Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Reno Weekday


A few weeks back, I was testing the A12 back that I had put new light seals in. That seems to have turned out fine. I have two backs for the Hasselblad, and so, the manual 12 back I loaded with Portra 400. I often think I can get away with really low light with that film and the ƒ2.8 lens. Here I propped the camera up on the floor and set the shutter speed to 1/15”. Cary Safe Co., Buffalo, NY
Safe at Big Eds, Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©January 2013 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 80mm ƒ2.8, Kodak Portra 400 frame 1]
Lately Garry Winogrand comes to mind, quoted variously:

I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.

I photograph what interests me all the time. I live with the pictures to see what that thing looks like photographed.

Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.


A good clip with Garry is from Bill Moyers’ Creativity, see here, two years before Winogrand’s passing in 1984. If you’re curious, you can check out more about his last Leica M4 here.

Perhaps that is why I am shooting heavy equipment. In this composition, I was after a jawa-transport-vibe here (aka the Sandcrawler from Star Wars).
Excavator 330 and the rising moon.
The excavator and rising moon, south Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/23/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 120mm ƒ5.6, Kodak Portra 400 frame 4]
I seem to be bringing in the moon back into my photography. It has been absent for years now.

One night working late, I think scanning in negatives for my last entry, I headed out, glad to find that Jimboy’s tacos was open at 11pm. I pulled in there and saw a photo. After paying, I backed up for this shot. It is actually two frames where I focused close and far, both handheld with the 120mm ƒ5.6 lens. I hope that you are unable to see my edit. Most of what looks crappy here is banding from jpg compression. This was shot figuring that I could get away with 1/30” exposure wide open at ƒ5.6. The tacos were good.
The moon above Jimboy’s, midtown Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/24/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 120mm ƒ5.6, Kodak Portra 400 frame 5]
Again with the backhoe. . .
Parking lot backhoe, Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/24/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 80mm ƒ2.8, Kodak Portra 400 frame 7]
On Friday, I was only headed out for lunch, but then stayed out shooting all afternoon; an urban adventure in Reno. It is surprising what can appear when I consciously shift to random observer. I’ll get to that.
Switching to Fuji Reala.

Hasselblad on Fourth Street, Reno. Add two frames when finished
Farris Apartments, 4th street Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/25/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 120mm ƒ5.6, Fuji Reala 100 frame 2]
So I was headed back to the office and across the highway, where I have driven by countless times, something registered in my periphery. Driving around in traffic sucks, but driving around when you don’t really know or care where you are going is more fun. So, anyway, take a look!
Mini Golf Moai, Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/25/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 120mm ƒ5.6, Fuji Reala 100 frame 4]
This thing is quite cool, but hard to photograph from outside the fence. I passed the camera over the bars and held it sideways for this one:
Mini Golf Moai, Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/25/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 120mm ƒ5.6, Fuji Reala 100 frame 5]
I was getting close to finishing up two rolls of 120, and was near the place where I get my film processed. So I moseyed on over to Gordon’s to waste the remaining frames. While there, I tested out a used 250mm ƒ5.6 Zeiss lens. The closest focusing on this super long silver lens is just under eight feet. Check it out:
Sycamore, Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/25/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 250mm ƒ5.6, Fuji Reala 100 frame 10]
Sycamore, Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/25/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 250mm ƒ5.6, Fuji Reala 100 frame 11]
Gordon’s Photo Service, Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/25/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 250mm ƒ5.6, Fuji Reala 100 frame 4]
The folks there processed my film while I waited, which was unexpected and awesome. I had a long conversation with another customer, a woman in her 90’s who was getting some enlargements made of photos from her childhood. We talked about Kodak folders, her first camera, and then Brownie box cameras. She shook her head as she admitted to shooting 110 film for more than twenty years, knowing how poorly they enlarged. I assured her that she wasn’t alone, and that 110 was still around.

A later edit of this blog will include a few more shots. With my short cable release and the long 120mm lens, I sat in front of the camera. Click here to see.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fuji Reala 100

I picked up a roll of film at 6pm tonight. I have been sitting here working with it since then. I don’t think I will get to any more finished scans tonight, so I will just put these up. This roll is using my newly repaired A12 back. It is the first time I’ve used Fuji film in 120. I picked up a 5 pack of Reala 100. It scans in quite a bit different than the Kodak films I’ve been using. Different, but also good. Last week at Gordon’s Photo, where I get my film processed, they happened to have a 120mm Zeiss Planar ƒ5.6 in the back. The price was right, so to speak. Having another lens doesn’t help me get through a roll of 120 any more quickly though. I put this back on a few weeks back and went to one of my favorite breakfast joints called Big Ed’s. These are street scenes nearby:
Lucky Motel, Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©January 2013 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 80mƒ2.8, Fuji Reala 100 frame 2]
I am still very much getting used to a street style handheld with the Hasselblad. It isn’t easy to shoot this camera quickly, or rather, do it well. There are often danged crooked compositions. Oh well. I really didn’t want to fight too much with this image. The color balance of the sky is a mess.
Alturas Bar, Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©January 2013 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 80mƒ2.8, Fuji Reala 100 frame 3]
This was one of those things that looked like a photograph to me.
Parking lot sycamore, south Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©January 2013 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 80mƒ2.8, Fuji Reala 100 frame 4]
On Monday, I went for a late lunch (yeah late, as in just before sunset). I really didn’t feel like the sub sandwich, so I turned around to leave and saw this photograph. So I went to fetch cameras.

The Conversation
Two empty chairs, south Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/21/13 [Fujifilm Instax 210, silver edition]
For this shot, what caught my eye was the warm illusion of the reflected sunlight on that certainly frigid metal chair. They are sitting in snow that fell maybe 5 or 6 days ago. No one has sat here, and no one has stolen them. Catching the cars dancing in between the chair backs in dark/black and light/white is the kind of thing I love love about photography. The title occurred before I shot it; as if the lonely, cold, unmoved chairs were longing to accompany some, uh, company. The Conversation is also the title of a Fracis Ford Copolla movie with Gene Hackman, a wonderful and highly regarded 70’s film.

The 120mm lens is quite long. From the same spot with the Hasselblad:
Two empty chairs, south Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/21/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 120mm ƒ5.6, Fuji Reala 100 frame 6]
Zeiss Planar 120mm ƒ5.6 for Hasselblad #3336433 [iphone 4S, Hipsta 261]

See, it is super long! Definitely like a telephoto. I was up against a post, so I couldn’t back up. I did manage to get the yellow light in that frame though. I almost went for fish and chips, but considering traffic and time, I got the sandwich anyway.

That was Monday. Tuesday was a bit of grind for work. Wednesday. Okay, there is a classic movie series being shown at the local theater. I don’t understand their rationale for what films, but I can see why they screen them for only one day. I went to the matinee of To Catch A Thief. There were four older ladies and me. I am not sure how to interpret that. How about older ladies have good taste in movies? Anyway it was fantastic to immerse in such a movie. It’s a Hitchcock film with Carey Grant and Grace Kelley set in the south of France. I had not seen it before. It definitely had me thinking about international travel and photography, which becomes more of a reality every week that I stay employed! France or Spain? or England? Or those Scandanavian countries?

Getting out of the theater at about 4, I had some time to shoot. Colors tend to go wacky when I shoot this camera into the sun, hence the black and white treatment. You can make out the ski runs on Mount Rose (the peak on the left).
South Reno sunset, Andrew D. Barron©1/23/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 80mƒ2.8, Fuji Reala 100 frame 9]
South Reno sunset, Andrew D. Barron©1/23/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 80mƒ2.8, Fuji Reala 100 frame 9]
The shot above is looking towards the snow covered foothills; the neighborhood where I have been living since June. This is the same spot and the same excavator presented earlier on Impossible Color Protection film (see it here). They tore down the old house months ago now, and this thing hasn’t moved since. The out of focus elements look really cool with this lens, even it’s pairs of contrails, street lights and lenticular clouds.
The bucket, south Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/21/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 120mm ƒ5.6, Fuji Reala 100 frame 12]
So that is about how it goes in a week. I am lucky if I can get through a roll of 120 film, process it, and get some quick scans up. I hope I can keep it up; it seems so modest compared to my previous efforts. I also have some 35mm from the Leica to get through. Something about the 12 frame rolls of 120 makes them more manageable.

Closing thoughts. I love: the 120mm lens, Fuji Reala 100, and the Instax 210. Those chairs are making me crave an old fashioned donut from the coffee shop where they sit.

I’ve been thinking about ways to get out and shoot more. I may mix my schedule up a little and also might start feeling out the Reno film photographer scene and see who is doing what in these parts.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Reno Winter Scenes

Here are some frames from a roll of Portra 400 in the Hasselblad.

T R A C T O R!
Parking lot tractor CASE580SK turbo, Andrew D. Barron©1/3/2013 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 80mƒ2.8, Kodak Portra 400]
posted
No trespassing, Andrew D. Barron©January 2013 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Distagon 50mƒ4, Kodak Portra 400]
I started to lose the highlight detail in the lens flare, so I left the colors this funky way.
South Reno snowscape, Andrew D. Barron©1/3/2013 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Distagon 50mƒ4, Kodak Portra 400]
This shot was unsuccessful in color, got better in black and white, and then I accidentally inverted it and liked the result.
South Reno fence, Andrew D. Barron©1/3/2013 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Distagon 50mƒ4, Kodak Portra 400]

South Reno, the last farm. I shot this from the ditch.
south Reno, the last farm, Andrew D. Barron©1/5/2013 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 80mƒ2.8, Kodak Portra 400]
The tree leans.
Tree leans on the last farm, South Reno, , Andrew D. Barron©1/5/2013 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 80mƒ2.8, Kodak Portra 400]
Some from my first pack of Instax Wide in my new Silver Edition Fujifilm Instax 210. For the first time, I thought the the border brought the composition together in a few.
Out on the deck, Andrew D. Barron©1/12/2013 [Silver Edition Fujifilm Instax 210: Instax Wide]

Last rays over Mount Rose.
Last rays over Mount Rose, Andrew D. Barron©1/16/2013 [Silver Edition Fujifilm Instax 210: Instax Wide]
Last night I went to Virginia City with my friend Mike to see my other friends in their bluegrass band Wildhorse Drive.

Chad Bowen on the banjo (wondering what I was doing as I diffused the flash with a napkin.)
Chad Bowen on the banjo, Andrew D. Barron©1/18/2013 [Silver Edition Fujifilm Instax 210: Instax Wide]
Worked today (Saturday); this was lunch at the Spicy Pickle.

Moon in the branches.

Moon in the white branches, Andrew D. Barron©1/19/2013 [Silver Edition Fujifilm Instax 210: Instax Wide]

Friday, January 11, 2013

Instax 210 review / Silver Edition / 2012 Instax retrospective


In this entry I redirect to some of my older writings about the Fujifilm Instax 210, show you my new Silver model and clear case, and finish with a long string of scanned Instax Wide prints that made their way to this blog in 2012.

A great deal of the traffic here comes from interest in the Fuji Instax 210, one of my favorite cameras.

My actual review of the camera is pretty informal (from 1.19.2011). It is my most popular page by far. In two years of shooting, two 210’s, and somewhere near 100 packs of film, my enthusiasm for the Instax 210 has not changed.

Early in 2012, I made a video showing how to load film (at right). The camera gets more attention than just about anything else I’ve done.

Using filters over the lens can be helpful, especially the UV+circular polarizer combo. The photos can end up dark because the electric eye sees without the filter. This can sometimes be compensated for using the lightest of the three exposure settings. In my entry Fun with Instax 210 (7.16.2011), I played around with holding up filters, double exposures, and using colored filters to gel the flash.

If you are not careful, the tape you use to attach the filter can jam up as the lens retracts, irrevocably destroying your camera in one automatic time-out shut down. See my video with the torn down 210. There is apparently no way to slide something over the front of the lens that won’t either get jammed up in the lens, or slip off, sending your glass filters to the ground. A better solution would be to glue a step-down ring to the front of the lens. The only drawback for me doing that is that glued-on thing sticks out the most when the camera is closed. Thus, the weakest part is most susceptible to accidental abuse.

My new toy
I treated myself to an unusual model of the 210. It is marketed in Asia as a wedding version and is silver. I have yet to find it for sale in the US. So, it shipped from Hong Kong for about $20 more than a standard model. I had reliable and quick service from Holgadget.com. This is the same outfit that I ordered a clear plastic case for the camera. Curiously, you can only order the $23 case through ebay. His seller ID is uranium99.

I ordered the silver edition camera from Holgadget.com directly. The case and camera were ordered (separately) on 12/29. The ‘Crystal Protect Case’ arrived in the mailbox on 1/8/13. It comes in a box from a manufacturer called CAIYOULE, where it reads “210 protect case.” To the point. The camera arrived on 1/10/13, but I had to go pick it up in person as it was sent registered mail. That would normally have been a drag for me, so word to the wise.
Wedding edition Fujifilm Instax 210 with Crystal Protect Case, Andrew D. Barron©1/11/13 [645 PRO for 4S]
The Silver Instax 210 is the first interesting variant that I have seen in my two years with the camera. It is too bad that Fuji can’t put together another 500AF (the autofocus Instax Wide camera that is exceedingly rare). As it is, I will just have to love the goofy Instax 210 for what it is and what it does. The stock 210 strap is notoriously bad and comes loose all the time. You should replace it or not use it; I believe it is cleverly designed to drop your fragile camera eventually. The nylon slips through the plastic fittings. The best deal around still is from UniquePhoto: camera, nylon case, and 60 shots (3 twin packs) for $105/free shipping. If I didn’t have the SX-70 strap, I would go without and just use the nylon case (you can see it in my video above). Check the web for the Instax 210 nylon case. It used to be $6.95, so don’t get ripped off out there. I haven’t found a place to pick up this classy case in the States. I’ve got my eye out though.
Wedding edition Fujifilm Instax 210 with Crystal Protect Case, Andrew D. Barron©1/11/13 [645 PRO for 4S]
The outer case certainly doesn’t improve the bubble-y appearance of this thing!
Wedding edition Fujifilm Instax 210 with Crystal Protect Case, Andrew D. Barron©1/11/13 [645 PRO for 4S]
I can’t see how this case will last very long with only two flimsy latches that have to be exercised with each film loading. I see duct tape in it’s future.

The rapid rise of phone app filters to mimic print borders quickly diminished the neat ‘factor’ of the real print border on the scans of Instax Wide film for me. I wanted to emphasize the quality of the Instax 210 prints so I present them cropped to the image area. At 855 pixels wide, the image is larger than the physical print (almost 2x).

Now on to the Instax 210 2012 retrospective (29 images follow)!

Sunrise west of Porterville headed towards 99 North.
Old tree sunrise, Andrew D. Barron©1/10/12
+2 close up filters, normal exposure, close focus setting, flash.
Madrone on Old Coast Road, Andrew D.Barron©4/5/12
Surface, Garrison lake, Andrew D. Barron©3/25/12
Split Mountain Road, Andrew D. Barron©1/7/12
In the parking lot of the office.
South Reno sky, Andrew D. Barron©12/11/12 [Fuji Instax 210]
Euchre Creek home, Andrew D. Barron©3/9/12
Euchre Creek home, Andrew D. Barron©3/9/12
Barn up Euchre Creek Road, Ophir, Andrew D. Barron©1/1/12
As we were drifting up the highway before coffee, I pulled over for this shot. I may never forget the sensation of laying my face on the frozen railroad to brace the camera for this sunrise though silos.
Cold face silo shot, Andrew D. Barron©1/10/12
From Otter Point looking west-northwest, Andrew D. Barron©3/8/12
From an awesome day shooting around Port Orford. Down at the Heads looking to the south towards Humbug:
Bay at Port Orford Heads, Andrew D. Barron©3/25/12
From Ophir looking north towards Humbug.
Sisters Rocks to the north from Ophir, Andrew D. Barron©3/9/12
Bridge over the Rogue River.
Patterson Bridge over the Rogue, Andrew D. Barron©3/22/12
Bridge over Lobster Creek towards Lobster Creek Bridge:
From South Bank road towards Lobster Creek bridge, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
Euchre Creek meets the Pacific.
Euchre Creek marsh, Andrew D. Barron©2/2/12
Greggs Creek meets the sea, instax 210, Andrew D. Barron©2/14/12Mike Melnyk, optically triggered Photogenic Powerlight 1250 flashes, Andrew D. Barron©6/15/12 [Fuji Instax 210/Instax Wide]
CVO InSAR team at Laurelthirst, Portland, Andrew D. Barron©12/19/11
Bar bathroom self portrait, Brooklyn NY, Andrew D. Barron©10/11/12 [Fuji Instax 210 (Instax wide)]
Ophir sunset rainbow, Andrew D. Barron©2/26/12
Yard flower with Fuji Instax 210, Andrew D. Barron©2/9/12
holding a glass 52mm close-up filter:
Instant film blossoms, Andrew D. Barron©3/3/12
Daffodil farewell, Andrew D. Barron©4/6/12
East river water front, Brooklyn NY, Andrew D. Barron©10/12/12 [Fuji Instax 210 (Instax wide)]
East river water front, Brooklyn NY, Andrew D. Barron©10/12/12 [Fuji Instax 210 (Instax wide)]
Euchre creek marsh, Andrew D. Barron©3/24/12
“The drop”
Ophir sunset from in the surf, Andrew D. Barron©2/26/12
Sun sets over Cape Blanco, Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron©2/2/12

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