Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘black and white

The DIY Spider Lightish Thingo

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Olympus OMD E-M5 +  Pana-Leica 25mm f1.4  | 320 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200

I took the portrait above of a colleague of mine, who rolled into work today with a DIY lighting rig he threw together over the weekend. Made of six under-counter fluorescent lights rigged to a speedring, the light creates some pretty unique catchlights in your subject’s eyes, and the relatively low output means you can shoot comfortably at large apertures. Very cool:

Setting this contraption on top of a light stand drew a lot of attention, so there were plenty of subjects to test the rig on:

We’re trying to come up for a name for this thing, and are at totally at a loss. Hmmm….I guess Spider Lightish Thingo will have to do for now.

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All shots taken using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with either the 25mm f/1.4 Pana-Leica or the M. Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 lens.

Written by Jonathan

July 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Jenny At Cafe Du Nord

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The incredibly talented Jenny Lewis played this weekend with the Watson Twins, Johnathan Rice, Farmer Dave, and Nik Freitas at the Swedish American Hall in Cafe du Nord here in San Francisco. It was Jenny at her best, and this show was probably one of my favorites ever, right up there with the concert she did at the House of Blues. Front row seats are awesome for taking a few photos and grabbing one of the set lists at the end of the show.

Just a word on the Fuji XPRO-1. This thing has some staggering low-light performance. Just give the AF something contrasty to lock on to, and the camera returns some amazing files! :)

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All Images: Fuji XPRO-1 + 35mm f/1.4 XF R and 18mm f/2 XF R
Out of camera files using the XPRO’s B&W film simulation (green filter)

Written by Jonathan

June 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm

The California Coast

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A few snaps from a trip up the California coast line. The morning always starts with an outing with the dog, this time at the beach. Really helps get Suki tired enough to relax in the car during the long drive.

The foggy coastal morning along with the shapes and textures on the beach seemed perfect for some black and white shooting. At this point, Lightroom 4 doesn’t support RAW files from the XPRO-1, so these images are all processed in-camera using either the red or green filtered black and white film simulation modes. Though I figured I’d probably switch over to color as the sun burned off the fog, I ended up staying in black and white for the rest of the trip:

Trips like this make me so glad I live by the coast =)

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All Images: Fuji XPRO-1 + 35mm f/1.4 XF R and 18mm f/2 XF R lenses

Written by Jonathan

May 15, 2012 at 11:33 am

This Ain’t Your Father’s Film Camera. Wait, Yes It Is.

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 Fuji X100 | 1/60th sec f/5.6 ISO200

On the heels of my last post, another film-related adventure! The camera above is an Ansco Cadet, a nifty little 127 format camera that was made in the late 1950s. I dug this camera out of my parents’ basement, and learned that they purchased it back in 1960 to bring on their honeymoon.  This camera has been in my family, then, for over 50 years.

I kept the Cadet in my home for a long, long time, and all the while it served no other purpose other than looking good on the shelf. The shutter was stuck and I just assumed it was broken, with no hope of ever firing another frame. But I very recently decided to inspect the camera further. I opened it up, played around with every moving part, put it back together, and doubting completely that anything different would happen after all these years, hit the shutter release.

“Ka-Click”

No way. There’s no way that just worked. Cranked the film advance and fired again.

“Ka-Click”

I can’t really put into words how exciting it was to hear that sound and see the camera’s shutter move so smoothly. It was time to find a roll of 127, and it turns out that only one place in the city that I know of carries that format (you rock, Glass Key!). Picked up a pack of both black and white and color, good for 12 frames per roll, and went through both of them in one little afternoon with the wife and the Suki:

Shooting with the Ansco is pretty interesting, to say the least. I had to tape up parts the body here and there to prevent light leaks. There are only 2 control points: the shutter release button, and a toggle switch between B&W and Color, which basically gives you two different apertures. Light meter? Of course not. Focus control? Sorry. Shutter control? Nope. It does fire though, which is all that really matters:

I had a hard time finding a place to develop this film, and it wasn’t cheap, so I may need to start developing the black and whites myself. On top of that, I had to take it to another place entirely to have scans and prints done. Goodness!

Here’s the color roll:

All in all, pretty happy with the results. Incidentally, I had the opportunity to share all of these prints with a small group of artists at Photobooth’s monthly portfolio night this week. It was a wonderful experience. Lately I’ve been used to sharing my photos on my blog or Flickr page or whatever other online service I’ve been using these days. But sitting down in person with others that have a passion and a respect for the art of creating photographs, laying real prints on a table, and sharing in thoughtful discussion with one another…that’s an entirely different experience altogether. I left that event more inspired than ever to continue my journey with the Cadet.

Oops. Where’s the Nano Coating? ;)

Written by Jonathan

April 20, 2012 at 9:16 am

The Google Indie Artist Meetup

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A few images from the recent San Francisco indie artist meetup at Brick and Mortar Music Hall. I’m proud to say that among those who performed that night were my wife Bridget and my cousin Jasmine. Great job you two!

Photographically speaking, there was no light in this venue. ISO kabillion in there. Most of these are jpegs from my Fuji X100, processed with the camera’s black and white film simulation mode (red filter).

The folks from Photobooth were on hand, offering beautiful instant photos of each artist:

Awesome :)

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Images: Fuji X100

Written by Jonathan

March 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm

The Academy of Sciences: Monochrome Edition

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I have yet to visit San Francisco’s Academy of Sciences during the daytime. Instead, we always end up there during Night Life, a 21+ only event where the big kids get to enjoy the Academy’s exhibits with the added benefit of cocktails and music thrown into the mix. .and no little kids.

During the daytime, the building relies heavily on natural light for interior illumination, so it gets pretty dark in there at night. While there was no shortage of color to work with inside the building last night, I wanted to try something a little different photographically on this visit and create some black and white images of our experience. Lots of wide open, high ISO shooting that night, mostly with my Fuji X100. The high ISO files are so clean from that camera, however, that I added grain to these images for a better black and white look.

My favorite exhibit has got to be this giant glass dome that houses a four-story rainforest. Birds and butterflies whiz by your head as you examine plant life from different parts of the planet. Oh, and it’s terribly humid in there!

The aquarium is equally awesome:

There’s usually a special theme involved with each week’s Night Life event, and this week’s involved robots. Pretty cool:

Once you’re done with the exhibits, you can just hang out, get some food and drinks, enjoy the music, or just run around photographing things, if you’re a photo geek like me anyways.

Everything screeches to a halt at 10pm when the Academy closes, which always feels too early. I suppose that’s a good thing if you have to wake up for work on Friday morning, however.

You know, Night Life is great and all, but in the end it’s all about the company. =)

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Images: Fuji X100
B/W Conversion: VSCO’s Kodak Tri-X

Written by Jonathan

February 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

Geeky Glasses

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Bridget is in need of some new eye wear, and I thought a geekier style would be appropriate for her bangs. So off we went to try some on:

Talk about an interesting place to go try on some frames, or you know, pick up a typewriter…or 50-year-old box of nails :)

Still undecided. Well have to go back to try a few more!

Images: Fuji X100

Written by Jonathan

January 21, 2012 at 8:19 pm