Thursday, February 20, 2020

Drawing: Poe and Friend


Edgar Allan Poe and the cat from "The Black Cat." A small 2.5"x3.75" pen drawing on Stonehenge aqua hotpress paper.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Collage: One Thousand Mews


One Thousand Mews, 8"x8", Collage on board, 2020

All images taken from Kodak's 1982 instructional book, How to Take Good Pictures.

Title by Katie Baer.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Roll: Sun-Riser at The Cubby Bear

This past Saturday I went to see Sun-Riser at The Cubby Bear. My brother-in-law, Aaron, is the bassist in the band. I've done a decent amount of photography for Sun-Riser in the past, but always with a digital camera. This time I decided to use my Nikon F and 50mm f/1.4 lens, just to see how difficult it'd be. I guess I wanted to feel like an old-school rock-and-roll photographer or whatever. I used one roll of Ilford Delta 3200 with available light, and one roll of Ilford HP5+ 400 with flash.

Available light exposures at concerts usually work okay for me if the stage lights are decent, but the setup at Cubby Bear was not conducive for photography. The performers were mostly backlit, with only a few dim colored lights illuminating their faces. With the Delta 3200 film, I had to shoot wide-open at f/1.4 with 1/125th shutter speed. In the darkroom, I pushed the film to nearly 12,800 ISO. The resulting negatives still came out underexposed. Focus is also a bit off in most of the Delta 3200 shots, as it was very difficult to achieve spot-on focus at f/1.4 with the backlit performers moving all over the stage. So, the photos are a bit on the grungy side, but I do enjoy their atmosphere.

The HP5+ flash exposures, in my opinion, were more successful. I was initially nervous about blowing out the performers' features with the flash (a Vivitar 283), but the negatives turned out well-exposed. I made these flash pictures at f/8 and 1/60th (the Nikon F's sync speed).

I'm not sure if I'd shoot one of these shows on film again, but it was a fun experience. Without the crutch of checking my exposures after every shot on the digital camera screen, I felt more in-tune with what was going on in front of my camera. Here are my results (Delta 3200 and available light first, followed by HP5+ with flash).

















Thursday, February 6, 2020

Print: "Walk to Meet Erin"


"Walk to Meet Erin." Eight exposures with my Pentax LX and 50mm f/1.4 lens on Kodak Tri-X. Darkroom print on 8x10 Ilford fiber matte paper.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Print: Walk to Work



A multiple exposure photograph depicting my walk to work on Friday, January 17th, 2020. There are eight total exposures. I used my Pentax LX and 50mm f/1.4 lens, with Kodak Tri-X film. This is the first gelatin silver print I made in my new basement darkroom! It's on 8x10 Ilford fiber matte paper.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Drawing: Katie Watching




Katie Watching, 5.5" x 8", Pen on paper, 2019-2020.

A collection of observational drawings made over the course of several months.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Spotlight: Nikon L35AF

The Nikon L35AF is Nikon's first autofocus point-n-shoot camera. It was first released in 1983. The L35AF features a fixed 35mm f/2.8 prime lens, and fully automatic operation. Unlike most pocket cameras, the L35AF takes common AA batteries (thank God).

There are hardly any controls on the L35AF besides the shutter button, which makes the camera pretty much idiot-proof, and ideal for beginners. The only exposure setting you can manually adjust is the ISO, by twisting a dial that encircles the lens. There is also an exposure compensation (+2 EV) switch and self-timer, but that's pretty much it. With the L35AF, pretty much all control is given up to the camera. You can't even manually pop up the flash for daylight fill! To do this you have to cover the lens with your hand and half-press the shutter to trick the camera into thinking it's dark.


The viewfinder in this camera is pretty great for a point-n-shoot. The finder is nice and large, with clear framelines. The best part of the finder is the little distance scale at the bottom. When you half-press the shutter button to focus, a little pointer on the scale will indicate if the subject is near or far away. This confirms to the user that the camera is focusing on the subject, and not the background or foreground. I wish all viewfinder cameras had this feature, as it takes the guesswork out of autofocus, and allowed me to make exposures with confidence.

I love the small size of the L35AF. The lens barely sticks out at all, which makes the camera easy to stick in a coat pocket. The textured grip allows one to grip and operate the camera easily with one hand. It's pretty inconspicuous, though the film advance is loud. To make up for the noise, the film only advances after the shutter button is released. This means you can make a picture silently, walk away, and then have the camera wind to the next frame.

Below are some photographs I made with the Nikon L35AF. I used Arita EDU Ultra 400 film. My exposures came out okay, if not a tad on the underexposed side. I'm not super impressed with the sharpness of these images, but that could also be because I used cheapo film.