Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fooling Around With Photo Editor On My Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

By far one of the best utilities (and most used) on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the Photo Editor, which allows me to add filter, photo frame, edit contrast, hues or crop with just a few taps. B & W and Sepia are my two favorites not forgetting the Polaroid frame.

Photography meets art


Ok, I do use my Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1 as a tablet, that was what I bought it for, as a second device and when I am away from my desk. It powers up from Sleep mode instantly, the battery lasts me a good 10+ hrs. Connecting to wifi hotspots in public is a breeze, no complex set up, locate and connect or a prompt to enter password if necessary and you are off to web surfing. Camera is not bad, front and rear facing, it is real handy and lets me capture a candid shot for a blog post. Other than occasionally freezing up on me after an Android/Samsung software update, it has been money well spent.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Olympus XA - Neopan 400 Professional 135-36 film, Adonal developer and Boats in Ventura Harbor

Both neg's were scanned using SVP FS1700

Firstly, the film grain was visible in the scan, I love it! one could never re-create that look on digital. Secondly, the top photo was taken around 8am ish when the harbor was shrouded in fog, it was not quite a sight. The element made for perfect backdrop. The lower photo was shot late afternoon approximately two hours before sunset..... In both situations, the Olympus XA handled both shots beautifully. See last blog post below for a picture of this wonderful little gem of a camera

Neopan 400 Professional is one of my favorite films, I am so disappointed that it is only available in 35mm format and Fuji has decided to discontinued the 120 format. I just reminded myself to order more to stock up on these precious films.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Koni Rapid Omega sample shots - Camera is heavy but the huge negative is jaw dropping and wonderful

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Here are two scanned sample shots from the Koni Rapid Omega 6 x 7 rangefinder medium format camera (see picture of the camera in my earlier post below) Kodak Tri X 400 120 film, developed in Agfa Rodinal 1:50 for 13 minutes, Ilford Rapid Fixer. Neg scanned on Canon flatbed scanner, invert, and levels slightly adjusted. As I won't be able to set up a home darkroom for a while longer, I will have to contend with digital scans but all is not lost, it does give me a glimpse of what I might be able to print from the negatives. Koni Omega is a 6 x 7 camera and the negative did not quite fit the neg holder that came with the scanner. I was not thrilled with the scan results, even at 600dpi. I was more interested to see if I have messed up the shutter speeds/f-stop since I was using the sunny 16 rule. it is a test roll so I was not expecting much. Looking at the negatives on my light box, the images had good sharpness, contrast and bokeh.

These pictures were shot in old town San Juan Bastista, California. A town that had the look of an old western town, forgotten, left behind in the mad tech rush of the 21st century, complete with western style saloons on Main street, a few adobe houses interspersed with brick red and blue walls, an old church, a rather quaint town. On that day, there was a gathering of a small group of classic cars whose owners had driven all the way from San Diego. Hanging out with good friends outside a cafe soaking in the sun. I chatted with a gentleman who asked about the chunky camera in my hand. He told me he shoots digital now, his film cameras are now collecting dusts on the shelves, he added "I now take pictures with my iPhone, and never missed a shot".

One of the few quirks of the Koni Rapid Omega is that until one gets used to the film advance lever it is very easy to accidentally overlap images. Below is one such accidents that turned out pretty interesting and instead of cropping it, I decided to leave it alone.

One gets 10 shots per roll on the 120 film. The negatives are 6 x 7, that is 2.7 times larger than a 35mm neg. If you are looking for a negative to print easily into a 8 X 10, the 6 x 7 camera is the most suitable film format. I am looking forward to getting the two rolls of Velvia shot also on the Koni Omega developed at a lab soon.
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Below are two on slide film, the resulting colors and hue rather lomo I must say:

A second pit stop along 101 I made on the way south from San Jose to Ventura, Franciscan Mission in San Miguel with its beautiful old Adobe building. You can read more San Miguel Mission
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and finally here is a picture of the Koni Rapid Omega 100

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Back to my roots....back to film that is

Guess I have had a long hiatus from blogging. Sometimes one gets caught in the fast lane and it takes some doing to get off that "Going to Nowhere" train. I have not done much shooting, the influx of Instagram, Pinterest and the likes mean stock photography is bidding time. To survive and stay relevant, these stock photo agencies find ways to jiggle their existing contract with contributors so they can keep more of a shrinking pie and pay the contributors less. I know that day would come, sooner than later. I stop shooting digital, in fact I sold most of my lenses and kept only my Canon 10D. I was so happy to pick up that film camera again and to process my own film....There is something special about shooting film I cannot put it into words but you know what I mean.

I acquired a Koni Rapid Omega with 120 back on Ebay for $69 Buy It Now price (I got lucky) plus $23.95 shipping. A beautiful medium format rangefinder camera, the Koni Rapid weighs a good 4.5 lbs. It is a beast!! I love shooting street photography, the impromptu scene, the not posed images. Being able to use available light, finding subjects in ordinary places makes shooting so much more rewarding for me. I will now add the Koni Rapid Omega to the list of cameras I enjoy shooting: Mamiya RB ProSD, the Bronica Zenza S2A and now the Koni Rapid Omega. They all share a few things in common: sharp lenses, weigh a ton, battery-less, totally mechanical. What a bliss!

In the last 6 years or so, I have gone through a few photo enlargers, setting up a home darkroom whenever possible (call it the learning curve, finding out what your like and what you don't and the quirks). However, each time I was getting ready to move, I dreaded having to move it and so I got rid of them by passing it along to the next person. Amongst them: the very massive Beseler 23C, the Saunders LPL, Omega D6, Omega C700 the list goes on. Up until this morning, I was effectively "enlarger-less". However my photography world just got that much better as I spotted a Durst M601 in superb condition for sale on Craigslist for $30 last night. I decided I had to drive 50 miles south to go and get it, never mind I can't set up a darkroom now. What a great enlarger! Everything I wished the other enlargers could be I found in the Durst. Solid, steady, extremely well built means one can print without worrying about the enlarger moving or shaking ever so slightly. The glass negative holder holds one's negative flat no matter how long one has been printing (not curled as with many negative holders when things get hot). Two sliding red knobs on the neg holder allow one to adjust the masking on the negative as desired. Not having to remove and reposition means less dusts will be introduced!! The column measures 3 ft, the base 20 x 20, the head can be tilted and locked at an angle for larger enlargement. The movement up and down is smooth, quiet and the knob handle folds and locks (much like the winder on a Bronica). Made in Italy, this Durst M601 for $30 has to be one of my best hauls ever ($50 including gas)! Never mind that my printing will have to wait until I can find an abode that has an extra room/garage or outside barn for the darkroom again.