the photoblog

Gothic Towers Above the Willamette River

kodacolorThe St Johns Bridge is the one of my favorite bridges. I figure a bridge this impressive deserves to be photographed on film. The other day I got my hands on some expired film from Blue Camera and Machine just a few blocks from this bridge. I bought several rolls of film for my photowalking. I loaded a Canon EOS Elan with a roll 20 year expired roll of Kodak Gold Ultra ISO 400 film. The glass I used is a Canon 17-40mm f4 L zoom lens. When you get up close to bridge like this, the wide-angle lens is very useful. I do love this lens too. I used to own an EF 20-35mm f3.5-4.5 USM. That was not a great lens, not by a long shot.

As a general rule, I like to over expose my film one-stop for every decade that it’s expired. So in this case, I exposed the film at an exposure index of 100. The lab will processes the film as 400 speed film. I did very little adjustment to the color in Lightroom, I added some sharpening and noise reduction. A little curve adjust for shadow and highlight tone adjustments.

There are subtle color shifts in the film. The noise and grain are very pronounced on the old film, but I think it adds a little character. For the most part, I think this film was most likely stored very well. The images aren’t “perfect”, but film is so amazing by itself.

Alberta Street Cat


This little guy just sat there enjoying the wonderful warm weather that Portland has been experiencing lately.

Shot with a Koni-Omega medium format 6×7 range finder on expired Konica 100 color film.

The Koni Omega as a Street Camera

The Koni-Omega Rapid is a very large camera and still very fast as well. When I carry this camera around it draws a lot of attention, but it’s a good kind of attention. The 6×7 format is often called the ideal format, because it is the same aspect ration as 8×10 prints. I like it because it is a nice big negative.

The film I am using is 10 year expired Konica Color film. I exposed this film at e.i. 200 and processed normal.


Cool Camera, Where Do You Get Film?

Where Do You Get Film?

This is a legitimate question. However, when the follow-up question, “does it shoot color?” is asked before I can even answer the first question, then we’re in for a long conversation.

In a span of 30 minutes of carrying my Hasselblad during Treefort Music Fest, two young photographers told me how cool my camera was. The first young photographer with his shiny “Press” pass proudly displayed assumed I had a digital back on my 500C because film was so “hard to find”. I had to explain to this fledgling professional photographer that finding film was much easier than finding $20,000 for a digital back.

The second young photographer, while thankfully not wearing a press pass was in utter amazement that film was still produced. We had a short conversation, I told him how and where to buy film and he was pretty excited about the prospect of shooting film himself.

Most people, especially younger professional photographers think it’s “cute” that there are still very active photographers shooting film. Most of these young photographers don’t believe film is still a practical professional medium. I don’t think the problem is with the film, the problem is with their confidence with film. There is an easy sign that a young photographer has very little confidence in what or how they’re shooting. How often are they are checking the screen on the camera, chimping? Not ‘if’ they chimp, we all chimp. If a photographer is chimping every 3 or 4 shots through out the shoot, they’ve never shot film. They also don’t trust themselves enough to just snap a few pictures, chimp to get a baseline exposure and then continue on the job. A photographer should chimp, but only to make sure everything is working right and if conditions and light change.

When you’re busy chimping, you will miss something. When these young photographers see us older photographers shooting on film, they believe we’re at a disadvantage. In truth though we have the advantage. The advantage of experience, we know how to get the job done without ever worrying about our histogram. Hence, missing the critical shot.

Moving Fast on Stage

I have always been a big fan of long exposure photography. Capturing movement on film is usually not an easy feat. In this case I set the camera on my table and stop the aperture down to f22 and let the camera choose the shutter, which I believe was 10 seconds or so.

I wanted everything in the image to be sharp and in focus and let the musicians blur.
The band is called Nature Thief and they were playing on my birthday a few weeks back at the Firkin Tavern. It was one hell of a show too.

Camera: Canon EOS 10s
Film: Kodak TMax 100