Tag Archives: NYC
This was the last week for the artists in the Sing for Hope Piano Studio. I stopped by on Monday and could not believe the work that had taken place since my last visit. All of the pianos were almost street (and party) ready. Tonight is the Sing for Hope Pianos Launch Party where the 88 pianos will be revealed. It’s my understanding that we have recruited pianists to play each piano in concert at 8:08pm. I’m really looking forward to watching these artists receive the adulations and attentions of an adoring public. The SFH Piano artists have put so much time, energy, and talent into this project.
While the artists have been hard at work in the studio, Sing for Hope has secured 88 spots across the five boroughs of NYC for these pianos to call home for two weeks (June 1st to June 16th).
This is a tremendous effort by all involved and it’s been generously supported by New York-based Chobani Yogurt.
Since I discovered that my Tiffen dark orange filter fits perfectly on my Hasselblad’s Zeiss lens I’ve been experimenting with getting a nice, dark sky effect (without using post-processing). First, you need a deep blue sky to get a dark and dramatic tone. Second, the filter factor seems a bit too extreme for this #21 filter. Most guides have recommended giving 1.5 to 2.5 extra stops of exposure when using this filter. My experiments have shown that one stop is enough to compensate for the filter placed on the end of your lens. For instance, two extra stops on my 8×10 setup seemed overexposed. Over the weekend, I shot a roll of Fuji Neopan Acros 100 film in the Hasselblad. I bracketed my shots and have found that I’m happiest with just one stop of extra exposure when using the filter with Fuji Acros. I developed these in Rodinal 1+50 at 20C for 13.5 minutes.
The midtown sky behind the Chrysler building was a bold and clear blue for this shot and this is the exact effect I was looking for out of a dark orange filter.
The sky was less of a dark blue here and there were wispy clouds framing the building. Still an improved look over a bland, white sky I would normally get with no filter and B&W film.
The sky surrounding the Untied Nations building on the East River was an intense blue and I waited a bit for the thin clouds to line up with the building. Another good effect.
This shot is just me goofing around while deciding if I wanted to walk over to the UN building or not. The orange filter provides a nice contrast boost on the buildings here, but very little darkending of a light blue sky.
The bottom line is that I need less extra exposure than the manufacturer suggests and if you want a dramatic sky and properly exposed buildings, it helps to have a nice deep blue sky day. Now I’m just waiting for another fluffy cloud day in the city…
I reunited with an old friend last night. For months, my Hasselblad has sat on a shelf, watching me play with the 8×10. In fact, I have only shot the Hasselblad twice since getting the 8×10 in working order. I’ve been more than a bit obsessed about getting everything right with the larger format, and as a result I had forgotten how much medium format film is the perfect sweet spot for photography. Medium format cameras are super portable and easy to carry around the city, yet MF negatives yield so much more information than 35mm negatives.
Last night when Kate and I were walking to the sub I remarked that my small bag and tiny carbon tripod (compared to my wooden Berlebach tripod for the 8×10) felt like I was carrying a point and shoot in my pocket after dragging around LF gear. But the Hasselblad is no point and shoot. It’s a great camera that takes no time to set up and the results are fantastic.
I had been wanting to take a good 8×10 night shot of the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District, but hadn’t really checked out which spots I wanted to shoot from. So rather than drag the 8×10 outfit over there and not find a nice angle, I decided to test it out with the smaller camera. Not too bad for test shots…
And moving just a bit further back I was able to get some nice headlight trails:
Oddly, I had to stop and think about developing times for 120 film after being so used to developing sheet film in trays. I developed the Acros 100 in HC 110 Solution B for at 20C for five minutes. I don’t quite have the hang of scanning 120 film with the V700 however. This was the first roll of 120 film I scanned with the new scanner and it was a bit of a pain to align correctly.
I recently received permission to shoot in NYC’s Grand Central Terminal with my Eastman 8×10 View Camera. The application for a permit was lengthy. In it, I had to specify how long I would be shooting. I had asked for an hour to shoot thinking that would be enough time. It wasn’t. On an advanced scouting trip, I realized that getting the shots I wanted using such complicated equipment with so many distractions would be cutting it extremely close. The night before, I loaded a mixture of Kodak Tri-X 320 and Fuji HR-T X-Ray film into three film holders and packed my gear. Still fretting about anticipated interruptions, I had told Kate that I was just going to ignore people asking questions or tell them that I was too busy to talk about the camera. . (She suggested I pretend not to know English.) After an extremely pleasant, older businessman type stopped to ask me questions my planned aloofness disappeared. People are curious and I want to be a good ambassador for film photography, so I was nice to everyone and answered each question.
If you’ve ever shot large format, you know just how many steps it takes to get everything in order. It helps to concentrate and double check your workflow if you do become distracted. I’m happy to report that I didn’t mess up once while engaging in almost constant conversation with people who stopped to chat. In the end I did feel rushed to get my shots in, and as a result a few of them are not perfectly aligned. I am happy with the results though and the experience was a lot of fun.
Grand Central Terminal, NYC, Ticket Windows, 8×10 Kodak Tri-X 320 Film
If I’m nitpicking, there are a few things I’d do differently with this one. First of all, there were too many elements to center it properly. And after developing I could tell that I didn’t take enough care to make sure the top was straight and that the sides included everything I wanted. Without a dark cloth to cover my head and the ground glass while shooting, I can’t see the sides of the film very well and it’s difficult to see the top and bottom of the ground glass. I’ve even cropped this one a bit, but it’s still askew.
Grand Central Terminal, Tunnel Passage, 8×10 Kodak Tri-X 320 Film
This is another slightly flawed shot. I couldn’t get rid of the light flare at the top and keep the entire chandelier in the frame. While shooting, I could tell that there was a little flare at the top, but hoped it wouldn’t show up on the negative. But of course it did.
I developed the Kodak Tri-X 320 film in trays with Kodak HC-110 Solution H at 20C for five minutes and 20 seconds using brush agitation. For the Fuji HR-T X-Ray film, I used Rodinal 1:100 at 20C in trays for 6 minutes. After lining the tray bottoms with a sheet of smooth glass, I was able to cut down on the scratches. However, you still have to handle the double-sided X-ray film with great care.
Yesterday, I had permission to shoot with my 8×10 camera and tripod for an hour in Grand Central Station. I was only able to take 6 pictures, but here’s a sneak preview.
Grand Central Station, NYC, 8×10 Camera with Fuji HR-T X-Ray Film
More next week.
Madison Square Park Shake Shack at Night Shot on 8×10 Fuji HR-T X-Ray Film w/ Eastman View Camera No. 2D
Madison Square Park Shake Shack at Night, NYC, 8×10 Fuji HR-T X-Ray Sheet Film
You can click the photo for a larger version. And you will notice the scratches on the film. That’s a big downfall with this film, but I think I can get better/be more careful.
Yestereday I posted this same scene shot on Kodak Tri-X 320. The Tri-X shot was pretty much exactly how I wanted it. The Fuji HR-T X-Ray shot is also acceptable, but the highlights are a bit blown out and the dark trees on the left have less shadow detail. This was also not a fair comparison (nor was it really meant to be), because I shot the above x-ray photograph at f11 and tray developed it in Rodinol 1:100 for 6 minutes 30 seconds. I developed the Kodak Tri-X negative in Kodak HC11o Developer.
If I had to do this shot over, I would develop it for less time to control the highlights. That said, I continue to be impressed by the Fuji HR-T X-Ray film. The metered time was 30 seconds, but I doubled the time to a full minute considering reciprocity failure. If you want to read more about this x-ray film, I posted my first impressions last week.
On Friday night, I loaded up two film holders, one with Kodak Tri-X 320 and one with Fuji HR-T X-Ray film, and hopped onto the N train with my 8×10 Eastman View Camera No 2D trailing behind me in a suitcase. After a few aborted attempts at packing the camera and associated gear in three different bags, I finally broke down and bought a roller bag from IKEA (the Uptacka). It was cheap, is fairly sturdy, and has just enough space to fit the folded up Eastman 8×10. I remove the rear extension rail and pack it in an outside pocket, but you really only need the extension rail for close up shots. If I turn my Schneider 300mm f5.6 (a massive lens) backwards it can stay attached to the camera folded. Up to four film holders go in the front zipper section. And the outermost pocket holds my meter and cable release. I don’t feel especially stylish dragging an ugly nylon case through the city, but I’m already showing questionable sanity by using the camera.
I haven’t developed the x-ray film yet, but here is a Kodak Tri-X-320 shot.
Madison Square Park Shake Shack at Night, NYC, 8×10 Kodak Tri-X 320 Sheet Film
You can click on the image for a bigger version. This was scanned at 1200dpi, which gave me a 12,000 by 9,600px file. I had to reduce the image for uploading as Word Press only accepts images under 8MB. Clicking through to the larger image can still give you an idea of the details you get with an 8×10 negative. Keep in mind this was only scanned on an Epson flatbed scanner, not drum scanned.
Not quite as happy with this shot of the Empire State Building.
Empire State Building at Night from Madison Square Park, 8×10 Kodak Tri-X 320 Film
This was also shot at f22 and the measured exposure time was one minute. To account for reciprocity failure with the Tri-X, I exposed the shot for a full four minutes. As above, this sheet was developed this shot in Kodak HC 110 Solution H for 5 minutes and 20 seconds.
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.
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.