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

Pinhole Project Start

This is the post I meant to put on my blog first. Instead I started with Pinholes and Ice Monsters which is actually the third installment. But now—I take you to the start of my mad pinhole experiments.

I’ve been interested in pinhole photography for a while. I have some great cameras and I love them. They are my spendy pencils. They can take amazingly sharp and beautiful photos. But I also love low-fi and DIY styles of photography so I’m quite keen on pinhole photography.

One thing I like about pinhole is that you really need to know how to manipulate the basics of aperture, time and ISO. It’s a good way to hone photographic thinking. I love the point and shoot of my iPhone and digital functions and algorithms are great. But there is also something about an analog image where I can look at the photo and honestly say to myself, “I figured out how to get that image.” Maybe it’s more of an artisan approach?

Detail of Hasuki. Canon Eos DSLR Pinhole
Detail of Hasuki.

My first foray into pinhole photography was in 2007 with my Canon Eos Kiss (Rebel in N. America) and Kenko Pinhole Body Cap 02 with a Canon mount adapter. The image looked really dirty like someone had a party on the sensor and forgot to sweep. It had little of the pinhole charm so I was unimpressed. Mostly I freaked that I was ruining my sensor. But I think the actual pinhole is covered with glass so I don’t know where this dirt came from. I let the body cap sit in a drawer, this exercise to be forgotten.

But this DIY concept won’t leave me alone so this pinhole thing has reemerged in my brain. This time I have more lo-fi standards. I don’t expect digital quality. I’m going to try making my pinhole cameras or at least cobbling things together.

Step One: Research
Getting the exposure guide times for pinhole was my first start. I like this site. Second is to review the whole thing. I bought this book: Pinhole Cameras by Chris Keeney. His site is super inspiring. I’m looking forward to building according to his directions.

Step Two: Cobble something together.
I found a Minolta SR-7 at Ozawa Camera in Ebisu (minutes from the station) for 500 yen.  The shutter worked, the bulb function worked and the film seemed to wind. No lens but perfect for my needs. I was planning on using the Kenko body-cap pinhole I had lying around from last time.The metering doesn’t work but I wasn’t planning on doing TTL (through the lens) metering. I’m going to use my lightmeter and make calculations. Yay, math! Joking. I’m using a chart so I will use someone else’s calculations. So yay sharing!

I looked on the internet and found some body caps for Minolta but I will have to order them. I want to try now. If I use that old canon body cap pinhole I can stash-bust (yay yarn terms crossovers!) not buy more stuff. So old body cap and tons of black-tape it is!

minolta_pinhole_setupHere’s a photo of the adaptation I made to the Minolta. Only I didn’t have any black gaffer tape. I suppose I could have used tinfoil to block light. Also used a cable release to reduce shake.

Step Three: Try it
Film used is Fuji Natura 1600. Meter reading was so according to the chart my exposure time is

Step Four: Evaluate Results 

Step Five: Review
The film has a really greenish cast. I will put that down to using film that expired two years ago. Now I know a lot about actinic radiation. Future post perhaps. Maybe it’s a waste of money to develop that old film, but I honestly didn’t think I would get any images. The color and the grain, plus the softness give the images a romantic feel. The next day test was to check the DOF. I read that there is no DOF to speak of so I wanted to see how close I could get. Meh. I need a grander scale.

I have to admit, I’m fascinated by this camera. Though I’m tempted by the idea of a 500 yen dedicated pinhole, I feel this need to let the camera be it’s true self and get it a real lens. I found a lens for 3000 yen in Nakano. I might take it to National Photo and ask them if they have any opinions.

Wonder Photo Shop Helps You Finish Your Photos with Fun.

Wondering what to do with that great photo you just took? Check out Wonder Photo Shop in Harajuku.

Wonder Shop is on Meji Dori 1 minute away from Omotesando Crossing.
Wonder Shop is on Meji Dori 1 minute away from Omotesando Crossing.

“I have my print, what next?” is an overlooked challenge in photography. The life cycle of a photo tends to be, print it, frame or album-book it and eventually shove it in a box when it got in the way or toss it. One huge advantage of digital photography is that our boxes full of photos are virtual instead of virtually all over the place. But photos aren’t meant to be forgotten in a shoe-box or on a hard-drive. Digital imaging allows us to be more creative with the format of our final images than ever. Wonder Photo Shop by Fuji Film can help you make your photographs into fabulous objects.

Different rolls of washi tape are hung on the branches of a metal tree for display.
I love this display idea. I wish I had the space (and the tree!) to do this at home.

Whether you uphold the time-honored tradition of scrap-booking or just want to stick your photos in a cute album, Fuji Wondershop has an array of scrapbooks, albums and accents to help you along. They have a nice selection of the Washi tape/ patterned masking tape which is quite popular recently. The tape makes a nice way to attach photographs to albums, books or papers. This tape is more forgiving than glue or stickers and, depending on the surface, generally can be pulled up a couple of times.

Animal photo holders.
Total inspiration for a future polymer clay project!

There are many frames or stands available for displaying photos. My favorite is the animal figure. It is cut in half with magnets attached to the middle. Place one half in front, the other behind and the magnets and animal keeps the photo upright.

Like any modern photo store worth its salt, you can print directly from your smart phone via cable, or bluetooth with a photo printer. An L-sized print is 30 yen and is available fairly quickly.

The shuffle print which looks like a more stylish contact print, might be a great way to show off Instagram prints. If you have more time, you can order large prints or print onto other surfaces. My favorite is making your own smart phone cover. I tried this and will be blogging about it next week.

If you are still loving analog and lomo-style, you can buy mini-instant film (polaroid style) for Fuji Instamax cameras. There is also 35mm film available and some cool 35 mm film cameras. For those with studio aspirations, there is a rental studio on the second floor.

Wonder Photo is for anyone who wants to make easy, nice looking prints but the store definitely continues the women-friendly vibe found in magazines like Joshi Camera. (Joshi Camera has been promoting women-oriented photography and photo-finishing for some time) and Popeye Camera (locations in Jiyugaoka and Minato Mirai). I think Popeye was the first store in Tokyo to target the female photographer market with its selection of camera  gear, paraphernalia, stationery and photo developing. Like Wonder Photo it’s a one-stop film/memory card-to-finishing photo store designed for everyone but very appealing to the female demographic. Universotokyo has a great review of Popeye Camera.

Without stores like Wonder Photo and Popeye you would spend more time hunting down the same items at places like Bic Camera and Ito-ya Stationery then creating. The curation of photo-specific products and stores with specific samples of how they can be used is a welcome, and really fun, addition to living with photography and making it part of your lifestyle.
 Access:
Subway: Fukutoshin Line/ Chiyoda Line. 1 Minute
Exit #7, 1 minute from Jingumae Station. You will be on Meiji Dori. Turn right (in the direction of Shibuya/ away from Omotesando).
JR:(Yamanote Line) 6 minutes
Use main exit (NOT Takeshita Dori exit) and walk down Omotesando towards Aoyama. Turn right at Meiji Dori (landmarks are Tokyo Plaza or Lotteria on the Burgers on the corner). Walk one minute. Shop on the right side of the street.
Car: only paid public parking (not affiliated with the shop) available

FUJIFILM WONDER PHOTO SHOP
150-0001
Tokyo-To, Shibuya-Ku, Jingu Mae 6-29-4
Hours: 11:00-20:00 Every day except Year End/New Year Holidays.
Shop Phone #: 03-6427-9703
Studio Phone #: 03-6427-9709
Fax: 03-6427-9719

〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前6-29-4 1F&2F [studio]
open 11:00 – 20:00 [年末年始を除き無休]
1F tel 03-6427-9703 [shop]
2F tel 03-6427-9709 [studio] 
fax 03-6427-9719
●東京メトロ千代田線/副都心線「明治神宮前」駅 7番出口から渋谷方面徒歩1分
●JR山手線「原宿」駅から徒歩6分
(お車でお越しの方は、有料駐車場をご利用ください)

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

Still Using Film

I had a big surprise while scanning film I took in London. I used a 35 mm film called Solaris 400 and was really surprised by the color.

The film camera I used is a Petri 1.9 Super Color Corrected 35 mm rangefinder. I bought it from a junk box at an antique market in Yokohama for ¥3000. I had planned to just use it for a decoration, but on a whim, I tried a roll of film and it worked fine! I decided it would be great camera to use Lomo style.

Generally, I shoot black and white film with this camera. I find color often doesn’t have a fun, retro feel. The Solaris 400 definitely has the retro vibe. The image hasn’t been digitally manipulated yet. I probably will change it up for fun some day.

I’m still going through the film and I’m surprised by the yellow cast. I remember the weather being more grey than sallow. I don’t mind the color cast. It gives the image a Euro-sepia filter effect.

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.

%d bloggers like this: