Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Mask

The Mask, by Reed A. George
Leica I Model C, Leica Summar 5cm f2 Lens
Kodak Tmax 100 film
I prefer for this one to remain a little mystery.
It was part of the first roll of film I put through a nice little Leica I Model C. The camera was serviced by Don Goldberg some time back, before I purchased it. It works nicely, and the Summar produces quite a nice image as well.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Watermelon Park Fest 2014 - Mandolin Players Extraordinaire!

It's Sunday, and I just returned home at 2:30 AM from my favorite music festival of this and every year, Watermelon Park. I've been attending for several years now, and it's a big party with so many of my friends, I look forward to it all year long.
I'm pretty wiped out today, but thought I'd share a few images of a workshop of three of the world's best mandolin players - (left to right) Sam Bush (Sam Bush Band), Danny Knicely (Furnace Mountain Band), and Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon). Check them out.
These guys were great, sharing several tunes and lots of funny stories, like how Sam was accosted by several "locals" back in the early seventies while attending the festival. The nicest thing they had to say to him was that they were going to cut off his hair. Luckily, Sam escaped unharmed and came back some 40 years later.
I was right at the edge of the stage, shooting with my Nikon D700 and 50mm f1.4 AF-D lens. Being held in a big white tent, the background light was much brighter than that on Sam, Danny, and Drew's faces. I simply used the spot meter setting in the D700 to get the exposure right, and then it was a matter of catching a few moments and interactions. What a blast!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Street Art, on Film With Leica IIIC and Summaron 3.5cm f3.5 Lens

Street Art, by Reed A. George
Leica IIIC, Summaron 3.5 cm f3.5 Lens
Fuji iso 100 Color Print Film
Man, do I love to shoot my old Barnack cameras. On this particular day, I chose to carry only this camera and lens to photograph "Chalk Fest" in Reston, VA.
When I started shooting in the late morning, the light was bright and harsh. The shade was fine, though. I ended up coming back later in the evening to finish up, when the light was much more agreeable. I'll have more to share from this event later.
The tiny little Barnack camera and lens, topped with a Russian 35mm viewfinder, caused little or no distraction amongst people at the festival. It is small, quiet, non-threatening. I can see why Barnack's little camera was able to transform photojournalism back in the day.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Nice Summary of Six Years of Micro 4/3 on m43photo.blogspot.com

Dancing, Golden Gate Park, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, Voigtlander 28mm f2 Ultron Lens
I have spent a lot of time shooting, and thinking about, the Micro 4/3 format. In fact, my blog is named in observance of the standard "DMC-XX..." camera model designation of Panasonic's Lumix cameras. For Panasonic, the DMC-G1 was the first Micro 4/3 camera. I made good use of that one. Then, for an entire year, I focused mostly on shooting a pair of DMC-G3s.
I have ventured far and wide since that first year of 2012, but still regularly include Micro 4/3 gear and images in my posts.
The blog m43photo.blogspot.com, started in 2009, has been focused on Micro 4/3 longer, and more exclusively than my own, but with fewer overall blog posts. Now they have posted a brief retrospective of what's gone on in terms of camera and lens development over the past six years.
(Click Here) to read the post on m43photo.blogspot.com
I have been ambivalent over the years about whether or not the Micro 4/3 sensor size was the right compromise between sensor size (larger would provide better image quality) and equipment size (smaller sensors lead to smaller cameras and lenses). About a year or two ago, it seemed that APS-C was about the smallest you could go and still expect truly excellent image quality at higher iso settings. Now, I'm beginning to once again think that Micro 4/3 may turn out to be an ideal size.
In the Magnum workshop that I just attended, I shot with both my Leica M9, a full frame digital rangefinder, and the Lumix DMC-GX7, a Micro 4/3 camera. As it turned out, I used the GX7 for most of my shooting, which included a lot of bike rides around the Cape Cod National Seashore; most of the images in my final project submission were shot on Micro 4/3. There were certainly no complaints about image quality.
In fact, at the same workshop, David Alan Harvey showed us his new book Based on a True Story. The cover shot was made with a Lumix GF1 Micro 4/3 camera. It's hard to argue with the image quality he achieved.
It will be interesting to see how the evolution of Micro 4/3 proceeds over the coming several years.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tangible Artifacts of the Photographic Process

Vietnam Memorial
Leica M4-2, Leica Summicron 35mm f2 v.3 Lens
Kodak TMax 400 Black and White Negative Film
One item of some debate at the Magnum workshop was whether or not an image really exists before it is printed on real paper. Magnum legend Costa Manos maintains that the print is a necessary component, that you really don't have an image until you have a print. And his prints are spectacularly made, with such care that you can identify with his point.
Not everyone agrees, but no one argues that a fine physical print is a worthy object; it's just a question of whether it's always necessary.
Having shot only digital for a full week, I find myself wondering whether one could make the same argument about the negative (or transparency) being a necessary artifact. In fact, this did come up during one of the public talks, where there was some disagreement about whether you'd grab your hard drive on the way out in the event of your house catching fire, as people have done with their family pictures and negatives for many years. I think I would. Or, to argue against the need for a physical negative, perhaps having all of my images backed up to the cloud obviates the need to grab anything on the way out.
A final thought is that I have actually lost images in a most unfortunate simultaneous crash of two hard disks (copies of each other). But, I suppose I have also lost most of my earliest negatives, which were shot before I got smart and developed an organized filing system. Those negatives were really lost in the carelessness of youth, not as a result of the medium on which they were stored.
So, what do you think? Must it exist in physical form to be a real photograph?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Next Move, Mamiya Universal Press

I photographed this example of intense concentration at DuPont Circle in Washington, DC.
Next Move, by Reed A. George
Mamiya Universal Press Camera, Mamiya Sekor 100mm f3.5 Lens
Kodak Portra 160 Color Negative Film
I just returned today from the Magnum workshop in Provincetown, Massachussetts. I've fallen behind in writing blog posts, but not to fear. I will catch back up with no break in daily posts. I have a lot to write about from the experience, but it will take some time to get my digital files and thoughts together.
And, I have four rolls of film either back or on their way back from The Darkroom (thedarkroom.com), so there's some new image material on the way from that as well. I must say I missed shooting film amongst all that digital photography last week.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Impromptu Portrait Session - an Add-On to my Magnum Workshop Experience

I had the good (great) fortune of meeting this gentleman at the very end of my Magnum workshop in Provincetown, Massachussetts. I met him by being open to opportunities, and by approaching him with an honest request to make a few images.
David is a figure of some prominence around here, and was planning to have a photographer visit him next week to shoot portraits for a magazine article. However, he gave me the opportunity to come into his writing studio and shoot a few of my own. Here are the best four shots I got from my ten minutes or so with him.
All of these were shot on my Leica M9 with 50mm f1.4 Summilux. I would have liked to use my 35mm lens, as the writing studio was quite cozy and I was challenged to get far enough away to make the picture I wanted. But, I only had the 50mm lens with me, and made the best of it.
One of the things I learned (re-learned?) in this workshop is the importance of being out there, being ready for opportunities to make images, and even creating opportunities when necessary. I worked for five days on a project, having a very difficult time getting to even the rather meager number of 5-8 images needed for our presentation to the workshop and to the public at the Fine Arts Work Center here in Provincetown. The experience of meeting David was exactly what I was looking for all week.
I ended up using only a single image of David in my presentation (not one of the images shown here), but feel that the experience of meeting him significantly added to my workshop experience.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Glen Craig's Photos of The Man - Miles Davis

Image Source: http://blog.leica-camera.com/photographers/interviews/glen-craig-close-up-miles-davis-at-photokina-2014-daswesentliche/
As you may know, I'm into photographing musicians and creative souls. It brings balance to my life, which is also heavily involved in science and technology. Photography represents the perfect combination of the two perspectives for me.
In a post on the Leica Camera Blog, a full gallery of intimate images by Glen Craig shows a side of jazz master and innovator Miles Davis that I've never seen before. I suppose almost no one has.
(CIick Here) to read the post and see the full gallery of amazing images from 1970.
Craig shares that Davis generally didn't like to be photographed, but made an exception, letting him stay close and photograph him over three weeks in 1970. He also mentions that in order to gain access to the artist in the beginning, he had to pass a test of sorts, made up of questions about jazz music. Craig obviously passed the test.
I like that Craig shot many of the pictures of Davis working out in a boxing gym close up, with a 35mm lens. It gives the images a very intimate feel, one that would not have been accomplished with a long lens.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monarch Butterflies - Our Waystation Worked!

Last year was a bad one in terms of the number of monarch butterflies in our area. Some coworkers and I decided to plant a patch of milkweed to see if we could bring back a little habitat in a safe area for the butterflies to lay eggs and for the larvae to grow and mature. It was a failure. We didn't see any last year.
This year, I've visited the area a few times, and only saw one single adult monarch. However, they've obviously been around. Yesterday, I counted about ten of these lovely monarch caterpillars in our little planting.
I happened to be carrying my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, which makes a very nice closeup shot. I simply set the autofocus to Macro setting, exposure to P, and shot.
After considering the idea of bringing the caterpillars inside for more protected rearing, I decided that their chances are probably better right where they are. So, I wish the little guys luck!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Travel Day - Made it to Provincetown for Magnum Days

Today was a travel day. It started at 5:30AM at home in Virginia. Left home at 6:30 to drive into DC for a flight out of Reagan National. Arrived in Boston, Logan a little before noon, got my rental car, and drove 2 1/2 hours Provincetown, Massachussetts for the Magnum Days workshop at the Fine Arts Work Center.
After meeting up with my Boston friends James and Maria, who happened to be in Provincetown for a getaway, I got checked into my room. Perfect. Here's what it looks like:
Provincetown Room, by Reed A. George
Apple iPhone, Pano setting
Sorry for the iPhone pic, but it actually did a nice job of it.
I've read that the light out here on the Cape is special. Well, judging from the afternoon light coming through my bathroom window, I think it may be true...
Afternoon Light, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, 50mm f1.4 Summilux
iso 200, f5, 1/125 sec.

Don't forget my delay in posting; by the time this posts, I'll be back in Virginia, hopefully with lots of new ideas, techniques, and creative directions! I'll post every day while I'm here, even though they have a very busy schedule planned for us.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

More Street Portraits With the Mamiya Universal Press (MUP)

Yesterday I wrote about how using the MUP rarely goes unnoticed by the people I'm photographing. Here are a few more examples of street portraits, these all taken on a morning walk in Georgetown, Washington, DC.
Morning Smoke, by Reed A. George
Mamiya Universal Press Camera, Mamiya Sekor 100mm f3.5 Lens
Kodak TMax 400 Film
This gentleman was enjoying a morning cigaretter, out in front of the tobacconist shop. I felt that the combination of elements - him smoking, the cigar store Indian, and the sign went together very well.
Waiter, by Reed A. George
Mamiya Universal Press Camera, Mamiya Sekor 100mm f3.5 Lens
Kodak TMax 400 Film
And this young waiter was more confused than concerned when I asked if I could shoot his picture. He didn't understand why I'd want to do that. It's tough to explain, I'll admit. I love the contrast in this image, and how the doorframe provides a nice dark background for his face.
Watering, by Reed A. George
Mamiya Universal Press Camera, Mamiya Sekor 100mm f3.5 Lens
Kodak TMax 400 Film
And this young lady was quite comfortable with me photographing her with probably the biggest camera she's ever seen. One thing I believe is that the MUP immediately identifies you as a camera enthusiast (who else would carry such gear around?). Because of that, and because you can't even try to hide it, people seem to worry less about you sneaking pictures of them for some other (nefarious) purpose.
A different style of street photography for sure, but I am enjoying exploring it.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Medium Format Cameras for Street Photography?

Jesse and Ayreene, Photographed by Charlie Arnhold
Mamiya Universal Press (MUP), Mamiya Sekor 100mm f3.5 Lens
Kodak TMax 400 Film
Of course, street photography started with the camera technology of the times. It's difficult, and not so important, to pinpoint exactly when that happened, but certainly a lot of street photography was done in the days when the Graflex 4x5 camera was the main game in town. Later, street photography was largely associated with 35mm cameras, and small 35mm rangefinders like the Leica and Contax in particular. Today, smaller and smaller high quality digital cameras are playing their role, as are smart phones.
So, can you really shoot street photographs with medium format cameras? Of course you can. In fact, one generation that I skipped over in the paragraph above is that of the twin lens reflex (TLR), led by the Rolleiflex. As you can see above, my friend and mentor Charlie Arnhold is quite comfortable shooting the Rolleiflex for this purpose. In this case, Charlie has engaged his subjects (Jesse and Ayreen, visiting DC from NYC). But, yes, the TLR has a firm place in the street photography game. Reasonably compact, especially for the negative size they produce (6x6 cm), TLRs are also pretty well-accepted by subjects on the street.
Okay, so what about other medium format cameras? Well, there are also reasonably compact medium format rangefinders, the main ones having been made by Mamiya and Fujifilm. They also work fine for street photography.
To push the upper size limits, I've been shooting some street scenes with my Mamiya Universal Press (MUP) camera. Yes, it's a press camera, which means it was designed to be taken out in public. But, it's a big beast, not one that will go unnoticed in the process. While it does a fine job of capturing the scene in a high quality image, I find that most of my subjects are looking at the camera. This is different from shooting anonymously with a smaller camera. Different, but not necessarily better or worse. I'll have more examples to share shortly.
My guess is that using the MUP for street photography is similar to what one would experience in going back even further, and shooting on the street with a Graflex 4x5 camera. I haven't done much of that at all. Maybe I'll give it a try again soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Leica Brings Out a New FILM M! Yes! The M-A.

Image Source: http://us.leica-camera.com/Photography/Leica-M/Leica-M-A/Details
I think this is really good news for us film shooters. Leica has announced the new M-A, an analog M camera body, with absolutely no electronics. None. Yes, there are lots of great historic Leicas out there that fit this bill, but it's exciting to see Leica still paying attention to film.
They even highlight Kodak TriX as a great match for the camera.
I hope this keeps the film companies interested in making film for us hardcore users!
(Click Here) for lots of information on the Leica website.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Panasonic Lumix LX100 is Here! Micro 4/3 Sensor is a Huge Upgrade from the LX7.

Well, it's finally here. And the rumors were pretty much true.
The Panasonic LX100 has been announced. The big news is the sensor, Micro 4/3 size, more than four times the size in area over the sensor in the DMC-LX7. That's awesome.
Image Source: http://www.dpreview.com/previews/panasonic-lumix-dmc-lx100
(Click Here) to read a first-glance review on dpreview.com.
The lens is a DC Vario Pana-Leica Summilux Aspheric, 24-75mm equivalent, f1.7-2.8. Not quite as fast as the f1.4 lens on the LX7, the sensor size should more than make up for that difference. It also has a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), as opposed to the accessory finder on the LX7.
You probably already know that I'm a huge fan of the LX7. That said, I can see no reason not to upgrade to the LX100. This is very exciting news.
Actually, I'm not sure "upgrade" is the right way to refer to it. The size of the LX100 seems to be somewhere between the LX7 and, say, the GX7. But, the fixed, fast zoom lens on this size sensor had to result in some increase in overall size.
The introductory price is $900. Pretty steep. But, I think that $900 buys you quite a lot of camera.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Some Promo Shots for My Friends, Dry Mill Road

I got the opportunity to shoot some promotional images for a great band, Dry Mill Road. Here are my picks from the set. All shot with Nikon D700 and prime lenses (35mm f2, 85mm f1.8).
I tried to give them a few different poses and scenes to choose from, while not taking away too much of their time or attention. In fact, immediately after the shoot, they recorded an entire CD in front of a studio audience. They look surprisingly relaxed given the situation, don't you think?
I sure had a great time on this assignment. I hope the images are useful to them.
Be sure to check out the band by clicking on this link: www.drymillroad.com
They play a great combination of original and traditional bluegrass/"newgrass" music, including some "Good Ol' Grateful Dead." That always makes me happy.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Is That New Panasonic LX Series Camera Really Coming?

Were you waiting through the month of July for an announcement from Panasonic? Well, history did not serve as a great predictor for a new product introduction from Panasonic, at least not for a new LX series camera. As you may know, I'm a huge fan of the current LX7.
(Click Here) to read my (incorrect) musings about a successor to the wonderful DMC-LX7 being announced last July. It didn't happen.
Well, if the latest rumor on 43rumors.com is true, it will be worth the wait. Rated by the site as "FT5" (81-99% confidence), this rumor says the new "LX100" will have a Micro 4/3 sensor and 24-75mm f1.7-2.8 equivalent lens, all in a very compact body. It also says it will have a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF). Now, I'm not sure how they'll make such a fast zoom for a sensor that size truly compact (at least in comparison to the current LX7 model). It hasn't really been done elsewhere. Some of it is limited by the laws of physics. I don't immediately see how they could make a fast zoom for this camera any smaller than the ones that are already available for the Micro 4/3 cameras, if they're going to take advantage of the full sensor size.
In any case, (Click Here) to read the latest rumors on 43rumors.com. If they're correct, we'll hear more today (September 15).

Merlin the Dog, Mamiya Universal

Merlin the Dog, by Reed A. George
Mamiya Universal Press Camera, Mamiya Sekor 100mm f3.5 Lens
Kodak TMax 100 Film
There's a great little store in Waterford, Virginia, one of very few in the town. I've shot here a few times before, including some of my favorite pictures of my daughter a few years back, drinking a Coke and hanging out on this same porch. This day, it was Merlin the Dog.
One shot, no automation. I really like shooting the Mamiya Universal Press (MUP) camera.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Evan Leavitt's Doing Instant Photography Now

Image Source: http://evanleavittphotography.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/camak/

I've posted Evan Leavitt's work several times in the past. The shot above, entitled "Camak," was made with a Polaroid camera and Fuji instant film. Right up my alley.

I think Evan's work has a very special feel to it. He shoots with vintage equipment, many times even making a paper negative. The results are always impressive to me.

(Click Here) to visit Evan's blog.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Time to Make My Portfolios

Meditative Photography, by Reed A. George
If you're a regular DMC-365 reader, you may know that I've been accepted into a Magnum workshop with David Alan Harvey this September. The workshop is already having a positive effect on my work, even though it won't start for another week. In short, I've been instructed to put together a portfolio of my work in preparation for the workshop.
I've known that it's time to update my portfolios, as well as my online presence at my website creativeobjective.com for quite some time. Now I have a deadline, at least for my portfolios.
Of course, I started by reading up a little to get some tips on making a powerful portfolio.
(Click Here) to read an article on PopPhoto on the subject.
In this article, Brian Dilg of the New York Film Academy's photography school offers a lot of insight. Here are the most important tips from my perspective:
  1. Don't include multiple images that are too similar or obviously taken in the same session. It can make it look like you're indecisive or incapable of editing your work.
  2. Stick to either landscape or portrait orientation within a series of images. This is a tough one for me.
  3. Don't pad your portfolio with less than the best images, ever.
  4. Every image should evoke a "Wow" from viewers, without the need for explanation.
  5. Your portfolio should focus on a subject; that should be the subject you'd love to be paid to photograph.
  6. Your goal is not to show competency as a photographer; it's to show creativity as an artist.
  7. Use mini-sequences within your portfolio. A simple three image sequence should follow this outline: create an expectation (1st image), establish a pattern (2nd), and provide a surprise or thrill (3rd).
  8. In most cases, a real print still rules. However, in a pinch, an electronic portfolio can be acceptable.
So, it looks like I have my work cut out for me.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Small Town Scenes, Brunswick, Maryland

I took my new Mamiya Universal Press (MUP) camera out for some shooting in the small town of Brunswick, Maryland. Perfect location for some black and white imaging, Brunswick is located on the Potomac River, and is a historic transportation hub for goods moving from the inland farms to the more populated coastal cities like Baltimore and Washington, DC.
Two competing forms of transportation intersected at Brunswick - the C&O Canal, which runs along the river from Cumberland, Maryland into Georgetown in DC, and the railroad. The canal has long been out of service; the railroad continues to live on. I shot these three images from the highway bridge that runs over the river and the tracks. In the third image, if you look close, you can see a person climbing the steps on the front of the locomotive on the right.
I used the graduated filter in Lightroom to bring out the detail in the clouds.
Brunswick Railroad Scenes, by Reed A. George
Mamiya Universal Press Camera, Kodak Tmax 100 Film
The shot below is of a historic building above the tracks, and below the modern bridge. I shot this one with the Mamiya Sekor 65mm f6.3 wide angle lens.
Historic Brunswick, by Reed A. George

Mamiya Universal Press Camera, Kodak Tmax 100 Film

As I've said before, I am thoroughly enjoying the MUP. I shot a total of about eight images (a full roll of 120 film at 6x9 format) in an hour. That's pretty fast for the MUP. It felt pretty fast for such a quiet day in Brunswick as well.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mamiya Universal Current Users? Not Many That I Can Find...

Yesterday I posted a picture of my new Mamiya Universal Press kit. One of the several fun things about the camera is using it with a Polaroid back. Here's an image I made recently on a meditation retreat:
Forest Monk and Followers, by Reed A. George
Mamiya Universal Press Camera, 50mm f6.3 Wide Angle Lens
Fujifilm FP3000B Instant Film, Scanned on Epson V750
Edited in Snapseed
Now, the Universal was probably never meant to be really, well, universal. It's hard to imagine the designers at Mamiya thinking "Let's make a camera that's perfect for everyone, truly universal." and coming up with this design. It's big, heavy, all manual. But, it does have capabilities that are difficult or impossible to find in other systems. It will never be near universal for me, but is definitely a favorite nonetheless.
I've been searching for others who are still actively using the Mamiya Universal Press (MUP) in 2014. I have not found many. I did find the "Simply Oxford Photoblog," which does have a few fairly recent posts using the MUP.
(Click Here) to see a post of lovely model shots made with the MUP on Simply Oxford.
I'm going to keep exploring this camera for a while, and find exactly where it best fits into my interests.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Mamiya Universal Kit

My Mamiya Universal Press Camera Kit
I've been meaning to shoot some images of my new Mamiya Universal camera and lenses. Well, here it is. Pretty much a dream kit, it includes:
  • Mamiya Universal Body
  • Normal Lens: 100mm f3.5 with hood and caps
  • Wide Angle Lenses: 65mm f6.3 and 50mm f6.3, both with accessory finders (pictured), caps, 50mm hood
  • Telephoto Lens: 150mm f5.6 with hood and caps
  • Polaroid Film Backs: M80 (obsolete) and Pack Film Back
  • Roll Film Backs: 6x9 (2) and 6x7, all for 120 film
  • Ground glass focusing back and several cut sheet film holders
  • Assorted 55mm filters and additional cable release
I am the proud owner of all of this wonderful high quality medium format goodness because of one thing, my good friend Dennis Gallus, who thought of me first when he decided to sell it. Thank you, Dennis!
The more I use this camera, the more I like it. You're going to be seeing more images from it quite soon.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Gage Caudell's Leica S Landscape - Awesome!

Image Source: http://www.rangetraveler.com/morning-star-part-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=morning-star-part-2
The Leica S is an amazing, beautiful medium format digital camera. It's in the stratosphere as far as price is concerned, though. I can't touch one with my income. I do have a friend with one, and I have gotten to handle it just a little. Really something special.
In the image above of Otter Cliff in Acadia National Park, Maine, Gage Caudell used the super wide 24mm Super Elmar S lens.
I'd love to see that blown up to wall size. The digital file from the S would support it, for sure!
(Click Here) to see it on Gage Caudell's blog, Range Traveler.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Nature's Tapestry

Nature's Tapestry, by Reed A. George
Mamiya Universal Press Camera, Mamiya Sekor 100mm f3.5 Lens
Kodak Portra 160 Color Print Film
A simple nature shot I made with my recently-acquired Mamiya Universal. I tried to keep the depth of field quite thin, and centered on the cattail just right of center. I love the color in this shot. The purple contrast to all the green and yellow works for me. I also really like how Portra gives such subtlety to color. I actually boosted the vibrance a little in post-processing.
I also cropped the image, and added some framing effects in Nik's Analog Efex Pro add-in.
I am really enjoying the slow, deliberate style that the new Universal forces on me.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Low Tech Wonders - A Little Fun with the FPP Debonair

Sometimes I just want to have a little photographic fun. I want to drop all pretense and concern about the technical aspects of photography, and shoot. I suppose I still (kind of) think about composition, but that's about all I control when I shoot my "Debonair" 6x4.5 medium format toy camera from the Film Photography Project (FPP).
(Click Here) to check out the awesome Debonair, a <$20 real film real toy camera on the FPP website.
Here are some shots I took on an outing to a local farm to pick strawberries with my family last year (it took a while to finish the roll and send it off to The Darkroom).
All of these were shot on expired Konica Centurian film, which judging by the name should be good for 100 years, right? I love the vignetting you get with the cheap plastic lens. It's actually kind of sharp in the center, but that falls away very quickly. Theses are pretty much out-of-camera scans, with only cropping in Lightroom.

Friday, September 5, 2014

DC Artist - My Very First Shot with the Mamiya Universal

I've shared several images I've made with my new Mamiya Universal Press camera and instant film. Before I got the correct instant back for the camera, I shot a few rolls of normal 120 medium format film. This is the very first exposure I made with the camera:
Artist, DuPont Circle, by Reed A. George
Mamiya Universal Press, Mamiya Sekor 100mm f3.5 Lens
Kodak Portra 160 Color Negative Film
The Universal is becoming a favorite for me. It's not your typical street photography camera. Not what you'd call subtle. When you lift this thing to take someone's picture, they're going to notice. So, I asked this guy if it was okay. He said "Sure," and then went back to being himself, which I very much appreciated.
I'm very impressed with the image quality that the Mamiya is capable of producing. This first roll was shot in the 6x7 format back, which gives me ten shots per roll of 120. Can you say "slow photography?" Think of the contrast of having to change film rolls every ten shots with modern digital photography. You can shoot that many images in two seconds or less with a DSLR. But why?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Weekends at Lake Anne

Weekend Visitors to Lake Anne, by Reed A. George
Leica M9 Titanium, Leica Summicron 35mm f2 (v3)
iso 200 Color Print Film
For today's post, I'm simply sharing a couple of images that I took at Lake Anne in Reston, Virginia a few weeks back. We've had an incredibly nice August for this region. This particular morning was sunny, cool, and relatively low in humidity. Not what you'd normally expect in Northern Virginia in August.
Lake Anne has a nice farmer's market on the weekends, and has that great symbol of real culture, a used book store. It's the only used book store I know of around here.
As you can see, I shot these with my Leica M6 on color print film. I just decided that black and white looked better, so went with it. Hope you enjoy the images.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hump Day Blues - Fujifilm Brings Sad News

I just read the sad news on Phoblographer that the Fuji GF670, one of the last remaining medium format film cameras that you could buy new, has been discontinued.
Fujifilm GF670
Image Source: http://www.thephoblographer.com/2014/08/25/fujifilm-gf670-folding-rangefinder-now-discontinued/#.U_3JHBy9KSP
The GF670 is the only new medium format folder that I know about. I was sorely drawn to purchasing one about a year ago, but made myself content with my old Agfa Record III instead. Very different animals, the GF670 sports a coupled rangefinder, electronic shutter, and modern optics, as compared to the Agfa's uncoupled rangefinder, manual shutter (perhaps a plus), and Solinar lens.
(Click Here) to read the post on Phoblographer.
(Click Here) to read about my Agfa Record III in a post from my "Skeletons From The Closet" series. If you search "Agfa Record" at the search window at the top of this blog, you'll find several of my posts, including those showing results from this awesome old camera.
As for the GF670, well, it's just the march of time and technology. We must accept it gracefully and move on. I'm happy to know that I have several wonderful medium format folders in my collection. Enough to interest me for the years I have left to shoot them!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Summer Contra Dance at Glen Echo Park

The Folklife Society of Greater Washington (FSGW) hosts weekly dances at Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, Maryland. On this particular night, it was held in the old bumper car pavilion. I found out about the event because some of my friends from the band "The Hot Seats" were playing the tunes.
A beautiful evening with moderate temperatures brought out a nice crowd of dancers.
All of these images were captured with my Leica M9, mostly with my 35mm f1.4 Summilux, at iso 640. Many of them were made at f4, 1/15 of a second exposure, with fill in flash provided by my tiny Nikon SB30 strobe.
Sunday Night Contra Dance, by Reed A. George
The lighting was a real challenge, and flash was a must. I wanted to keep the iso at 640, so pushed the limit of handheld sharpness with 1/15 second exposures. The flash helped out with that as well. At f4, I had to preset my focus (usually at about 10-12 feet) and walk around the crowd until I saw the right scene develop at the right distance. Actually a pretty fun way to shoot, I think it worked out pretty well.