Remember, remember the 9th of November ….

During this year’s #filmfeb I professed that my projects for the year were to shoot more 4×5 and revisit some old negatives. Shooting 4×5 in a lockdown is a bit of a challenge, but it seems to be the ideal time for digging into old negatives. I shall start by going some 30 years back.

In front of Schöneberg Townhall, 10 November 1989. Schöneberg is a district of Berlin; during the cold war, West-Berlin’s regional parliament met in this district’s townhall.

One of the side effects of growing up in Berlin during the cold war, was being there when the whole affair ended. Continue reading “Remember, remember the 9th of November ….”

Berlin and its Holocaust Memorials

On my most recent visit to Berlin I decided to do something I had so far avoided: take some shots of the usual Tourist motives. I had done this elsewhere of course, but never in Berlin. The obvious starting point for such a mission is the Brandenburg Gate, where I got the standard shot towards the end of the golden hour. The film was 120 format Kodak Portra 160 in a Zenza Bronica SQ-Ai, I brought a 50mm and a 150mm lens.

Brandenburg Gate

From this first location, Continue reading “Berlin and its Holocaust Memorials”

ORWO Expired?

ORWO NP22

The East German ORWO products have long appealed to more old fashioned photographers. I shot ORWO black and white films occasionally, when they were still being made and used their photo paper regularly. ORWO paper was actually made of paper, or cardboard, at a point when most modern photo papers were made of some form of plastic or at least resin coated. To those photographers with a bit of a Luddite streak the traditional paper just looked nicer. Continue reading “ORWO Expired?”

Bulb only …

Once upon a time, during the first #ShittyCameraChallenge I took part in, I used that beat up but functional Agfa Silette. This time round, the shutter gave in when testing different speeds, leaving me with bulb mode and no reliable timed exposure. Anyway, I decided to use it one more time, but now was confined to long exposures. With this constraint, I did not go so far as using a shitty film as well and decided to shoot Fuji Acros 100 pulled one stop to ISO 50. With this low speed and favouring small apertures, I expected to be constantly tripod bound with multi second exposure times.

It turned out Continue reading “Bulb only …”

Pushing out of my comfort zone

On Twitter, @_JasonAvery challenged my camera. Well, not only mine specifically, but he through down the gauntlet with the #camerachallenge: 1. push an ilford film by two stops or more 2. move out of your comfort zone.
Pushing ilford films by two stops is the easy part. I’ve done that before. I would do it again, and decided to push Ilford Delta 3200 to ISO 12800 –that’s exactly two stops and rather fast for film.
The bit about the comfort zone is harder to interpret. Did the challenge want me to be less comfortable during the process itself? I hope not. Or did ‘subject matter out of my comfort zone’ simply mean shooting stuff I don’t normally shoot? This approach Continue reading “Pushing out of my comfort zone”

Goldline Presto N – Reflections on October’s #ShittyCameraChallenge

Following on from the two crappy cameras at the last #ShittyCameraChallenge, I moved on to a fixed focus point and shoot for the October edition. The Goldline Presto N is a point and shoot with built in flash, fixed focus, fixed shutter speed and fixed aperture.

In fact, it very much works like the disposable cameras currently on sale: along with the overall primitive set-up, the flash fires whenever the shutter is pressed.
Unlike in the case of disposable cameras, the battery can be removed and an ordinary film cartridge has to be inserted. The shutter Continue reading “Goldline Presto N – Reflections on October’s #ShittyCameraChallenge”

Basic Colour Filters

Recently, I stumbled across a youtube clip discussing five photography gadgets the vlogger regretted buying. Three of these were obviously or plausibly useless but no. 5 was taken by ‘basic colour filters’ which apparently suck because you can create the effect as easily in photoshop. The reference was clearly to basic colour filters (an orange filter was shown as an example), not more subtle colour correction filters.

I was puzzled initially, Continue reading “Basic Colour Filters”