could this be the camera I’ve been dreaming of?

combined with the recent series of videos commerating the 50th anniversary of the olympus PEN series of cameras, THIS LEAK seems almost too good to be true…

a MFT, digital PEN.  Oh Joy!

(that sound you hear is all the “digital rangefinder” folks squealing with anticipation!)

windows into worlds

Thanks to the inimitable Don Giannatti for this link.  I just spend the entire morning going through these photos…  This guy collects old cameras with partiall used, never processed film still in them and processes the old film.  Looking at the pictures I find it utterly fascinating.   It truly is a window into another world, but at the same time it is a mirror – reflecting in us so many truisms about people, family, and the passage of time.  These old photos have an inexplicable beauty to me, along with their mysterious history which gives them an air of quiet dignity and an ephemeral sadness at the same time.

Some might just consider them old snapshots, but I think they are wonderfully moving.

link roundup – more old stuff edition

As a followup to my first “old stuff” link roundup.  Just in case you missed ’em the first time around, here are some great links that have been sitting in my bookmark folder for some time 🙂

Link roundup – Old Stuff

How often do you go through a photo blog’s archives?  Not all that often I’ll bet… which means that there are a lot of articles that go unread by a lot of folks simply because they miss them when posted.   Thinking about this, here are some great articles that I’ve bookmarked from a while ago.   Some of these may be old news to some of y’all but who knows – there may be a missed gem in there!

That’s it for today, some more golden oldies coming soon.

An old flame…

It’s funny, there seems to be a kind of “collective unconscious” in the photo community… All the buzz about film lately, from discussions on strobist to Brian Auer’s fantastic “build a film developing kit for <$50”  Of course it just so happens that’s I’ve been rekindling my lost love affair with film as well…I started out developing film (from my 1967 Pentax spotmatic) and printing it in a wet darkroom.  Once I moved to digital, my 35mm film kind of fell by the wayside…

I picked up a Holga a while back with the intention of just messing around, running some 120 film etc…  At the time, I still had access to a pro darkroom, and intended to do my own processing and printing… Of course, that never happened.  With 99% of my work being digital, my poor rolls of 120 sat un-developed for <ahem> quite some time.

Of course that was before I discovered Diafine.  (for those who don’t know, Diafine is what is known as a “Compensating developer”  It comes in 2 parts, solution A, and solution B.   You pour in A, the film absorbs as much as it’s emulsion can hold, you then pour it out, and pour in B.  B reacts with A, doing the developing until A is all used up – then it stops (as there is no more A left to react.) essentially it is a “self terminating” development process.   What this means in practice is that it is just about the fastest, easiest way to develop black and white film that I have ever seen.  No carefully controlling temperatures of solutions (it works just fine anywhere from 68-80F), no exact timing down to the second (because it is self terminating, it doesn’t matter how long your film in).   You can load your film, pour in A, walk away and eat a sandwich, come back pour in B, go grab a beer, come back a half hour later, and your film will be done.  Just like that.

There are a couple of other cool features as well (eg it gives an effective “speed boost” of a stop or more to many films – my preferred HP5+ becomes effectively 800ISO when souped in diafine) and a few downsides.  It’s definitely not the developer to choose if you demand exacting precision & control over each step of the development process.  But for a low-fi neg like the holga produces it’s a match made in heaven.

Say what you will about film v. digital.  I love them both, I think they both have their place, and I think that every photographer should use both to at least some extent.   Even if you are die-hard 100% “digital is superiour to film in every way”, the “creative experience” of film is very different than digital.  It makes you shoot in a different way, think in a different way, see in a different way.  Not better, not worse, just different.  And that in my opinion is one of the great “creativity juicers” that we get.   So if you are in a creative rut, try it out.  Grab a holga and a few rolls of black and white 120 film ($30-40 bucks) and some diafine, and shoot some blurry, light-leaky, distorted, streaky, vignetted, *beautiful* frames.   Guaranteed to cure what ails ya!

All shot with the holga,  Ilford HP5+ film, processed in Diafine:

Philadelphia, Old and New

Independence Hall

At the Beach

Adrift on a sea of clouds

Liftoff

Digital WakeUp Call and the Exciting Lighting Contest!

As mentioned yesterday,  David Ziser’s Digital WakUp Call tour looks to be shaping up to be a pretty great event! I got a sneak peek this past Sunday and if you are even remotely interested in improving your lighting skills or your business chops, you’d be crazy not to sign up.  The best part? Chances are, David is going to be right in your town! – 58 locations all in all!  Can’t beat that for a lousy 79 bucks.

(in my best TV pitchman voice): BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!!  As a special offer for F/1.0 readers, David is offering 20 bucks off registration if you use the following code:   ZEZDWC09. what a guy!  Especially considering that just for walking in the door you get:

  • Tour Handbook including: program notes, photography, marketing and more
  • 2 Hour DVD with extended program content
  • $100 Rebate from American Color Imaging
  • 1 year membership to WPPI and Rangefinder magazine, a $99 value
  • FREE 3 month membership to DigitalProTalkPlus.com, a $45 value
  • FREE 3 month subscription to PPA Magazine, a $15 value
  • FREE PPA Indemnification (no-fault) insurance for all new PPA members, a $50 value
  • Over $2,500 in door prizes awarded each evening
  • And a chance to win 1 of 4 Grand Prizes worth over $5,000

Still not satisfied? Ok, how about getting in *for free*.  Yup, that’s right – 1 lucky reader gets a free pass in whichever city you choose!   How?  Well, The digital WakeUp tour is all about Lighting, so how about an “Exciting Lighting” contest!   Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a Flickr account (if you don’t already have one)
  2. Join the newly created F/1.0 flickr group
  3. upload your best photos using off-camera lighting to you flickr stream
  4. Tag said photos with “F10DWC” (for f/1.0 digital wakup call)
  5. Add them to the F/1.0 group
  6. Please limit 3 entries per person – if you tag more than 3 images with “F10dwc” I will simply consider the first three tagged to be the entries!

That’s it!  The contest will run until noon (EST) on March 25th.  After the contest is closed, we will look over the entries and select what we consider to be the best image (based on overall style, composition, technical skill, and creative use of lighting).  The winner will be notified via flickrmail, and will have their winning entry featured on F/1.0, in addition to receiving the free pass to the Digital WakeUp Call tour!   Costs nothing to enter, so start submitting those shots!