Tag Archives: exposure

Is That a Light Saber or Revolog Lazer?

One of the staples of the Structure line of handmade films from Revolog, Lazer will give your pictures a touch of science fiction fabulosity, as if Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker were staging a light saber duel inside your camera. Dazzling green lines appear randomly throughout your roll of film. The effect is more subtle in over exposed shots and brighter in properly and under exposed frames.

Here’s the Lazer effect on an accidentally taken-in-my-photo-bag shot. I never intend to do this, but it’s fun to see the effects in their naked form (so to speak).

One of the first shots on this roll of film is also one of my favorites. Not only did I get a little light leaking, but I got a great green line. This roll was taken in my Smena 8.

I love the look of Lazer in my shots without people.

It’s not as nice through someone’s face, but it’s still interesting.

The first shots on this roll were taken at Playland, the amusement park on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk. It’s one of my favorite places to take photos because it’s just so loud and colorful and crazy.

In this double exposure shot you can see a faint light green line on the right side.

This long exposure carousel shot also shows the green line on the right side of the photo.

Overall, I’m digging Lazer, although for shots of people, I’d prefer another roll of Revolog film, like Tesla or Volvox. With Lazer, you can go for an overall ironic look to your photographs, like taking shots of a Civil War Re-enactment with Lazer. Better yet would be to take pictures of a sword fight at a Renaissance Festival with Lazer. Now that would be something!

Yes, that’s a bacon-wrapped beer bottle on the cover of that magazine

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Double Everything

I’m truly obsessed with Fusioncam. It’s such a fun app. I like using it especially in museums because my husband is one of those people who reads everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, on each and every plaque. All the waiting around drives me nuts, since I’m one to skip to the highlights or just read things that interest me, but having that extra time has inspired many creative moments. Here are a few shots from a recent trip to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

Display of USNA Class rings, version 1

USNA Rings, Version 2

WWII Japanese Artifacts

Aviation Artifacts

WWII era Japanese Uniform and Plane Silhouette

Silver Candelabra and American Flag

We happened to be back in Annapolis this weekend for a wedding and the Chinese lanterns strung across the ceiling gave me some good ideas.

 

 This is my favorite

 Sometimes a double exposure ends up looking like a hot mess, but when it works out just right, it’s beautiful.


Trippy Key West, or How Toy Cameras Made My Pictures Extra Special

Key West is a crazy place, but how do you capture the essence of the insanity? Through a plastic lens and some crazy film, of course.

The view while floating on my back in the pool where we were staying. I miss that palm tree. Shot with Holga on Kodak Tmax 400iso.

Our favorite coffee shop in KW

While I was in Key West I did a little experimentation with double and long exposures, as well as with Revolog’s Tesla II and Rasp films. My results were trippy, mind-warping goodness. These toy camera shots not only show you the sights, they really capture the essence of Key West.

I own two Holgas and they each take very different pictures. The Holga I brought to KW was my zebra-striped special, which has a lens that fuzzes out a lot of the periphery of my pictures. Look at the first picture in this post, the palm tree. You can see the softness all along the borders of the photo, giving it a very dreamy quality. Floating beneath that tree in the pool, enjoying the cool water, was very relaxing and tranquil, a mood that is captured perfectly in this Holga picture.

Let’s start our tripped-out tour of Key West with some black and white Holga shots from my brother’s wedding.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and it was HOT! The sultry air made everyone feel a little lazy. Add some beer and tequila to the mix and the world became a little soft and fuzzy. The Holga plus black and white film brings that mood to these pictures.

I really love using the Holga for long-exposure shots at weddings because it captures the energy of the day, as it does in the long exposure shots of my brother Jim and his wife April, as they cut their cake.

The two shots at the railing by the water are especially sweet. They show Lexi, April’s daughter (and my new niece) gazing out at the sea, one with a friend Shane and the other, all by herself. Check out the clouds…all zoomy and funny looking at the edges.

Next, we’ll move onto some shots made trippy by the film I used. You’ve seen a couple of these shots before, but bear with me. The first two are taken on Revolog Tesla II and show April and Jimmy with lightning bolts.

It’s great when the random special effects on this film show up in just the right areas. Next, a couple taken on Revolog Rasp. The first is very underexposed, the second is just phenomenal.

The textures of Rasp add a funkiness to these shots that I just love.

Back to shots from my Holga, which has a tendency to wind film in a wonky manner, causing some overlapping. First, you’ll see the two pictures separately, then all together.

We’ll finish up with some of the weirdest shots on the roll. I tried for some intentional double exposures, which turned out okay, but when the film was exposed to light as I unloaded it from the camera, these shots became magic.

The background is of a fence with a sign that reads “No Parking Unless Snow Depth Exceeds 2 inches”

Long exposure of a British phone booth in someone’s backyard

Trippy scooter

Sailing off into the great unknown

as my husband put it, “sailing through tide and times”

Toy cameras are the perfect medium for a funky place like Key West. I will never go anywhere eclectic without my Holga and some film. I do love the iPhone photos I took, but once again, film gave my pictures a depth and character that I couldn’t have achieved otherwise. Thanks for virtual tripping with me 😉


1600 iso—is it the way to go?

The first roll of 1600 iso color film that I ran through my Fuji Natura Classica has returned and I must say, it has given me mixed results. The camera performed fabulously in low light conditions with faster film, but there were some pictures that left me scratching my head.

For example, a few of the photos in natural light were blurry. I’ve heard of this phenomenon with the Natura Classica, but this is the first time I’ve personally experienced it. These pictures are from a trip to Twin Lakes Brewing Co. in Greenville, DE. I HIGHLY recommend a trip there if you’re in the area. The brewer, Sam Hobbs, personally sits down and weaves a tale of history, brewing basics and the environmentally sound practices that his brewery adheres to. The brewery is on a farm that has been in Sam’s family for seven generations and has played a large part in the history of northern Delaware.

See? Just they’re just this side of out of focus. Not enough to make them horrible pictures, but disappointing nonetheless. There was a pleasant surprise on this roll. I posed with the “Stanley Cup of Beer Growlers” and had Sam take a shot of it with my iPhone while Jake took the shot with the Fuji.

Wow! The Natura Classica did a MUCH better job! Here are a couple more pictures from our brewery experience.

That’s a giant bag of hops.

There were also pictures on this roll of our trip to the Philadelphia Art Museum. I had lots of opportunity to play with light and shapes. First, I have to show you the picture that almost got me kicked out of the museum. I snapped this shot of Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” and a security guard TOTALLY busted me, telling me to put away the camera. No pictures allowed. I figured it was no FLASH photography, but I was wrong.

There’s lots of graininess in this picture, but I don’t think it detracts from the subject.

This last shot is one of my favorites

There was a beautiful display in a dimly lit room of some iron work. The play between the hard shapes and their shadows was interesting.

 

I think this is the point at which the Natura might have been on the outer edges of its range. While I really like these pictures, they would’ve looked better if they weren’t so grainy.

Here’s another fun comparison shot between the iPhone

And the Natura Classica

The 1600 film gives the second picture a much different feel and character than the digital Hipstamatic shot.

Lastly, we had dinner at Garces Market and I took the opportunity to snap some pictures.

Again, for comparison, here’s an iPhone shot at the restaurant.

All in all, I’m quite pleased with this roll of 1600 but once again, I’m reminded of the limits of film when it comes to dim light. I still love my Natura Classica and will continue using it on a regular basis, especially at places like museums and restaurants. Sometimes the graininess of the fast film adds character, sometimes it just detracts. The experimenting will continue.


What I Learned From a Bad Roll of Film

Being less-than-thrilled by the results of a film photo shoot is a bummer, but that’s the life of an analogue photographer. When this happens to me I always try to find out a) what went wrong and b) what went right. The results on this roll from my Canon AT-1 are a prime example.

My camera was loaded with Fuji Chrome, iso 100 slide film and had the 28-80mm zoom lens attached. The first few shots of this roll were taken indoors. I tried to do some light painting using Christmas tree lights. I also took a macro-type shot of an orchid.

Both unexciting shots, but they help to tell this story. Next, we went for a walk on the beach. It was a beautiful and unseasonably warm January afternoon. Also on this expedition I took along my Fuji Natura Classica and shot some of the pictures in this blog post. When I didn’t have to worry about light metering with the Fuji, my results were really nice. With my Canon, it was a different story.

I completely forgot there was a light meter on the camera. I suppose that’s what happens when you work with simple cameras most of the time.

The exposure isn’t the greatest on any of these, plus my film must have been expired, which helps to explain the bluish tint. Look at the first picture again and you’ll see a lovely little element entering the picture from the middle of the top…those lovely sunbursts. I continued to get them in these pictures and really love the way they look.

There were a couple of shots which made this roll worth it, namely these two that I took from an odd angle.

Clearly what went wrong here was my exposure time. In almost every shot, I completely forgot about light metering. Slide film always needs a little more light and the slow speed of the film I was using didn’t help. On the positive side, I love the sunbursts and the unusual POV I took in the last few shots.

So you see, just because you think a roll is a disaster, you may be mistaken. It’s always important to learn from your mistakes, in photography and in real life, and appreciate the beauty that was actually captured.


Most Underrated iPhone App

Fusioncam, in my opinion, is one of the more underrated iPhone photography apps. I really love the ability to create double, triple or quadruple exposures and the fact that it has three different filters: black and white, saturated and washed-out color.

Here are some shots I took this week.

These are saws hanging on a hook at my local hardware store

Gears on a giant WWII era antique gun

Rust and bolts on the same gun

Railroad tracks

Rivets on a giant tire

Wheel

Metal rivets

Coils

Metal and rust on the base of the giant gun

Rust and stenciled numbers on the gun

Puffy sea grass

I’m still waiting for some film to return from the developer, so hopefully next week I’ll have some fun new film shots to share.


Light Painting and Help The Photo Palace

Over the holidays I decided to try my hand at some light painting while walking along the streets of my town at night. For these shots I used my Smena 8 with Kodak Gold iso 400 film.

I was getting warmed up here. As you can see, it’s just a hand-held long-exposure shot, but I like the composition.

This one is zippy! I moved the camera in circles near a bare tree lit by LED lights.

The lights in this tree were further up in the sky. I must have used small, circular motions because the shapes made by the lights look like little snails.

These lights were at the top of a lamppost. They were the old-fashioned kind of lights with giant colored bulbs. You can really see the difference in color temperature between these and the LEDs.

I have more light painting shots on the way. I loaded my Canon 70’s film SLR with Fuji slide film (which I’m getting cross-processed) and am eager to see what I captured.

Remember the Photo Palace bus? Well I got this email from Anton, one of its creators:

Hi Friends,

Well with two weeks left in the funding campaign I really am hoping for a miracle. We are only 20% funded and somehow we are supposed to raise the rest in just 14 days.

I was going to make a video update talking about the educational component of the venture, but with 30 minutes left at my job (which is where I edited the last video because my computer is not powerful enough) my Final Cut file crashed and the info got lost so there’s no time to start over…

In the update I was going to say how many wonderful things we will offer to the film community at large: art shows where people can see a gum print and a tintype and a bromoil print, workshops on pinhole cameras and cyanotypes for kids, more involved classes for adults, lectures on the history of film and how it affected the developments in photography, setting up community dark rooms all over the country…. there was a lot there, but now it’s all lost in the digital realm (if I was working with film this would not have happened…). In any case – imagine me looking rather desperate in my packed-up darkroom pleading for help 🙂 It was going to be a good movie…

I really hope that this goes through and we’ll be able to get on the road by summertime. PLEASE help us out by doing another wave of postings here and there and everywhere about this project with a link to it. If you tell the people – ‘hey, I support this!’ they may listen closer and support it as well, right?

Below is the photo of Rollov Film Center – the space where I taught about a dozen students for the past year. It’s all cleaned up and ready for my departure. Please help make this campaign a success 🙂

Sincerely,
Anton

Yikes! Please help spread the word about this fantastic project and if you haven’t yet contributed to the fund, hop on over to their Kickstarter site and do so. It’s such a fantastic way to let people know that film is NOT obsolete and that there are lots of us who still love kickin’ it the lo-fi way. Besides, I really want to meet these two fellas when they come to my town!


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