Tag Archives: 35mm
After someone on Twitter asked for shots taken on Kodak Kodachrome, I dug through some slide scans that I had shot right before Dwayne’s Photo (the last lab in the world to develop Kodachrome) stopped developing Kodachrome. Most of the shots were decent; they were taken with my Leica M6 35mm camera, which at the time I thought was the perfect camera. Now I can see that it really didn’t fit my style.
But these two photos, when viewed together, really made me smile.
Kodachrome slide film, finicky as it was, did have a timeless feel. This is my favorite area in Chinatown; essentially Doyers and Pell meet at this weird angle (known back in the day as The Bloody Angle, b/c of heavy gang fighting in this little cul de sac) and not much light makes it to street level. The low light makes for a very contrasty image – bright sky and dim street level detail. These images, without the use of filters or photoshop, look like they may have been taken 50 years ago, but they were taken in 2010. The first shot of the woman walking up Doyers toward the angle was also double exposed. You can see the post office building superimposed across half the image. The second image, a man walking down Pell Street towards me and away from the angle is slightly underexposed.
Last week Kodak discontinued its slide films. This was met with much gnashing of teeth and doom and gloom reports online concerning the “death of film.” As well as comments like these regarding tricky exposure with slide film: “And you just gave the main reason why nobody wants to shoot film anymore. I love the ability to check the exposure on the camera, and the ability to decide if I can push it more to the right or keep it as it is. Film is just dead in general. I should get rid of my film gear before it is 100% worthless.” Sigh…
In truth, the announcement really only matters to the photographers who were still using the three remaining Kodak slide films. I’ve never used any of them, though I did use Kodachrome and much of my childhood was captured on those slides. Since Kodachrome has went away, I’ve used Fuji slide film. I might try to grab some remaining rolls of Ektachrome E100G/E100VS or Elite Chrome Extra Color 100 though to see what the fuss is about.
While I’m definitely over the “I have to carry my camera everywhere” feeling that gripped me last year, I still like to occasionally wander around aimlessly with a camera over my shoulder. I’ve had a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 in my Olympus OM-1 over the last week or so and after getting the film back from the lab on Tuesday night, I found more than a dozen images that I really loved and several I had forgot that I had taken. Some of the latter were my favorites from the roll.
Most of these were taken in various parts of Brooklyn as Kate and I enjoyed our normal, meandering, long walks. I still can’t remember being in the East Village with this camera and this roll, but I had two shots of the East Village Cadillac on there somehow.
East Village Cadillac, Kodak Ektar 100
Funny story about this Cadillac, a couple of my images were used by the New York Times East Village Local and the owner of the Cadillac responded in the comments section.
Church Board, Gowanus, Brooklyn, Kodak Ektar 100
Eventually, I’m going to do a whole series on these church boards of Brooklyn. I’m not religious in any way, but I’m fascinated by these signs and the level of detail they preserve about the church. I’m attracted to the signs that use different fonts and sizes to get their message across.
Triceratops Custom Cab, Gowanus, Brooklyn, Kodak Ektar 100
I’ve passed this truck before without taking a picture (it’s on the way to our favorite pie place Four and Twenty Blackbirds) and this time Kate saw me hesitate and reach for my camera. “Go ahead,” she said as she stood there waiting for me as I waited out the traffic.
When Kate and I got in line at the Guggenheim Monday morning at 10am I had my Nikon FM2n and 6 shots left on a roll of Kodak Tri-X 400. Luckily I had rated that roll at 1250 ISO for overcast winter days and early nightfalls. I find you can push Tri-X to 1600 or even 3200 and get usable images, but for 35mm I try to keep at 1250 or under. The grain is pronounced at 1250, but not quite overwhelming in a Xtol developer. Of course, if you used something like Rodinal, it would be grain city even at 800.
I hadn’t planned on taking any shots inside of the Maurizio Cattelan exhibit, just a shot of the Guggenheim facade.
That plan changed when I got inside. The exhibit is whimsical, and thanks to the unique design of the Guggenheim, totally engaging. As you climb or descend (we took the stairs to the top and went down) the view of the exhibit, which hangs from the ceiling into the atrium, is constantly changing. You see pieces from above, then at eye level, then from below. It wasn’t long before I joined the camera snapping hordes. The Guggenheim has a no photography policy, but guards and staff did not prevent people from taking pictures. Camera flashes, despite the total inability to light up something that far away, fired almost constantly. I was able to take these shots, sans flash of course, at f4 and 1/60th of a second. I think I was able to use 1/125th of a second on one of them and had to use f2.8 on another. Still I’m happy with how they turned out. I could have easily shot a roll or two of film to capture this exhibit, but I liked knowing that I had to be selective.
This was my favorite piece of the exhibit, but also the hardest to photograph. I knew I only had two exposures left and I wanted to save one for the facade on the way out. How do you expose for a huge, dark mass of soil against a white background? Very carefully… I love the bunnies on the grass.
All images developed in Xtol 1+1 solution at 68F for 11.5 minutes.
I think I’m officially the last person to visit the newish Faile mural on Houston and Bowery. It’s been up for a few weeks, but since moving to Brooklyn I don’t get out to the East Village as much. I’m a huge Faile fan already, but this mural is just stunning. Kate and I were visiting a new pizza place on the Bowery and I just happened to have my old Nikon FM2n and a wide angle lens.
Since the Os Gemeos mural disappeared in the Spring of 2010 this wall has pretty much been dead to me. There was a yawn-inducing Shepard Fairey piece for awhile and then a tag-riddled Kenny Sharf piece; neither added much to the city.
This one is a thing of beauty. As always, you can click on the picture for a larger version.
Yesterday Jess and Garrett posted some great pictures of the mural as well.
If you like Faile, here’s an old post from the pop up arcade they did in the Lower East Side.
It’s been some time, since I’ve turned my lens to capturing signs as we walk around the city. Old signs always grab my attention, but I realized a lot of them popped up in my last roll* of film. It’s probably because we are exploring new neighborhoods so much.
These were all taken with the Nikon FM2n and shot on the new Kodak Portra 160.
This is a VERY common sign in the city; yet, it’s a beauty. I love the red and green, the “everything you need” in one place aspect of it, and the two glasses on the left. This one is on our block at Flatbush Avenue and St. Marks. I like how it’s right next door to the overpriced joke of a store – Brooklyn Larder.
This simple, but effective sign over a real estate office in Ditmas Park was calling to me as we were eating in the window of Mimi’s Hummus across the street. After our meal, I zipped over to pay it a visit.
I think I rmember this exact sign from when I was a kid. Composition Notebooks, check. Crayola, check. Krazy Glue, check… Wait a minute, Krazy glue for back to school? Elmer’s Glue, of course, but Krazy Glue? I wold have been so busted taking Krazy Glue to school.
*which I realized is my 180th roll of film shot this year.
Over the last week, we have run into a few of the Sing for Hope Pop-Up Pianos. If I have a camera on me, I stop and take a shot. Sometimes there are people playing them, other times not.
Sing for Hope Pop-Up Piano in Williamsburg
Sing for Hope Pop-Up Piano on the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk
I was just walking up to this one adjusting the settings on my camera when this man approached and aked me if it was one of “those pianos.” We chatted a little about the one that was vandalized in the Bronx and then I asked him if he would mind setting down at this one for a picture. He didn’t play, but was happy to pose for me. Taken with Hasselblad 501cm and Fuji Reala 100.
Sing for Hope Pop-Up Piano in Fort Greene Park
This gentleman was trying to get the two kids interested in the piano. And he could play. One kid was kind of into it and the other was having none of it. Shot with Hasselblad 501cm and Kodak Portra 400 at dusk in shade.
Sing for Hope Pop-Up Piano in Meatpacking District Median Park
This guy was entertaining everyone around him with his playing. Since I had a 35mm SLR camera with 36 exposures (instead of my usual 12 with the Hasselblad) I stayed and snapped a couple pictures of him. I love these pianos and this gentleman clearly enhanced the evening and mood of the people sitting at tables around him. It was one of those, “Man, I love this city moments.” Taken with Olympus OM-1 SLR on Kodak Portra 800 film.
Check out the Sing for Hope website for much more information including a map of where the pianos are located.
My last post of Paris pictures were of mundane, everyday details of a city. Those are the kind of shots that I take wherever I go. I can’t not snap away at those little details that probably mean something only to me. But I did take several photos of the big sights of Paris. Even though we had been before, we still took the time to gape at Notre Dame, the Seine, and of course the Eiffel Tower.
We actually were in the vicinity of the Eiffel tower two times. The first day it was cloudy and the second it was less so with bright blue skies. I much prefer the photographs from the cloudy day. The clouds themselves are so full and swollen looking. I think the dim light from the cloudy day also gives those pictures a vintage feel. All these pictures were taken on Kodak Portra 400 film.
Kate woke us up early on Saturday to visit the Sacre Coeur (her account is pretty damn funny). Unfortunately, the sky was a flat, steel grey. We took some pictures of Sacre Coeur and marveled at the Paris skyline from that vantage point. By the time we left Montmarte and got to the 16th Arrondissement just across the river from the Eiffel Tower, the clouds had formed an impressive backdrop.
These two square pictures were obviously taken with the Hasselblad, which was also loaded with Portra 400 film.
We went back to the vicinity of the Eiffel Tower on Sunday, this time in the 7th Arrondissement for the open air market between Dupleix and Motte Picquet metro stops. The sky was a perfect blue just barely dotted with wispy cirrus clouds. We walked right by the tower from other angles to get to the market. While I think the first set of pictures are more arresting, the blue sky does make a good backdrop.
For a while it seemed like it was following us around. It peeked out between buildings at multiple intersections. And like an obedient tourist, I stopped to take more pictures…
I feel like you can tell more about a city by capturing the small things, the mundane details that we pass by every day. While in Paris I took dozens of touristy things photos, but the majority of photographs, the ones that will mean the most to me, are of ordinary things. It’s similar to my view of New York. New York is much more than its monuments and buildings. It’s only when you look at cities at the street level that you really start to understand and appreciate them. We only had a few days to wander the streets of Paris, but I saw and appreciated much more this time than our earlier trip.
I’ll post touristy pics later this week, but I’ve selected roughly a dozen photographs of what I classify as mundane details for this post. All pictures were taken with the Nikon FM2n and on Kodak Portra film.
This courtyard at the end of a short alley caught my eye as I walked past it. This was one of the many times I almost passed by something but instead stopped to drag out one of my cameras. We were in no hurry.
This magazine cover, more than any other, was the one that screamed “Paris” to me every time I walked by a news stand. I wanted to buy it at the airport on the way home, but sadly I couldn’t find it.
We never ate inside a restaurant on this trip. The weather was beautiful and the sidewalk cafes provided all the food and (usually) drink we needed. We didn’t stop at this one, but I was still struck by the simplicity of its two tables and five chairs.
We were in Montmarte very early on Saturday morning to visit the Sacre Couer and I noticed this tiny place with an Agfa Film sign out front.
Walking back to our hotel on the Boulevard Saint Germaine I noticed this statue that had served as a prop in the previous night’s partying.
Since we don’t own a car or hardly ever travel in one, I look at cars as stationary things of interest. This one, paired with an identical white Vespa, caught my eye. I wondered if they belonged to the same person.
Signs, corners, and intersections are always fascinating to me.
I took several photos of and around Notre Dame, but this one of flowers in its garden is my favorite.
I couldn’t not take a picture of this art on a sidewalk condom machine.
And of course I’m always on the lookout for street art (whole separate post upcoming).
And lastly, the flowers on the windows of our hotel…
When I started thinking about what film to take for our trip, I immediately thought about my standard B&W film – Kodak Tri-X 400. I knew exactly what it would look like at night and I wanted those strong, ink-black images. Maybe I was looking at too much Brassai or something.
The weird thing is that I shot mostly color on this trip. We were blessed with perfect weather all four days and Paris really seemed better in color. I used Portra 160 NC or Portra 400 depending on the brightness and time of day. On two nights though, I loaded B&W film into the Nikon FM2n and took several pictures. Then I’d wake up the next morning with a bright sky and a yearning to shoot color. And of course there was still B&W Tri-X 400 rated at 1600 ISO in my camera. I probably should have taken a second Nikon body, but I didn’t want to drag around three cameras. What I ended up doing was quickly firing off some random shots on the way to our destination to use up the rest of the B&W and then popped in a color roll. I don’t normally do this, but we only had a long weekend.
That’s one of the limitations of film, you’re stuck with shooting what you have in your camera at the time. Digital does makes it so much easier, but then again digital will never look like this.
A Dark Corner, Paris
Series of Arched Doorways, Paris
A Waiter Smoking on Place Saint-Germain-des-Pres
I was really more interested in the corner of the building in the light than the waiter, but he wouldn’t leave.
Saint-Germain-des-Pres Metro Sign at Night, Paris
The Seine River at Night, Paris
Paris Street at Dusk
Busy Sidewalk and Paris Metro Sign at Night
I took a lot of pictures of Metro signs. I mean a lot. What the hell was I thinking?
All images were developed at home in Kodak Xtol Developer for 9.5 minutes.
On Monday night, I met Kate at the Bryant Park Ice Rink* to soak up some holiday spirit. I took my Nikon D90 (digital) and Nikon FM2n (film) cameras. It’s a good thing I had both, because the D90 froze up and wouldn’t take pictures after about 20-30 minutes in the near freezing temps. I’ve been told since to “try to keep it warm, like in a warm bag, and that shouldn’t happen again.” Kind of a weird answer. It’s a camera. A tool. It should work when it’s 32 degrees out. Luckily, my trusty FM2n worked just fine in the cold. It’s all mechanical, so I’m not surprised. The D90 is basically a computer with a lens slapped on the front, barely a camera it seems…
The light was pretty tricky for metering. You have the bright white of the ice rink surface surrounded by the night and then up top a nice layer of lights from the looming skyscrapers ringing the park. Before it froze up, the D90 in Aperture Priority (I use this sometimes when Kate and I are together, so I don’t have to think as much and can pay more attention to her) gave me all kinds of underexposed and overexposed shots. I kept looking at the screen and thinking, “WTF?” I did switch to manual, but shortly after that the autofocus on the lens went and then the camera itself just stopped responding.
With the FM2n, I just metered for the scene and paid attention to what I wanted. Happily, none of the shots were too far off. Some of them were shaky because of the cold, but other than that I’m happy with how the film shots turned out. These are on Kodak Tri-X 400 pushed to 1600 ISO and developed in Kodak D-76 for 9.5 minutes.
Walking up to the Bryant Park Ice Rink
The Empire State Building makes a nice backdrop for the skaters
The Bryant Park Fountain
Skater Girl Falling
Skaters and Tree, Abstract
And I had a couple of frames left on the roll, so I snapped off a close up of our tree. I probably won’t be blogging much until after Christmas. Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!
*We did not partake in the skating. After healing multiple bone injuries from overtraining in the Nyland-Hoke house, we were visibly cringing over all the skaters falling and hitting the ice.