Tag Archives: B&W
Last week I posted a 9/11 Tribute in Lights photograph taken on Fuji Neopan Acros 100 black and white film. Here are two shots from the same evening, one taken with the Olympus using Fuji Provia 100 slide film, and one taken with the Toyo 4×5 also using Fuji Provia 100 film.
The 35mm picture was a shorter exposure (only 60 seconds).
This was the same exposure ( 120 seconds) as the Neopan Acros 100 black and white film.
I much prefer the black and white image. In fact, I just had this black and white version scanned (605MB file!) to make prints.
I hadn’t planned on taking any pictures of the 9/11 Tribute in Light this year, but it was gorgeous last night and I did have my 4×5 film holders loaded. It’s always interesting to see how many people are crowded along the East River to get a view of the tribute lights come on at dusk. This year I got there at 6:45 and there were hundreds of people waiting. All of my normal shooting spots were already lousy with tripods, so I walked around looking for a nice vantage point, finally settling in by Jane’s Carousel. It’s a moving experience looking at those lights surrounded by the buildings of Lower Manhattan. This year it felt good to see World Trade Center One at its full height (minus the spire) just north of the Tribute in Lights.
I shot a few sheets of Fuji Neopan Acros 100 and a handful of Fuji Provia 100 transparencies while I was there, as well a dozen or so frames with the Olympus OM-1. I haven’t taken my color film to the lab yet, but I did wake up early this morning to develop the B&W shots.
This one is my favorite, because of the looping helicopter light trails in the sky.
9/11 Tribute in Light Long Exposure on Fuji Neopan Acros 100 4×5 Film Developed in Ilford DD-X
You can view a very large version of this in my Flickr Photostream.
This shot was a 2 minute exposure at f22 and developed in Ilford DD-X (1+4 dilution) at 20C for 11 minutes. There’s very little documentation for Fuji Neopan Acros 100 in sheet format, especially with DD-X so I’ve had to experiment a bit with times. From a recommendation on APUG, I initially tried it at 1+9 dilution and 22C for 9 minutes. The negatives were a little thin, so I did some very unscientific comparisons of 120 and sheet film times on the Massive Dev chart. I think for now, I’ll stick with this diltuon and time for Fuji Acros in 4×5 format.
I’ll upload some color pics in a few days.
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.
As much as Kodak Tri-X 400 is my go to 400 speed B&W film, Fuji Neopan Acros 100 is my go to 100 speed B&W film. I can’t imagine anything else for my medium format B&W work.
The Fuji works so well during the daytime that I never have to worry about the light. If it’s sunny and early in the morning or afternoon, then the Neopan is perfection. Recently, I was in the Meatpacking District (on the way to The Highline) with the Hassselblad 501cm and I just happened to have a roll of Neopan in my bag.
This roll was developed in Kodak Xtol developer at 21C for 7.5 minutes.
Love Stories Suck, Meatpacking District, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
I walked past this little piece of graffiti and kept thinking about it. So I asked Kate (ever the good sport) to pose beside it for a picture. Yes it’s kind of cheesy, but it was one of those photos that would have bugged me if I didn’t take it.
Kate and I took an extended weekend trip to Paris last Thursday. We hopped on a plane in JFK late Thursday night, fell asleep, and woke up the next day at 11am Paris time. We spent three and a half amazing days wandering around the streets of our second favorite city and I have this bag of exposed film to show for it. I took my Nikon FM2n and Hasselblad 501cm with me and Kate handled the digital duties flawlessly with the Nikon D90. I shot seven rolls (six color and one B&W) of 120 film in the Hasselblad and would have happily shot more if I had brought more. I shot eight and a half rolls of 35mm film and had two rolls of B&W film left at the end of the trip.
Exposed film from Paris Trip
I had the most pleasant experience at JFK with my bag of film. Everything was either 100, 160, or 400 ISO speed, so I didn’t plan on asking for a hand check of my film. I tossed the ziploc bag of film into a bin with my wallet and watch, prepared to see it work its way through the X-ray machine. I wasn’t worried too much since anything under 800 ISO is generally considered safe to pass through carry on X-ray machines (NOT checked luggage X-ray machines). But then a TSA screener walked over and asked me, “Would you like me to hand check your film?” After all the horror stories I’ve heard about screeners refusing to hand check film, this was a nice surprise. So my film only went through the X-ray in Paris at Charles De Gaulle. The screeners there were not amused by my request for a hand check.
Last night I developed my one roll of 120 film (Kodak Tri-X 400) from Paris in Kodak Xtol developer for 6.5 minutes. This is all twelve shots from the roll taken in the beautiful Montparnasse Cemetery.
Gravestone and Sign in Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, France
Carved Child Mourning on Gravestone
Angel on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Baudelaire Cenotaph in Montparnasse
Bearded Head on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Books and Man on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Hands on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Jesus on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Serge Gainsbourg Grave in Montparnasse
Standing Woman on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Woman Resting on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Angel Holding Woman on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Growing up and shooting film, I was always frustrated by taking pictures at night. At the time I was stuck with consumer level point and shoot film cameras with maybe an 800 ISO color film. I didn’t know about pushing film or developing. Now as an adult with real equipment and pushable B&W film that I develop myself, shooting at night is a breeze.
To begin with, I rarely worry about my light meter readings at night, since the meter will usually try to compensate for the low light, always aiming (as it should) for a well exposed scene. There is one exception: if you are using a tripod, then the light meter will be your friend. You can trust that it will give you a nicely exposed scene and you won’t have to worry about a shutter speed that’s too low for a handheld shot.
If you are shooting handheld then the meter at night will usually suggest a shutter speed that you can’t physically hold still enough to avoid blur or shake. I do try to stick with the rule of keep your shutter speed equal to or greater than the focal length of the lens you are using. For example, don’t try to use a shutter speed of 1/30 for a 50mm lens. If you are using a 28mm lens though, you can get away with a 1/30 of a second exposure.
Couple at Night Walking Down Freeman’s Alley, Lower East Side
This was one of those instances where a light meter would be pretty useless. It would try to give you a fairly well lit scene and ask you to use a ridiculously low (for handheld anyway) shutter speed of like 1/8 of a second. I set the FM2n at 1/125 to account for the movement of the couple (1/60 would have been better, but they were walking) and used the fastest lens aperture of f1.4. I also wanted an inky black mass on the right hand side, rather than a weakly lit wall. If I would have used 1/60 or pushed it and tried to use 1/30 then that inky black would have been lighter and wouldn’t provide such a contrast to the couple walking towards the light.
Schillers Bar Sign, Lower East Side
There were people milling about in front of Schillers and I didn’t want to highlight them. I deliberately underexposed this shot, knowing it would cast the people in dark shadow while giving the neon sign more contrast and definition.
Kate Waiting to Cross Second Avenue, East Village
I used the widest aperture of the 50mm f1.4 Ai lens here to get nice bokeh from the traffic lights in the background. The shutter speed was 1/60 since Kate was standing still.
Kate Easting Chikalicious, East Village
Same settings here as the previous picture.
Alias Restaurant Facade, Lower East Side
In this one, I had to use a slower aperture of f2.8 to retain some detail at a distance. In order to compensate for the low light, I used a (probably too slow) slow shutter speed of 1/30, which breaks the shutter speed/focal length rule. It’s not tack sharp, but then again tack sharp is sometimes boring.
Man Reading Newspaper, Chinatown
The light here was very gentle and I intentionally underexposed the negative to give it a soft, diffused quality.
Kate in the Glow of Coke Machine, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Didn’t even pay attention to my light meter here. It would have given me a negative with a much too bright light from the coke machine. I just set the aperture to f1.8 and the shutter speed to 1/60 of a second, which is perfect for a 50mm lens.
All images were taken with a Nikon FM2n and a Nikkor 50mm f1.4 Ai lens on Kodak Tri-X 400 film exposed and developed at 1250 ISO in Xtol Developer for 8.5 minutes.
Between periodic bouts of sunshine, NYC has been enshrouded in fog most days the last two weeks. This set, shot with the Nikon FM2n and a 28mm lens on Kodak Tri-X 400 film, is from a recent trip to Central Park. The film was pushed to 1200 and developed for 9 minutes in Kodak Xtol Developer.
Building disappearing into fog, Midtown Manhattan
Gnarled Tree in Central Park
Essex House and Trees from Central Park, Midtown Manhattan
Reflections of trees on water in Central Park
Reflections and Fog in Central Park
Buildings in Fog from Central Park
Buildings and Ice Rink in Fog from Central Park
Columbus Circle in Fog from Central Park South
Even though we don’t own a TV and never plan to, we do watch a few TV shows online or on Netflix. One of my favorites, mockery be damned, is “Project Runway” on Bravo. I like watching Tim Gunn and Heidi. I like the reactions of Michael Kors and Nina Garcia when something particularly tacky comes flouncing down the runway. I like the concept of the show and, despite my protests, I even enjoy the catty back and forth created by the producers.
That’s why I can’t believe we waited this long to visit Mood Fabrics in Midtown. Everyone who watches the show can hear it in their head when I type, “Thank you, Mood!”
We went there over the weekend and I wasn’t sure if they allowed pictures. So, I shoved my tiny Olympus XA loaded with Ilford Pan 400 B&W film into my jacket pocket and took some pictures on the sly. I used B&W film, because I wanted to focus on textures and patterns, not colors. This roll was developed in Kodak Xtol developer for 8.75 minutes.
The rolls of fabrics were mesmerizing…
Mood Fabrics Stock, Midtown Manhattan
Mood Fabrics Stock, Midtown Manhattan
Mood Fabrics Stock, Midtown Manhattan
Kate Overwhelmed by Choices at Mood Fabrics
Mood Fabrics Stock, Midtown Manhattan (Pucci, gah! Wanted to grab a roll and run away with it.)
Mood Fabrics Cutting Area
Mood Fabrics Stock, Midtown Manhattan
Kate Zeroing in on a Choice at Mood Fabrics
Mood Fabrics Upholstery, Midtown Manhattan
For the photography geeks, the indoor photos were all taken on f2.8 or f4 since the artificial light in the store was so bad. The sharpness wide open and almost wide open of the tiny XA lens is pretty good.
Bonus Pictures, On Our Way to Mood:
Inside the 14th St. Subway Station on the 4/5 Line
On Our Way I Loved the Blooming Trees Everywhere
Nothing earth shattering here, but I popped off a roll of my least favorite B&W film (just in case the camera was a dud) last night in the new Minolta and I’m happy with the output of this 42 year-old camera. I didn’t want to waste a roll of good film, so I used a roll of Fuji Neopan 400 that I had sitting around. This film gives lackluster, low contrast negatives (even in D-76 developer) that are a bit too muddy for my taste and these shots show similar characteristics. I did adjust the contrast on each of these photographs in Aperture after scanning.
All shots with the Minolta Hi-Matic 7s and Rokkor 45mm f1.8 lens on Fuji Neopan 400 film developed in Kodak Xtol developer (stock solution) for 8.25 minutes.
This was the very first shot with the Hi-Matic. I tried to focus on the beer glass logo, but with the rangefinder focusing I couldn’t back up enough. What ended up being in focus was the menu on the table.
Radegast Biergarten Half Liter of Beer in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Second shot. Even though I was just fooling around, this image definitely shows that the camera is very capable.
Radegast Biergarten Patrons in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Abandoned Loading Dock on Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Grocery Store and Pedestrians on Corner of Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Artist Putting up New Mural on Roebling Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Back Home, Coffee Table at Maximum Aperture
After a quick roll in the Hi-Matic, I’m surprised that everything is in working order and that the meter is spot on. The shutter release button needs a heavy finger on it, making you worry that the camera will move during exposure, but it wasn’t a factor in most shots. This is a very capable camera and a great example of mid century simplicity in design. It’s not an every day shooter, but it will get a lot of use.
Still trying to settle on a low to medium speed black and white film that I’ve liked enough to stick with for several rolls. I’ve found that Ilford Delta 100 is a mess in 35mm for me, but tolerable in 120 format. I liked Fuji Neopan Across 100 for a few rolls, but it’s so low contrast compared to my go to B&W film (Kodak Tri-X 400). So, I finally picked up five rolls of Kodak Plus-X 125. I love the tag line from the web page for this film, “When people say black and white, this is what they mean.”
I only shot one roll this weekend, but I like it so far. These pictures were all taken in harsh mid day sun, but I used a medium yellow filter to tone the brightness of the sky down a bit. I like the low grain in this film, especially when paired with a fine grain developer like Kodak Xtol.
Trees lining McCarren Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Kodak Plus-X Black and White Film
Stuffed Teddy Bear chilling in tree, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Tree on the corner of Grand Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
All shots were with Nikon F3 and Nikkor 28mm f2.8 Ai-S lens with a medium yellow filter on Kodak Plus-X 125 film developed in Xtol developer (stock solution) for 5.5 minutes.