Tag Archives: Xtol
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.
It’s rare for Kate and I venture up to Midtown. The combination of the crowds, nondescript buildings, traffic, and chain restaurants makes for my least favorite NYC experience. If I only knew Midtown and Times Square, I would never choose to visit or live here. There are exceptions though. Maybe two or three times a year, something will push us north of 23rd Street. Probably my favorite exception is the Bergorf Goodman holiday windows. Sure, you will find gorgeous, imaginative windows at Bloomingdales or Saks, but for an absolute knock-your- socks-off, gasp-inducing session of window gazing, park yourself in front of Bergdorf’s. I know their team must work year-round on these windows and I can’t even imagine the budget. I don’t even want to know.
On Wednesday night, Kate and I met in Midtown, she with her Nikon D90 and me with my Hasselblad and two rolls of Kodak Tri-X 400. For stunning, full-color pictures visit her blog Embarrassment of Riches. Her pictures truly do the displays justice. Mine, however… Let’s just say that a hulking medium format, manual-focus, non-metered camera with B&W 400 speed film is not the proper tool for shooting windows in Midtown during an evening rush hour. But I made the best of it.
Since it was dark, I set my handy pocket light meter to 1600 ISO and decided to push both rolls of Kodak Tri-X to 1600. This allowed me to shoot at a reasonable aperture of f5.6 or f8 with a decent speed of 1/125th a second or 1/60th of a second. Not ideal settings, but not horrible either. The challenge came when I had to stop an average of 23.5 times an exposure while someone popped up in front of me with an iPhone to take their own pictures. I say pictures, not picture, because each person took approximately 47 photos as I waited to take my one shot.
I consider the evening a success, though, because I didn’t yell at, shove, or punch anyone. I did gently nudge one particularly prolific iPhone shooter out of my way once.
These pictures are okay. If I cared to go back, I would go later in the evening with a tripod and a few rolls of Fuji Neopan Acros 100. The shots would be well-framed, longer exposures, of course – a huge improvement over these. But did I mention that it’s in midtown? I’m not going back until next year.
All pictures were taken with Hasselblad 501cm, a Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 lens, on Kodak Tri-X 400 pushed to 1600 and developed in a stock solution of Kodak Xtol developer for 8.75 minutes.
A break in the rain on Thursday night allowed me to head out to Prospect Park with a tripod for some long exposures. Most of these exposures were between 30 and 60 seconds at an aperture of f11 or f16 as metered by my Digisix light meter.
This roll was shot with Hasselblad 501cm on Fuji Neopan Acros 100 and developed in Kodak Xtol Developer at 21C for 7.5 minutes.
Tree and Prospect Park Lake at Night, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Fallen Tree in Prospect Lake at Night, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Tree and Moving Clouds at Night, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Grand Army Plaza Arch at Night, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Grand Army Plaza Fountain at Night, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Bark Hot Dogs at Night, Park Slope, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
Firo Grocery Bodega on St. Marks and 3rd Avenue at Night, Gowanus, Brooklyn, Fuji Neoapn Acros 100
Man at ATM of Paul’s Grocery and Fruits on 5th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, Fuji Neopan Acros 100
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
Since I’ve been out of commission with the flu, I’m forced to load up a handful of random shots from late March. These are with the Nikon F3 and either a Nikkor 28mm f2.8 Ai-S lens or 50mm f1.4 Ai lens on Kodak Tri-X 400 film. I’ve pretty much switched to Xtol for my developing, so these are all souped in Kodak Xtol developer.
I promise I’ll be back next week with new stuff.
Lit Trees at Night on Maiden Lane, Financial District
Ray of Light at 5:30pm in the Financial District
Night in Red Hook, Brooklyn
Kate Approaching Tara Donovan Installation in Chelsea
Tara Donovan Installation Up Close
Giant Rat Outside Apartment Building on Wall Street
Crystal Clear Ice, Lower East Side
French Albums in Heavy Rotation on the Regp P1 Turntable
Flea Market Chair in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (You’ll never get texture like that with a digital camera.)
On Sunday, Brooklyn photography pal Joel Zimmer and I met up in Dumbo to spend a couple of hours walking around taking pictures. Joel has a much better feel for Brooklyn than this Manhattanite, so when he mentioned a side trip just outside of Dumbo to see some abandoned Navy Officer housing I was all over it. Little did I know that it would be *this* abandoned and over grown.
Abandoned Navy Officer Housing in Brooklyn
Color shot are from Nikon FM2n and Nikkor 28mm f2.8 Ai-S lens on Kodak Ektar 100 film developed at Duane Reade and then rescanned by me on an Epson V500 flatbed scanner.
Black and White shots are with Nikon F3 and Nikkor 50mm f1.4 Ai lens on Kodak Tri-X 400 film exposed and developed at box speed in Kodak Xtol developer for 6.75 minutes
When I realized this weekend that I was loading my 50th* roll of film of 2011 I thought I should try something different with that roll. I decided to concentrate on taking pictures of people in the street. This isn’t something I’m new at or something I never do, but that’s not why I’m out there taking pictures. I like to record the faces of the city itself – its buildings, signs, store fronts, random weirdness, and whatever strikes me. Sometimes that’s people, but usually not. I’m usually more interested in inanimate objects.
But the people of NYC, both those who live here and those who visit, are a part of what makes New York The City. I am fascinated by them. You never know what you’ll see here and you can never be prepared for it. With this roll of 36 shots I tried to capture people as they go about their business. These are not stealthy “from the hip shots.” These are me seeing something, raising the viewfinder to my eye, focusing, and pressing the shutter. Of course since I was shooting in a hurry, some of the shots came out blurry. About half of the roll was shots not of people (I still couldn’t resist taking pictures of things while I was out and about). Here are 13 shots from this 50th roll that feature people as the subject.
All images shot with Nikon F3 and Nikkor 50mm f1.4 Ai lens on Kodak Tri-X 400 film exposed and developed at 1250 ISO in Kodak Xtol developer for 8.5 minutes.
My first stop was the East Village as I was about 15 minutes early meeting Kate. I used those 15 minutes to take pictures of people.
A crowd of people at a busy East Village crosswalk
People waiting on french fries at Pommes Frites in the East Village
As I was about to snap this picture, I noticed the guy glaring at me. I snapped it anyway and smiled as I lowered the camera. I don’t really care what people think if I’m taking pictures on the street. They are in public. I have a camera. I’m not being sneaky. I’m recording life as I see it. I never glare or flinch when someone takes our picture (for some reason that happens a LOT).
Man and woman ordering at Ray’s Candy Store in the East Village
Haggard Washington Redskins fan walking on St. Marks in East Village
As I was walking down St. Marks, I noticed this guy careening toward me. He looked pretty out of control, so I prefocused and raised the camera for a shot. I do have some qualms about photographing people who are homeless or mentally ill. There’s a part of me that feels like I’m taking advantage of them if I take their picture, so most of the time I don’t. But as you can see, sometimes I do.
Man and boston terrier ordering at Deli in East Village
I was kind of hurried here and didn’t take the time to make sure the dog’s feet were in the picture.
Couple walking by graffiti in East Village
I love this type of shot (the person walking by an interesting wall shot). I take a lot of these and it’s normally more about the wall than the person. The people are just decoration. This one is probably cheating and not really of people.
People in front of Moishe’s in East Village
This is one of the many storefronts that I love in the East Village, but I only stopped to take the picture because of the people in front of it.
Man on Scooter in the East Village
Man out front of building in Nolita
Now, we’re west of the East Village in Nolita. I had met Kate and she was inside the vintage clothing store Ina shopping. As I stood out front waiting for her, I couldn’t take my eyes off of this guy who was kind of leaning backwards. I liked this image because he was leaning the opposite direction that the tree was. This would have been better without the other guy in the background, but there were a lot of people walking and I didn’t know how long the older gentleman would be leaning back like that.
Woman watching Men arguing in Union Square
This type of shot is not recommended. Usually if people are fighting in the street, it’s a good idea to just ignore it and walk faster. But as I approached them, I thought that the woman holding the umbrella watching them provided a nice framing device for their confrontation. I pre-focused for distance and hoped the aperture and shutter speed were correct; I did not have time to adjust them as I wanted to keep walking. It’s a little underexposed and dark, but it still works.
Men unloading truck in Union Square
Woman resting and woman walking in Gramercy Park
I saw this woman sit down by the garage door and she looked so tired. At the same time I noticed another woman walking towards her and thought the two together would make a good contrast.
Man in cape walking at night in the financial district
I had the camera in my coat pocket as I walked to the grocery store and this guy in front of me had an enormous cape. This was the last shot of the roll.
*50 rolls of film seems like a lot, but really it’s only 1800 pictures. In the past if I was shooting digital for a day, I would often come home with 300 pictures on my memory card – just from that day. I like that film slows me down a little. It’s rare for me to take more than 15-20 pictures on a weekday and maybe just a little more if it’s the weekend.