medium format film madness: update

Some of you may remember an earlier post, medium format film madness, about my entry intro the world of medium format film. Well here is the first result even vaguely worth posting:

industrial branches 2

“Industrial branches 2”. (Fuji GW690. 1/125 sec @ f11 (I think!). Ilford FP4+ 125)

It’s a revisit to the location of this polaroid shot.

I have to be honest, this whole film process continues to be rather tedious and so far I have few results that I am happy with. I have had under-exposure problems, despite metering with both a light-meter and a digital camera, and I have had some focus and sharpness problems. Most of this is likely down to user error, though it’s possible that there are some mechanical issues with my Fuji GW690; I simply don’t know because I don’t have another medium format film camera to compare it with.

Worst of all, I continue to have terrible dust and hair problems during scanning, despite using cotton gloves and constantly cleaning the negatives and the scanner (and even hoovering the room frequently). The amount of spot removal I end up doing in Lightroom is shocking.

I have also shot a roll of 35mm film on a Yashica Electro 35 recently – I dread to think how bad the dust issue is going to be on those smaller negatives.

I’d love to pay someone else to do the scanning but it’s really way too expensive

What’s especially awkward is I don’t really know what to expect: How much dust is normal? Just how sharp should a 10,000 pixel wide scan of of a 9cmx6cm negative be at 100%?

Paying for film and dev, and the rigmarole of posting it (to Peak Imaging) is a grind too.

There’s no exif either – all the shooting info has to be written down manually somewhere.

So am I a little down on the whole process? Yes.

Am I seeing some film magic, some glorious tonalities, some medium format lushness? No, not really. Not yet.

Am I going to give up? No. Not yet.

Stay tuned…

 

Ray K Metzker: Light Lines

Regular visitors will be familiar with my complaints about the cost of some photographic books. Especially annoying for me, given that he is one of my favourite photographers, is the cost of Light Lines by Ray K Metzker: currently £324 (!) on Amazon UK.

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Well, I recently found a way around this.

The more linguistically capable of you might recognise what this is in the photo.

Yes, it’s the French edition of Light Lines. Identical in every way apart from the language of the essays. The photographs are the same.

It cost just ‚ā¨66 from¬†artbooksonline.eu.

It’s simply a wonderful book. Go get it!

What can I say about Ray Metzker? He was one of the finest photographers, with a singular vision and a fantastic eye. His stark shots of shadows and light are astonishing.

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time slices

time slices

This was just an experiment – but it turned out surprisingly well.

Inspired by the work of Jim Kasson, which I recently posted about, and also Chris Kovacs, I decided to try layering some exposures.

I took a series of hand-held shots of a clock tower with a telephoto, changing the focal length throughout the set. ¬†I then stacked them as layers in Affinity Photo, adjusted the opacity of each layer… and that was that.

I didn’t move the individual layers around to align them because I wanted to preserve the actual spatial relationship of the original shots (for some reason this seemed important to me).

I’m pleased with the result. I didn’t really take much care with the shot sequence or choice of subject so I’d like to see what I can come up with when I take a more considered approach.