Saturday, 27 August 2016

Writer's Portrait

These photos were taken on my Minolta X-300 with Fomapan 200 pushed to 800. (My standard choice for camera and film nowadays.) My friend has a great face for photographs and I've been asking her for ages to come over for a photoshoot and we finally got around to it last weekend. I shot them in our kitchen after it got dark using a ring light precariously balanced on a tripod and despite the makeshift nature of the shoot, I think they turned out pretty well.

First off, a working shot, tripod and light setup visible. I'm so hi-tech.

 My friend was very keen on having photographs taken with her cigarette visible. She had a certain look in mind and while I'm not sure I captured what she wanted, I'm very pleased with how they came out. 

There were some photographs that turned out to be generically pretty but they're more for her and less fine art. 

She's just written a children's book and we're desperate for her to use the image above as her author photo! 

 Thanks for reading guys. I know updates here are infrequent and mostly that's because I'm doing so many things at the moment. Despite recently becoming unemployed. I'm thinking about a slight change of direction for this blog to start to incorporate more of my interests into one central place but nothing is decided yet so this may come to nothing. I'll try to update accordingly! Have a nice weekend everyone.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Positive Pinhole Selfies

Last week I managed to get some time to trying out my Harman Direct Positive Paper in the new box pinhole. I had to change the size of the hole a bit because even in bright sunlight it was taking far too long to expose and I was wasting paper quite fast! (It's entirely not cheap so I really suggest cutting it down and doing test squares first.) Which I of course failed to do. The finished results are a bit blurry which is probably because the pinhole is too big now. Luckily I can change that quite easily with another little square of drinks can. For now though I'm just pleased to have some completed positive images. Such clever paper...

2 1/2 minute exposure

Please ignore the water marks... I'm far too impatient to wait for things to dry before photographing them.

4 minute exposure

Friday, 29 April 2016

Building A Pinhole Camera

I'm no stranger to pinhole cameras. I've produced a fair few matchboxes in my time and my first ever college photography project was to make a shoebox pinhole camera (coming up 12 years ago now though so no chance that the resulting images remain.)  Last week's attempt however was the first time I've sat down to create a box from scratch.
pinhole plan sketched quickly in Starbucks 

I very quickly put together the shell from an old cardboard box and the pinhole from a slice of coke can. I then made a frame for the paper to sit in which slotted in through a hole in the top. 

box minus frame- note the snazzy Agfa Vista 200 box lens cap slider

This was then made light tight by the addition of my Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band bandana. 

I'm calling the camera Rosalita... 

The finished photograph was in negative because that's how the paper prints but now that I've tested it I've bought some Harmen Photo Positive paper so am going to try giving that a go when I get the time.

negative image- 6 minute exposure in bright sunlight

inverted in Photoshop from a poorish quality phone photograph. 

I know it's a bit difficult to see from these photos but I'm pretty happy with the sharpness of the image. This means I've got my pinhole about the right size which I tend to struggle with when making the matchboxes. Let's see how they look when I'm printing in positive though. That will be the real test. 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Portrait of an Artist

Shot on my Minolta X-300 with Fomapan 200 pushed to 800. I'm really enjoying taking this kind of photograph at the moment. There's something about a black background that always appeals to me. Shooting with pushed film allows a certain amount of grain which gives the photo some atmosphere. 


Jane Bown Samuel Beckett

Robert Mapplethorpe Self Portrait

Bill Brandt Self Portrait

Monday, 29 February 2016

Studio Style Portraits

These were part of a test roll I shot trialling Fomapan 800 as a studio portrait style film. They were taken in our darkroom and lit only by BadCatt's ring light. What do you think? Personally I rather like how they've come out. It's nice to take portraits of BadCatt that I think do justice to the things that are interesting about his face. Sometimes the photos I take of him come out way too soppy looking.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Flash Problems

Recently I decided to try out the Flash I got ages ago for my Minolta X-300. It is a Minolta Auto Electroflash 118-X Flash. I linked to the manual in my last post. In theory it should have worked fine. I set all the functions to what they should have been. Tried a couple of test rolls, one at 400 (pushed Ilford FP4) and one and one Fuji Neopan 100. Both rolls turned out awfully underexposed and I have no idea why. Especially for the second one I was really careful that everything was set right. I know they were set right. Is there a reason why the flash might not fire properly (it certainly fired) or might fire out of sync perhaps with the camera? I don't really want to try again and waste another roll of film if the same thing is going to happen.

I'll post a couple of scans below. The first is as the image came out of the scanner and the second is with heavy editing to try to salvage any part of the image.

Anyone who feels like they might know what I did wrong, please please do let me know.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Minolta X-300 Resources

Some of you might remember that last year I set myself the challenge of only use my Minolta X-300 for the whole year. It was a resolution that not only did I stick to but am still following. I just love this camera.

Being that I'm so enamoured with it, I thought it might be nice if I included a few links here to manuals and general information about the camera and other Minolta gear I own.

For those who are interested, my lens is a Minolta MD 50mm f1.7. It shoots with beautiful clarity and when shooting in colour it really captures things vividly and interestingly. It's also got a nice amount of bokeh when shooting with a large aperture. I really like Minolta lenses.

Some Minolta Lens Flickr groups-

I plan on adding to this post as and when I find new resources so please check back soon. I'll leave you with a photo I took the other weekend of one of my customers at the cafe I work in. This is Philip. Shot at 800 on Fomapan 200 on the Minolta X-300 with my MD 50mm f1.7 lens.