Archive for February, 2011

A little fun

Everyone’s been posting all sorts of work from Hipstamatic lately, and I needed a study break. I decided to install a similar app (FxCamera) on my HTC Aria and play in the window light for a moment. Now, why on Earth would a man with four SLRs and one TLR in the room bother taking photos with his cell phone? Because I can, mostly.

Right now I’m pondering doing something ridiculous like using my 5D Mark II for nothing but video, taking all of my digital stills with my phone, and any serious stills with one of my medium format film bodies. For now, I’ll leave you with some fake Polariods from my phone.

Blinds

Blinds

Strings

Strings

Pentax 67

Pentax 67

Study break

Study Break

First roll: Fujichrome Velvia 50

This film expired (I assume that’s what the date on the box means, anyway) in 2001. A decade ago. It still looks pretty awesome. Since I do not have E-6 chemistry, I took this to AZ Photo Lab and had them develop the film for me. An $11 well spent, I think.

Each scan is straight off of my Canoscan 8800F. No curve adjustments, no levels, nothing – saved as TIFF from the scanner software, exported to smaller JPEGs by Lightroom 3 after I added metadata. I’ll just post the whole roll, since my Pentax 67 gets 10 frames to a roll of 120 film. Not everything is great, but I really like a few of them. Click and press L to see in Flickr’s lightbox.

From the start: My first color slide frame ever. Not quite as saturated as I’d hoped, but it’s overexposed about a stop and a quarter.

frame 1

Frame 1

frame 2

Frame 2

frame 3

Frame 3

frame 4

Frame 4

frame 5

Frame 5

frame 6

Frame 6

frame 7

Frame 7

frame 8

Frame 8

frame 9

Frame 9

frame 10

Frame 10

Nothing particular

Right now there’s much I could say, but I don’t have a whole lot of time for that. I took Abbey to be spayed and microchipped yesterday. She’s still just as happy and playful as ever. I swear that dog has endless energy. A roll of Velvia 50, which I got when I bought my Pentax 67, also made its way to AZ Photo Lab for developing. Later today, I’ll make a trip down there to pick the roll up and see how it looks. The film is super expired, but it’s been in the freezer, so this could be very interesting.

Last night I allowed some partial fraction decomposition to kick my ass. The various rules for special integration are quite hard to remember a full year after taking Calculus 2. This is especially true when you’ve had no reason to use any of them since finishing that class. At some point I’ll move on to dynamics. That should happen sooner than later, because I’ve got an exam coming up next week and am in no way prepared.

The whole amazement at the situation in Egypt is entertaining. There’s a movement without a plan, and people think that’s going to result in some Utopian peace and freedom. In all likelihood, the end result will be roughly the same as the previous condition. We can hope it will not be worse, but there’s little historical reason to believe that will be the case.

Portrait Session: Jennifer Litz

A few weeks ago, Jennifer Litz asked if I would take some photos for her. Business, but fun. She covers the craft beer/food industry, so we already had more than a little in common.

I thought bookshelves with beer bottles on them would serve nicely as a beer-related backdrop, and happen to have entirely too many bottles of beer on hand. For a little added personality, why not add a goblet and swirl it to add a dash of motion to the equation? I couldn’t think of a reason not to do that either, so we did.

Shooting inside on a nasty day means controlling the light myself. Starting point? No ambient at all. Final state? Slightly warm light on the bookshelf, clean and soft light on the subject. See below.

This is my starting point: ISO 200, f/8, 1/125s. That would leave me with enough shutter to freeze motion, and kill any ambient light. Stopping down to f/8 would make sure the window of acceptably sharp focus would tend to include my entire subject. If you pay attention to my other photos, which are generally outside using my friend the sun as a light source, I usually shoot around two stops wider (if not more).

No Light

No light. Black frame.

Now, a black frame isn’t much to look at unless you’re Spinal Tap and you’re trying to find the most blackest – something that can be none more black – black for an album cover. I usually start with the background, and work my way forward. That’s exactly what I did this time. A gridded 285HV with a 1/4 CTO gel in it nicely covered the bookshelf. Click the image to see where the actual light was placed, I added the setup shots as comments to the photos on Flickr.

Backgorund

Background lit.

Time to bring in the subject. One 285HV, snooted, into the wall to the camera-right of the subject to fill in the wall and bounce back a bit of side light brought in some more depth. The key light was my third 285HV bounced into a large Lastolite Tri-Grip reflector. It just so happens that my tripod doubles as pretty good reflector holder.

All lit up

All lit up

The whole scene.

Lighting Setup

Lighting Setup

Finally, one of the photos with the goblet involved.

Jennifer

Jennifer Litz

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