Tag Archives: Brooklyn
Last week I posted some long exposures from a roll of Fuji Neopan Acros 100 and the Hasselblad shot during a night shooting in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Here are a few more from the same roll.
The shots below were developed in Kodak Xtol Developer (stock solution) at 20C for 8 minutes.
Night Long Exposure of Gowanus Canal with Downtown Brooklyn in Background, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
This was a difficult exposure, because the canal itself was so dark and the sky was lit up brightly in the background. I split the difference and chose to properly expose the dark canal.
Long Exposure of Random Office Chair and Street Art by Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100 Film
This was an almost 3 minute exposure, because there was very little available light and I really wanted to bring out the detail in the shot.
You can see the bushes moving about in the wind right behind the boat sign on this shot. If I recall it was a short exposure (30 seconds) because of the strong street light just above it.
On Wednesday night, I met up with good pal Barry Yanowitz in Gowanus for some night time shooting. He had his Rollei loaded with Fujichrome T64 color slide film (of which he gave me a roll and I can’t wait to try out) and I had my Hasselblad loaded with Fuji Neopan Acros 100 black and white film. It was nice to catch up with him and also to discover that the canal waters had receded to their normal levels after Hurricane Sandy’s rude visit. We each shot one roll of film during the evening.
The shots below were developed in Kodak Xtol Developer (stock solution) at 20C for 8 minutes. I’ll post a few more next week.
Despite having all but forsaken using a 35mm SLR in favor of medium format and format, I recently took my Olympus OM-1 on a trip to Bushwick. I had my newish Nikon D700 with me and didn’t want to commit to all-digital for the trip, so I popped a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 into the OM-1. During my outing, I took a few shots of the same thing with the Olympus and the D700. I was astounded at the difference in the two cameras. The Olympus paired with Kodak Ektar rendered everything with a richness and texture that the Nikon D700 just smoothed over. The D700 shots were too cool-toned and the aging building facades looked smooth and slick rather than worn and beaten by time. I posted an example on Flickr of the same shot side by side with Ektar and digital and it’s beyond obvious which is better for this particular shot. Overall, film simply renders things like buildings, storefronts, and street art in a much more true-to-life manner. The D700 files are just too polished, too perfect. Lesson learned. The D700 is unmatched in shooting events and low light, while film is better for everything else.
Last week I had uploaded a few of my normal type shots to Flickr using the D700 despite thinking they looked a little flat. I thought it was just me being too used to the way a film shot looks. Then as I was showing Kate the comparison shot (linked to above) she was like, “Yeah, those D700 shots don’t look very good.” She didn’t think they were up to my usual standards and hoped that I wouldn’t be using the D700 for shooting my everyday stuff. What looked obvious to me was just obvious. Film simply looks better for the type of things I like to shoot.
Here are a handful of OM-1, Kodak Ektar shots from the trip.
Haven’t shot a lot this week, so here are a few pictures from last week. It’s been so beautiful this Spring. I don’t know why, but every year I’m surprised when the trees start to bloom and then even more surprised to see leaves popping out.
I took these first four shots early in the morning on a walk to meet Kate after her long training run. At this time of the morning, the light is perfect. These were all shot with Hasselblad 501cm on Kodak Portra 400 film.
This was taken later in the day on the way to the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene. This is the Koadk Portra look that I always hope for…
Here are two of the four sheets of Kodak Portra 400 that I shot recently on my Toyo 45AII large format camera. I had received a box of Portra 400 for Christmas and was curious how it would handle long exposures. I normally like B&W for these types of shots, especially the foolproof Fuji Neopan Acros 100, but as I said curiosity got the best of me. I was also a little annoyed that the Kodak data sheet for 45 Portra read: “No filter correction or exposure compensation is required for PORTRA 400 Film for exposures from 1⁄10,000 second to 1 second. For critical applications with longer exposure times, make tests under your conditions.”
Super helpful, Kodak. Thanks! So you didn’t test the film for anything longer than 1 second? You would rather let the consumer make their own tests (which I agree to some extent makes sense)? It is discouraging that a box of 10 sheets of Kodak Portra 400 costs about $30 and each sheet is $3-6 to develop depending on which lab you use. Mine is only $3, so my testing consisted of loading two film holders with four sheets of film and blowing $24 in fifteen minutes.
Yes, I’m being a little hard on Kodak. However, Fuji and Ilford do a fantastic job of documenting the change needed in exposure (due to reciprocity failure) for times longer than 1 second. Kodak should do better.
Anyway, I shot four sheets from my usual test location (in Dumbo underneath the Manhattan Bridge looking at the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan) for long exposures and didn’t see a bit of difference. The first shot was 8 seconds for f22, but I gave it 15 seconds as a starting point.
The second one was taken right after the first and I gave it 30 seconds. I couldn’t tell a difference between the two.
I repositioned my tripod slightly for the second film holder and repeated the meter reading. As it was getting darker, the reading called for 15 seconds. I exposed one sheet for 45 seconds and the other for 90 seconds just to see if it would matter. It didn’t, both negatives were pretty much the same.
Here’s the 45 second exposure at f22.
The bottom line is that Kodak Portra 400 handles long exposures nicely. I got great results between 15 seconds and 90 seconds. Some of that was obviously due to the rapidly changing light conditions, but as its been well documented, this film is VERY versatile and forgiving. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Kodak Portra 400 for exposures between 1 second and 90 seconds. Next time I would probably just give the shot double the time that the meter reading calls for. Please note, this was in no way a scientific method. I didn’t keep notes, but I recall the exposure times and which film holders were which times. For critical paid use, I guess I would do as Kodak suggests and “make tests under your conditions.”
I took these shots almost two months ago and promptly forgot about them. It’s a shame, because just recently I read that the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Admiral’s Row was finally turned over to the city and seven of the nine buildings will be bulldozed (if they are not already) to make way for a supermarket. They are in severe disrepair and have been for many years, but it’s a shame to see such beautiful old buildings neglected to the point where they are decaying husks overgrown with weeds and vines.
No one has lived in the houses since the 1970s and the Navy Yard was closed in 1966. Thankfully, the Navy Yard complex itself is home to many industries, artisans, and artists these days. The Navy Yard Museum is a fascinating (and free) museum; definitely worth a weekend visit.
All of these photos were taken with my Hasselblad on Fuji Reala 100 film.
On Tuesday night I took my Toyo 4×5 camera and two lenses out to Crown Heights, which is only four subway stops from our place. Our new favorite pizza joint Barboncino is there and right down the street Kate and I found an amazing old school candy shop. Anyway, I had a free night and I really wanted to get back to photograph the promenade and this amazing bodega.
It was still early, so there was a fair amount of foot and car traffic. The one minute exposure helped with the traffic.
Here’s the thing about using a larger format camera in a public place – you are going to draw attention. People know what it is, but they might not have seen one up close. This is a perfect opportunity to be an ambassador for film photography. People stop and ask questions:
“Wow, what kind of a camera is that?” or
“Oh man, this is old school!” or
“What are you doing?” and most of all,
“Wow, can I look in there?”
I think this is awesome. I ran into three men who knew exactly what large format cameras were, one of them used to shoot high school protraits with a large format rig. We talked for about 15 minutes as I waited for the sun to disappear behind the horizon. Since I wasn’t in a hurry anyway, I took the time to talk to everyone that stopped, answered their questions, and always let them look into the back through the ground glass. After all, I wasn’t in a hurry. That was what attracted me to shooting with this type of camera in the first place. The best conversations were with kids who had only seen a camera like this in movies or on TV. They were totally curious and started by trying to be too cool, but ended up geeking out by looking through the ground glass and posing for each other. I think I, a total stranger to this neighborhood, enjoyed myself more than they did.
Cropped Portion of Above Shot
To really get a sense of what a 4×5 negative can deliver, just click on this cropped image of the above shot. I only scanned these negatives at 1200 dpi, but they were already in excess of 20MB. Scanning them at my usual 2400 results in 80MB files that my computer really can’t work with in any efficient manner.
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.
Last night I took my Hasselblad and Toyo 45AII to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was cold and rainy, but my new camera bag made it much easier to carry all that gear.
Medium ALICE Pack
I remember using an ALICE (All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment) pack back in my military days and thought it just might make a good bag to carry my gear in. It’s actually perfect (and super cheap!). I put two lenses in two of the three outside pockets. The other pocket held my focusing loupe, light meter, and flash light. Inside my Toyo 45AII, five film holders, and my Hasselblad 501cm fit perfectly. Now I just need to find a better way to carry my tripod.
The bridge still had a good amount of pedestrian and bike traffic, but the rain held off most of the usual crowd. Using the 4×5 camera on the bridge was interesting. I had a lot of onlookers and people asking questions. I let a German family look through the ground glass and they got a kick out of that.
I developed the film last night in Kodak Xtol Developer 1+1 solution. I haven’t noticed much of a difference between undiluted Xtol solution and a 1+1 solution, so I’ve switched to using the 1+1 to make my developer soltion last twice as long.
Long Exposure of Brooklyn Bridge Tower, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Long Exposure of Brooklyn Bridge Tower in Mist, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Happy 2012, everyone. One of my informal resolutions for 2012 is to spend/buy less. In that spirit, I’ve started diluting my Xtol developer with one part water instead of using the stock solution. I’ve noticed a little less contrast, but I could probablyneed to develop for another 15 seconds rather than the recommended time.
These are all on Kodak Tri-X 400 in my Hasselblad camera. I have some Fuji Neopan Acros 100 loaded in my 4×5 film holders, so I’ll see how the Xtol 1+1 works with that next time.