“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” ― Dorothea Lange

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My Caffenol Experiment

It’s no secret to my friends that I like to try new things and I’m not afraid of trying new things. When I first read about Caffenol a few years ago, I was definitely captivated. I grew up shooting film and when I was in college, I spent most of my free time either shooting or in the darkroom developing and printing. I still love shooting film! If you have read any of my posts on film, you’ll see that I develop my film mostly using Ilford DDX developer. I’ll admit, I tried Caffenol a couple years ago and it…

Fuji’s Classic Chrome and the X-Pro 2

Fuji has done some awesome things lately. Their film simulations in camera have been interesting. It started with Fuji introducing Classic Chrome when the X100T came out. They made it a firmware update for the X-T1 also. I was intrigued by it. A lot of people have compared Classic Chrome to Kodak’s iconic Kodachrome film but is it really? You can’t buy Kodachrome anymore so shooting a roll of it and comparing it won’t work. So how do you compare the look of Classic Chrome to the real thing? I searched for the perfect preset for Lightroom to get that…

Fuji X-Pro 2 The Film Shooter’s Digital

Yes, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. Excuses? Not really, I guess just a little lazy. When I heard that Fuji was coming out with the X-Pro 2, I got excited to say the least. I love Fuji cameras and I have written about the X-Pro 1 and also my favorite, the XT-1. I picked up the X-Pro 2 last week and finally got to go shoot with it yesterday. In a word, it was “Awesome”. This isn’t a technical review of the camera at all, it’s just my impressions of this camera and what I liked and…

Tabletop Studio Setup

In my last post, I talked about my Ikea hack for a small tabletop studio. I thought I’d write about it today because I really like this setup. I bought an Ikea kitchen cart called the Bekväm for $59.00. A great little cart with a really nice butcher block type top, 2 shelves and wheels on 2 of the legs. Oh, and solid wood! Once I got it put together, which was pretty easy, I was impressed at how solid it is. I knew that I wanted to add some way of attaching a backdrop so I drilled a couple holes…

Fuji X-T1 in the Studio

I have owned this wonderful camera since March and finally decided to see how it can shoot in a studio setting. Using both available light and also the strobes. I shoot primarily food photography, and try to earn a living doing it but that’s another story. When I was shooting with the Canon 5d MkII, I used the Canon 100mm macro lens for the bulk of my food shots. On the Fuji, I have the Fuji 60mm macro lens. Did the Fuji live up to my expectations? Boy did it except for a few quirky things. First off, I tried…

Kodak TMax 400

Well, this summer kind of got away from me and so did my “Film of the Week” project. No excuses! Anyway, I’m back and this time I shot with Kodak TMax 400 film. TMax is like the staple film of most high school photography courses. Why? Mainly because it’s a very forgiving film, easy to develop and the end results are pretty good. A little about TMax 400. It’s a T-grain film. What is T-grain, you ask? It’s a tabular structure. Here is what Wikipedia says– In panchromatic emulsions, the sensitivity of the silver halide crystal is enhanced by sensitizing dyes that adsorb on the crystal…

Kodak 400TX (TRI-X)

Up this week is the iconic Kodak TRI-X film. Rated at 400 ASA, it’s a fast enough film to capture moving things so that’s probably why it was used so much in photojournalism. Kodak introduced the 35mm film in 1954 and word is that they introduced TRI-X sheet film in the 1940’s. Since I dug a little for Ilford’s history, I’ll do the same for Kodak. When you think of Kodak, if the name George Eastman and Rochester, New York don’t ring a bell, then you don’t know film. Eastman started making dry plates in 1878. Dry plates were a…

The ONA Bowery Camera Bag – Leather Goodness!

I have this thing about camera bags. I’m obsessed with finding the perfect bag! I own a bunch of ’em. Tenba, Think Tank, Lowe Pro, Tamrac and the list goes on. BUT, I believe my search is over with this little gem – the ONA Bowery bag in antique cognac leather. You see, I like my bags to look, well, not like a camera bag. I really hate drawing attention to myself and when people see you wandering around with a camera bag that has a giant label on it, it just screams “I have expensive camera equipment. Please follow me…

Month of Film – Part 3

My Month of Film has come to an end. I have to say that this was probably the most liberating month of shooting that I have had in years! No worries about anything digital except for scanning the negatives into the computer and editing my favorite images. I only used a few different films, Fuji Acros 100, Ilford FP4+,  and Ilford Delta 100 all developed in Ilford Ilfotec-DDX. The main thing I learned from this experiment was to take my time and think about what I was shooting. I made a point to look at shadows and light and also composition. To…

Ilford FP4+

Here we go! Week 1 of my Film of the Week series. I chose Ilford’s FP4+ because that’s what I had in the camera and right now it is my favorite film to shoot with. As I mentioned in my intro. post for the series, I will give as much information as possible about the film and also tell how I developed it. The camera and lens will always be the same – the Leica MP and the Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 Nokton Classic SC. So, how about a little history. In researching the beginning of FP4 film, I ran across…