Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography is a great style of photography.  Google it and see the thousands of fantastic photos created by this style.

I went out a couple of weeks ago to catch a Sunset.  Unfortunately, there was a cloud cover that wouldn't let any of that golden light through.  Still, the situation was perfect for some long exposure photos.  

The location we went to is about 2 kms as the crow flies, south of Dudley Beach.  We had hiked a short way down on a bush track off the end of Debs Parade at Dudley and onto a small area of beach.  There was some sand but there was also an abundance of rock as well.  It was low tide so we were able to walk out onto the rocks and catch the wave movement.

The thing I love about long exposure and waves is that when the shutter is left open for longer, the movement of the waves shows as lovely misty 'cloud' and where the water is calm, it smooths it out into a beautiful flat surface.

The longer the shutter is left open, the more light comes in.  So that the photo is not overexposed by too much light, filters need to be used to cut back the light.  I had 2 stacked ND8 filters on my lens for most of these photos and, removed one as the Sun went down and it got darker.

This would most certainly be an excellent place for some Sunrise photos but that walk from the end of Debs Parade, in the dark before Sunrise, is not something I would recommend!

The photos on this Blog Post and corresponding Google+ page are
Copyright ©Life with Jordy Photography, All Rights Reserved
and may not be used without permission.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Fuji Superia 400 XTRA - Minolta XD-7

So, in my wrap up for 2017, I mentioned that I got a bargain on a Minolta XD-7.  It just needed a little clean and replacement of the light seals.  After considering all the options for the light seals, I settled on a product from my local Bunnings hardware store.  I purchased a roll of window sealer; soft foam with a self adhesive backing.  I cut it to size (because it was too wide and thick to begin with) an put it into the runners around the top and bottom of the door.  I didn't put any along the side of the hinge.  There was not a runner there and I didn't want the seal to put pressure onto the hinge which may have damaged it.  However, it looks as if that is exactly what I am going to have to do because as you will see, I have a horizontal light leak along the sides of some negatives.  Funny, but not all have been affected by this light leak.  Still, I will add the extra seal and hopefully will have another fully working Minolta in my kit!

I alternated between 3 lenses.  One (Minolta MD 28-70mm zoom f3.5-4.8 with macro feature) I had used before and so I was comfortable with that as the lens to ensure that everything on the camera appeared to be working correctly.  I then used the two lenses that came with the camera - a Hanimex MC f3.5-4.5 28-80mm zoom with Macro and a Makinon MC f4.5 80-200mm zoom.

I was a little unsure about the Hanimex lens; for some reason I had always considered Hanimex a cheap brand.  This lens though, appears solid and well made.  It also has a macro function which I am yet to play with.  I was surprised with this lens because it gave me some nice photos although I have noticed that some are focused sharp in the middle and a little out on the edges.  The photo of the street and the buildings does not have this edge blurring though so, perhaps it is when the lens is wide open at 28mm that this takes place.  I think a little more experimentation is required.

The other lens that came with the camera was a Makinon MC f4.5 80-200mm zoom.  I used this mostly for distance photos for when the local yacht club was having some races out of Newcastle.  It appears to have performed ok, a bit soft in the focus but, I will have to give it a more thorough working out in different situations before I can make a decision on it's 'usefulness'.

This roll of film gifted to me by my friend Amber.  It was an expired film (guesstimate about 10 years) and I was not sure of how it had been stored.  Rule of thumb for expired film; underexpose by 1 stop for every 10 years of expiration.  So, this roll was shot at 200 ISO.  The exposure on these photos turned out good. That is one thing about film, it has excellent latitude for exposure and is a little more forgiving for any mistakes!

These photos were developed and scanned at my lab Pro Am Colour Laboratories here in Newcastle.  The only adjustment I make is a slight contrast slide in Lightroom.

The photos on this Blog Post and corresponding Google+ page are
©Life with Jordy Photography, All Rights Reserved
and may not be used without permission.

This is the kit I picked up for AUD$50.  As you can see it also came with a Flash, Film Winder, 2 X attachment and a very nice Minolta strap.

Taken with the Minolta MD using Macro. It was a really windy day so I am happy that it is in focus!

Taken with the Minolta MD using Macro. It was a really windy day so I am
happy that it is in focus!

Taken with the Minolta MD.  The light leak hasn't
really affected the outcome of this photo too much.

This using the Hanimex.  Turned out better than my expectations!  This was
taken wide out at 28mm.  The edges are a little blurred though.

Not all exposures were affected by the light leak!  The colour in this looks great!
These Sunrise photos take with the Hanimex lens.

This one from the Hanimex as well.

From the Hanimex and no light leak!  There doesn't 
appear to any edge blur in this.  

From the Hanimex lens.

This and the next two from the Makinon Lens.  Not sure about this lens; a zoom into the details appears to have a soft focus.  I mean, that can be good considering
the type of outcome you may be looking for.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

From the Archives - Lockheed Super Constellation

The other day I was exploring an old back up hard drive and I came across some RAW files from my first ever digital camera; a Panasonic DMC FZ30.

This was a great camera to learn on.  I could operate it in full manual, choose aperture or shutter priority or, if I felt lazy, just put it on auto.  This had what they called in those days, a 'Super Zoom' lens, that being a Leica 35-420 (35mm equivalent) zoom f2.8-3.7.  The lens was an internal zoom and focus, in other words it was non-extending.

I was happy to find these RAW files because since they were taken, I have learned so much about photo editing that I think I can do a much better job then what I did back then!

This is an awesome looking aircraft.  I love the sleek lines and shape and the three tail fins.  You can read about the history of this particular aircraft on the HARS (Historical Aircraft Restoration Society)
website here.  QANTAS flew Super Constellations on its 'Kangaroo Route' between Australia and Britain and also on other international routes.

I had always wanted to check out this beauty and I finally got the opportunity when it flew into the Temora Aviation Museum back in 2009.  These are the photos from that day.

Click on the photo to view larger.

The photos on this Blog Post and corresponding Google+ page are 
copyright ©Life with Jordy Photography, All Rights Reserved
and may not be used without permission.

The aircraft flying in formation are a Lockheed Hudson and an English Electric Canberra.  RAAF 2SQN flew both these
types of aircraft, the Hudson during WW2 and the Canberra during the Vietnam War.

The sharp end!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Experience with CineStill 50D

For a while now, I have been interested in this film and thought I would try out a couple of rolls.

CineStill film is 35mm film used in motion pictures.  I believe the original film used is Kodak 5203.  To make it useable in a still film camera and to be developed in the generic C41 chemical, CineStill have removed the Rem-Jet backing off the original film.

The Rem-Jet backing on motion picture film is a black layer that prevents the light reflecting off the back of the film and spreading back through the film which causes halation (a false halo of light around some subjects).  It protects the film as it moves through projectors and scanners etc from scratches and also prevents static build up that can lead to fogging of the film.

After seeing some of the results on line for this film, I was pretty excited to get it.  It took me 3 months to finish the roll of 36 exposures.  I am fairly conservative with my film photography; I don't like to waste it.  It's not like digital where you can happily snap off 50 shots to pick out the best 2 for nothing; film photography costs money!  One of these rolls of CineStill 50D cost me AUD$16 and then about AUD$17 for development and scanning. Anyway, imagine my disappointment when I got the roll back and found some very odd marks on the scans.

The marks resembled what I call 'fish scales' (they also remind me of the marks left after a bubble has burst on a smooth surface) and black dots.  One of the exposures had severe halation on it.  I had been warned about this film when I handed it in at the lab for processing.  The assistant there (who uses film professionally as a wedding photographer) had also tried it and had odd discoloured blotches and some halation on a few of her personal photos.  Once I got my film back and saw the result, I jumped on line to see if anyone else had had the same problem.  I found a few blogs and entries on differing film forums indicating the same problems; reddish colour blotches, 'fish scale marks' and black spots (although I did not experience the red colour blotches). This is not a lab processing problem; I have seen other photos on line with the same issues.

Note the patchy marks. Unedited, straight from scan.  Click on the photo to view larger.

Black Spots and the 'fish scale' marks on bottom right. (that's my dogs toy floating through the air!)
Unedited, straight from scan.  Click on the photo to view larger.

'Fish Scale' marks on top of photo.  Unedited, straight from scan.  Click on the photo to view larger.
Note the halation in this photo - around the table top and flowers and vase and on the umbrella on the far right.
Unedited, straight from the scan.  Click on the photo to view larger.

These marks appeared through other frames as well although, some frames had very minimal or no marks on them.

Now, I know that sometimes film can just not work out due to one reason or another, and I decided to email my supplier (Walkens House of Film) and advise them of the outcome with this roll; if it was from a 'bad batch' then perhaps they may receive calls from other customers.  I also attached files of the worst affected frames and a good one.  They were very helpful and contacted CineStill on my behalf and forwarded my email plus attached files.

CineStill replied and said that it appeared that the problems were caused by a light leak.  They didn't exactly specify where this light leak may have come from.  They did mention that this film is extremely sensitive and even letting the film canister sit in bright light may cause light leaks near to the end of the roll to 'go rather far into the roll'.  They suggested that leaving the film for 3 months in my camera could have been the cause; stray light piping in through the light seals!  I have used this camera before (Minolta X-700) and it doesn't have any light leaks.  They then proceeded to instruct on how to load a film in subdued light (very basic information for any film photographer) and when the roll is finished to put it straight into the black plastic container which should not be opened until in the dark room.

Looking at my photos, I am not 100%  convinced that the problem is from light leaks, irrespective of how sensitive the film may be, because not all of the photos were affected as one would expect from a light leak in a camera.  In their reply to my supplier, CineStill provided a link to a blog page of theirs entitled 'films worst enemies (7 common film issues)'.  The second photo on that blog post has exactly the same 'fish scale' or 'burst bubble' pattern as I have on my film under the title "Enemy 1 - Old Age".

This is a little odd because, on another page on their website (the product page for CineStill 50D) they make the following disclaimer that 'if your film does not have an expiration date, it is from an early production and is likely age fogged'. 

The film I used was marked 'use by May 2018' but, it shows the signs of aging as appears on their blog page 'Films Worst Enemies'.  I also read an entry from 2017 in a Flickr CineStill discussion group where Cinestill attributed this exact problem to aged film!

If this is from aged film (and not a light leak), then I wonder how old the Kodak 5203 film they use is, before applying the Rem-Jet removal processes?  

The object of this blog post is to record my experience with CineStill 50D, and some of the issues I had with it.  It is also to prepare anyone purchasing film that has been put through a changing process that not all results may be as originally expected.  

On a very positive note, CineStill re-credited my supplier for the rolls I purchased and that has been passed onto me as a credit on my account! 

I don't know if I am in the minority experiencing problems like this with an innovative film such as CineStill 50D; I certainly hope I am.  A lot of the photos I have seen on line taken with this film look fantastic!

Anyway, take a look at some of the other photos off that roll.  Some are minimally affected and some are not affected at all; and they look good!  I have only adjusted the contrast slightly from the scanned negative result.  the colour and sharpness are great, and the grain is lovely and soft.

The photos on this blog post and corresponding Google+ page are 
©Life with Jordy Photography, All Rights Reserved
and may not be used without permission.