Lomo Purple and 500 yen Minolta in Amsterdam

Lomo Purple can be fun or it can be frustrating. I’ve been using it super lomo-style with a vintage Minolta I bought for 500 yen. It don’t come with a lens and I bought a 50mm to go with it for 10x that but c’est la vie. I meant to use the Minolta for pinhole work by adapting it with a lot of tape and a canon pinhole lens cap. I don’t always have the patience for pinhole and I love that 50mm lens.

Anyhow, the camera ended up on my Brussels-Amsterdam adventure where I mostly did Ebijiro The Traveling Sushi photos.

It was rainy and gray and a bit chilly in Amsterdam and I think Lomo Purple did a good job of getting that across. Below are some unedited photos I just scanned today (6 months later). I think I like this better than the Lomo redscale.

I think this one is my favorite.
l’m wondering if this is in tokyo

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Pinholes and Ice Monsters

This post is going to be out of order. I wanted to start with a general overview post about Zao, Yamagata, but I am working on my photos at the same time and the pinhole work a is little more compelling at the moment.

In January I did some pinhole experiments using a Minolta SR-7 (1964?) that I bought for 500 yen. I brought it along on my trip to Zao. I wanted to photograph the ice monsters, the juhyou, but I wasn’t sure about snowshoeing for the first time with nice cameras. The regret potential, it was just too huge.

In order to avoid the tripod (though I just bought a nice Photo Clam which I should figure out how to trick out for deep, deep snow) I used high speed film. Ilford 3200 BW, Kodak Portra 800 and Lomo Purple 400. Hand held shooting all the way, baby. Mostly at 1/2 second so my expectations were low. But hope springs eternal right? But because I also like “trust but verify” I only got the film developed and didn’t ask for prints. I’d scan them and then see.

Lesson One:
My scanner has some weird white dot and dust going on that I can not physically remove. It also gives me some weird color cast and Holy Film Grain, Photoman! (No photos. I can’t bear the mess. I cloned stamped them out)

Leson Two:
I totally abused the Lomo by exposing as 800 ISO then pushing the development 1 stop (Thank you National Photo. I couldn’t get that done without you.) The Purple is supposed to have a purple tone (shocker) but if you over expose it, you get an indigo color. Perhaps.  But I think Lomo Purple and snow scenes are not ideal matches. The purple needs some color to make it sing. Snow scenes are too monochromatic. I did get some shots I like but I’ll have to compare to my digital shots to see what was going on.

Lesson Three:
For a 1500 yen roll of film, Kodak Portra 800 is not thrilling me. I’ll keep in mind that my scanner picks up every bit of film grain, but… blechy! What is this green cast? This is unedited and it was a misty part of the day.  I’ll hold off judgement until I see a developed print. Ach… I’m hoping.

Lesson Four:
Ilford Delta 3200, why do I try other things when you are so reliable. Yes, you are a grainy beast, but your grain looks like a deliberate aesthetic instead of a hot mess. And you are so hand-holdably good. You’re my reliable best friend while I try out all these other flash films but you know I always come back to you. I promise to expose you better in the future. (wait… that sounds weird now. The personification stops now)

Lesson Five:
These images were hand-held at 1/2-1/8 second while standing on snowshoes on the top of the mountain? I could have been a surgeon! (Not)

Lesson Six:
The Minolta SLR-7 is a workhorse! I had it outside, in my hand, at temperatures ranging from 2 to -3 degrees C for 5 hours and that camera worked like a charm. I planned to use a cable release to reduce shake but it gave up in the first roll. I have another 50 year old camera, christened Grampa Petri because it’s a Petri 1.9 that stops working if it even gets chilly. The SR-7 was produced between 1962 and 1966 so this camera is not much older than Grampa Petri. Maybe it’s just happy to be rescued from the junk bin. The meter doesn’t work (because the battery is that old scary kind they don’t sell anymore) but I use a hand-held light meter anyway. I feel like this camera deserves a second life, so I went and bought a 24mm 2.8 lens for it. We’ll see how it goes.

So far, sorting out the work from the Zao trip is interesting but I can see it’s going to take me a while.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

Man reading a book in front of a train door.
Man reading a book in front of a train door.

Riding the train in Tokyo swings wildly between being horribly crowded and uncomfortable to terribly interesting. The difference is rush hour. In rush hour you are jammed tighter than a sardine in a can. In summer time it sadly becomes closer to oil sardines. There often isn’t even enough room to read the news on a smart phone. Everyone’s goal during rush hour is to get to their destination with as little interaction as possible with the stranger crammed against them.

In slower moments, the train gives people enough breathing space that they can indulge in a hobby to pass the train ride. Last night, a gentleman sitting beside me was studying the music for a difficult looking piano piece. Judging by the tiny title at the top written in cyrillic alphabet, it looked like a Russian composer. He was busy making notations on the piece. Another woman was studying Chinese from a book. Several people were absorbed with their smart phone. They could be doing anything from learning a language, arranging a date or slaying dragons on the latest MMORPG. I love that potential but the phones are more discrete than my inquisitive self would like. I enjoy these fleeting glimpses into people’s live through their activities on the train.

I took this picture a couple years ago. I had bought a Petri 1.9 Super Color Corrected rangefinder camera from a junk bin at an antique market for $30. It is a heavy beast and everything is manual. I took it everywhere testing it out.

The day I took this photo the afternoon light filtered through the train windows giving everything a romantic golden glow. The man reading the book was silhouetted nicely. I adjusted the focus ring by number, guessed the aperture and took the shot. Normally, I don’t like photographing on the train. It feels more invasive than regular street photography. But since I didn’t capture a face and I doubted my exposure was anywhere near accurate, I took the shot. I got an image but the color isn’t as I remember the day. I used Agfa 400 color negative film

Re: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/weekly-photo-challenge-fleeting/#more-28924

Banff and my Spendy Pencil the Fuji GW690III

It’s been a great summer of travel, but one of the tough things about traveling a lot is catching up with everything when you get back and getting time to get the pictures done. The store where I get my film developed takes a bit of effort to get to so I waited to develop my film until I had other errands in the same area. Despite the wait, I was excited to see the results because this was the first time I used the Fuji GW690III in the field. I’d taken it to Canada.

I bought the Fuji GW690III in April this year. I’ve only used a couple times and never far from home because that sucker is HEAVY even though it is a doll. For a range-finder, I find the focus really easy to use. Even complex images like sakura or pine trees seem manageable through this view finder. I also love, love, love the dimensions of this film.

I went hiking with a friend to Johnston Canyon. I was determined to take the Fuji and I’m glad I did even though I only got two rolls of film done. I choose relatively fast film because I wasn’t bringing a tripod. I expected I’d have just enough energy  to go up the trails never mind a tripod.

Photo of waterfall at Johnston Canyon Trail, Banff, Alberta

The first roll was black and white the ever-faithful Ilford 400 Delta.

The second was a film I’ve had good luck with in the past: Lomo redscale ISo 50-200. Despite my wish to shoot fast film, I ended up trying to shoot ISO 25-50. I was lucky that it was a really bright, sunny day. With my exposures, I think I should have got more blue in my photos than the hot red. I adjusted the redness in these photos using Photoshop after scanning the film. Not such a fan of the hot red of some of the photos so I’m not posting them.

 

I had a small accident with the film when dropping it off at the photo store. The glue had dried and come loose ruining the last photo and a bit of light leak on the above right.

I’d like to use this camera more often and carrying it around might be the inspiration I need to get back into the weight room.

Cheers!

L.

The light leak pattern is kind of interesting, but honestly, I’m more fascinated with where the numbers came from.

p.s.  This is what it looks like when the glue tab keeping your 120 film spool sealed gets loose.

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