Monday, February 10, 2014

Rolleicord / Rolleikin Portraits - Buddhist Monk

I've written about the Rolleikin attachment for my Rolleicord TLR, which allows me to shoot 35mm film in it. With the 75mm f3.5 Tessar and 35mm film in portrait orientation, the camera is quite useful for shooting portraits.
(Click Here) to read a little about the Rolleicord and Rolleikin.
I've started a new project, with a focus on contemplation and meditation. For some time now, I've been attending meditation class at our local Buddhist temple, led by Achaan Edward. He has just moved to a new temple, and I'm exploring both the inward concepts of meditation and the external setting of his new location, in the beautiful Virginia hills.
For one session, I decided to photograph Achaan Edward meditating, with the Rolleicord. Here are my favorite results, all shot on Kodak TMax 400 film:
For the shot above, I used a reflector on the floor to help even out the glow from sunlight coming in the side window.
Achaan Edward, by Reed A. George
As far as using the Rolleicord goes, I have some things to improve. Many of my images from this roll were not so sharp. Based on the fact that nothing in the affected images was sharp, I'm tending to think it was motion blur. I was shooting at ~1/50 of a second, handheld. A tripod was in order. Also, the shutter release mechanism on the Rolleicord is different from my Rolleiflexes. Instead of a simple button, the Rolleicord uses a lever to both load and release the shutter. I think I probably tend to move the camera when using this unfamiliar mechanism. So, a remote release may be useful, even when I'm shooting handheld.
The ground glass on the Rolleicord is a little dim. With my aging eyes, it's also a little hard to find the right focus point. But, I think most of my problems were associated with camera motion.
All that said, I'm quite pleased with these particular images. I believe they'll be up on the temple's new webpage quite soon.