Friday, March 29, 2013

Roll: I-94

On Thursday, my dad, brother, and I went on a day-trip to the Milwaukee art museum to see their exhibit on the history of color photography (A great show!). On the way back, we stopped at a number of interesting locations along I-94. We visited Mars Cheese Castle, The Russell Military Museum, and even an abandoned crack-house! All of these photos were shot on my Kodak Retina iiiC, and scanned by me.

While I was photographing the backside of the house, my dad yelled for me to get back to the car. When I got to the car and asked what was wrong, he said he had seen one of the window curtains move to the side when I went around back. That sent a bit of a chill down my spine.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Prints: More Foster Riders!

While printing the Wisconsin House photograph, I also had a chance to print two more spring riders! These are from the same playground as the Seahorse. I hadn't printed them because the negatives looked very flat, but they actually turned out not half bad. Did I mention that I love spring riders? Thanks for looking!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Print: Highway House

I spotted this house driving back from Wisconsin, along I-94. It was nestled amongst a small clump of trees, on which many "NO TRESPASSING" and "PRIVATE PROPERTY" signs were posted. Luckily, there was no one around, so I got out of my car and looked around. Along with the house, there was a barn, silo, and two run-down sheds. The house was definitely the most interesting. All of the windows were gone, and the back door had been smashed to bits. A small doghouse was sitting upside-down to the right of the house (bottom right of photograph). On the front path was a small stuffed animal, practically petrified from the weather. I really wanted to go inside, but I was by myself, and who knows what kind of crackhead squatters might have been waiting in there with a knife. For the photograph, I used my Mamiya C330 with a 55mm wide-angle lens, and a yellow filter to make the sky contrast more against the house.

Thanks for looking! 

Roll: Pentax Randomness II

So, I decided to play around with scanning some color negatives. I took my Pentax MX out for a long walk with Katie and shot a roll of color Fuji 200. I "scanned" the roll with my DSLR, just like last time, and attempted to invert and correct the color in Photoshop. It's probably my lack of Photoshop experience talking, but wow... the process was a lot more difficult than I thought! I ended up making most of the shots black and white, since that process is a whole hell of a lot less frustrating. I've found that I really do like scanning the negatives in myself, just so long as they're not in color. Here are my favorites from the roll:
Totaled car in an alley in Wilmette

Beetle at the Train Station

Weird sex-toy-looking spring rider

Lake House
Alley Fence

Katie looking snarky
Sign for "The Room" at the Music Box Theater

Katie at the Waterfall Park

Akai Hana Heads

The Reading Lady

So I've noticed that in a few of these shots, like the one of the green beetle, there is serious light fall-off on the left side of the frame. I don't know what's causing this; it seems to happen at random with my MX. If anyone has a clue, please let me know!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Roll: Rail-Side Ruins

Today Katie and I took a seven mile round-trip walk to Winnetka, a neighboring town. To get there, we took the "Green Bay Trail", a small bike path that runs alongside the train tracks. On the side of the path there are a series of "ruins"; cement parts of an old path or railroad tracks... I'm not quite sure. I've taken this path many times, and these small structures have always interested me, so today I decided to photograph them with my newly acquired Kodak Retina iiiC (not to be confused with the iiic).

I used Kodak C-41 black and white 400 ISO film that expired in 2003. I had the negatives developed at Walgreens and then "scanned" them with my Pentax K-5 DSLR. (See my "Ghetto Scan" post to learn more about that process). I used a shaved negative holder while photographing the negatives so that you can see the edges of the film. That way you can tell I did not crop any of the images. Enjoy!

Crumbled Support
The Old Path
Lakeside Ruin

Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Print: She Bead

Near my house there is an extremely overpriced shop that sells nothing but bead jewelry. They have a mannequin in the window that changes along with the seasons and holidays. I really liked the look of their Valentines Day outfit for the mannequin. Luckily, they're slow to update the displays, so I could still get a shot of the mannequin in late February. I took the shot at night to get rid of any interfering reflections in the window glass. I used a 135mm lens on my Mamiya C330 to get right up in her face. Thanks for looking! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ghetto Scan 1.0

Ghetto Scan: Digitizing your negatives the "cheap" way.

So while I obviously like spending time in my darkroom making quality prints, sometimes it's just a whole lot more convenient to scan in a negative; especially if it's one you don't quite care enough about to spend hours printing it. I recently saw a tutorial on DigitalRevTV's Youtube channel about how to scan negatives using your DSLR, and wanted to try it for myself. I first picked out a negative, and placed it in the appropriately sized enlarger negative carrier. This is so the film stays flat. I then placed the carrier with the film on top of my light table. With all the other lights off in the room, I took a photo of the negative with my 50mm lens (with a macro adapter screwed on). Here's what I got:

I then uploaded the shot onto my computer, rotated it, and made it black and white:

Lastly, I cropped it, and inverted the tones to change the negative to a positive:

And there you go! I was impressed with how easy this was, and disappointed in myself for not thinking of it sooner. The quality is decent enough to share with friends, but it's not anywhere near as sharp as a real print.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Print: Seahorse Spring Rider

Spring Riders! I love 'em! Galesburg and Monmouth, the old towns I went to school in, had a bunch of these little ride-able creatures. In fact, I did a whole series on them my senior year. Back in the burbs, they're much harder to come across. I finally spotted a few of them in a school playground while driving to work one day in Chicago, and I knew I had to come back and photograph them. So, last Sunday I drove down and found them again. Luckily, there were no children playing in the park... that could have been sketchy. I would've looked like a complete perv with my big medium format camera.

The light was, to put it nicely, complete bulls**t.  It was a very sunny day with very harsh light, and the playground was mostly in dark shadow. I wasn't about to drive back empty handed, so went ahead and took the shots. This seahorse was the only spring rider in direct sunlight, which can be just as bad as heavy shade. He was completely backlit, so I overexposed by one stop. Luckily, the negative turned out pretty nice! I used my Mamiya C330 with a 105mm lens.

I'm happy with the final print. There's one little flaw behind the horse's butt, and another in the snow, but hey... film's film!

Thanks for looking!