bulk-loading", you can use it for photography like a regular 135mm film. (it is a bit thinner, but fully usable as a regular film).

The seller on eBay currently has 6 rolls left (I bought one), the price  is around €30, but it's 90 meters, which translates to about 55'ish rolls of 36 frame films. =D

The film itself is rated at 50 ASA, just like the current Ilford Panf plus, cool!

So, this is a dirt-cheap solution, especially when coupled with caffenol.
The film yields really nice photos as well, I simply love the retro-look it produces, see the photos in the above link, especially the photos of the old camera..

.So, what to I need?

- A bulk loader, like this one:

- A few empty 35mm film casettes (less than $1 on B&H, or you can get them off eBay)

I bought plastic ones, as they have a screw-top, which is safer than the pop-on, pop-off metal ones, at least thats what the reviewers said. :)

Then you spool up a few rolls after loading your daylight loader with film and off you go.

As usual, youtube has nice video tutorials on how to do things when you are stuck :)

Other than that, I've also placed an order for some Fomapan 100 120 b&w film from a great resource, the lomography web shop ( http://shop.lomography.com/ ), you can also order the film from http://www.fomafoto.com/ and even http://www.fomafoto.no/ if you're in Norway.

The lomography-shop carry both 35mm and 120 (medium format) film types.
In addition they also sell many weird cameras with varying photographic quality (It's a Lomo photography site after all).
Anyway, that was a really cool find, as I want to try out some of the classic oldies film types.

Next blog entry will be about digital stuff I think. =)

4. september 2011

2011, the summer that never quite was

I'm sure glad I got a classic holliday-trip to warmer parts of the world this year. :P
First, here's 10 minutes of rain-sounds, knock yourself out:
Sound of rain without music

And, here's my dedication to the summer in Oslo 2011, oh sorry, I meant "summer".
Now you got the proper sound to view the photos with :)

May 2012 bring us a good summer, it's been a few years since the last really nice summer to be honest.