Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘valencia

Small Camera, Huge Sensor

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Logged more time with Sony’s powerhouse of a compact camera this weekend. This thing is a serious imaging machine!

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Do I love it? Yes. The image quality is absolutely stunning, as expected, and the camera’s build quality is top notch. But I only borrowed this thing to keep me occupied while I waited for my rangefinder to come out of repair. Once I get my M3 back, I doubt I’ll miss the RX1. =)

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All Images: Sony Cybershot DSC-RX1

Written by Jonathan

December 9, 2012 at 10:30 pm

A Mistake Worth Repeating

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Yet another roll of 127 film that I ran through my 53-year-old Ansco Cadet. I’ve been trying to put together a small portfolio of images taken with the Ansco, but it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing. I lost the last roll of film I shot with it before I could get the roll developed, and it’s pretty easy to see from the scans above that my latest roll had some issues.

Seems I was unknowingly overlapping exposures this time around. Oops! But even though I was bummed when I first saw the negatives, out of curiosity I decided to scan them anyway while preserving the overlapping frames. I must admit, I kind of like the results. Might be a mistake worth knowingly repeating :)

The image above shows the three complete scans that were done at the lab, and I added some crops below to show more detail:

Totally digging the multiple Suki frames here.

All Images: Ansco Cadet | Bluefire Murano 160

Written by Jonathan

August 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Day’s End: Mission District

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That part of the day when slivers of light from the setting sun pass through the city streets and graze the tops of buildings is always my favorite time to head out with a camera.

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All Images: Leica M9 + 28mm f/2 Summicron

Written by Jonathan

June 4, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Reviving a Vintage Camera

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Fuji X100 | 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 1250

Ever since Photobooth’s grand opening, I’ve been thinking about the two Polaroid cameras I recently found among boxes of old photo gear my dad gave me. The first one I discovered was an all-plastic model. Pretty cool. The second one, however, is a much more exciting camera. We brought both to Photobooth, but the Land Camera 450 pictured above is what got all the love and attention.

The 450 is a beautifully made, vintage Polaroid camera, fully loaded with an all glass lens, auto-exposure system, and a big, bright Zeiss Ikon finder for focusing and composing. Unlike my plastic model, the 450 has a solid metal build, folds down into its own case, and has a cool-looking leather strap:

Vince, one of the studio’s owners and an expert on Polaroid cameras, was very helpful in getting us started. After making sure it was in working order (to our surprise, the battery that drives auto-exposure still had juice), we purchased two packs of Fujifilm cartridges and learned how to load up the camera:

Land Camera 450 training: Framing up your subject, focus, cock the shutter, release the shutter. Bridget gave it a try first:


Fuji X100 |  1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 800

What to photograph for our very first instant print? Hmm…


Fuji X100 | 1/950 sec, f/4, ISO 800

Ok, here’s the tricky part. The Fujifilm stuff seems to be a little thicker than the original Polaroid Pack Film the camera was designed for, so we had to be really careful when pulling out the first 3 or 4 exposures. Those first few frames are pretty tightly packed:


Fuji X100 | 1/250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 800

Get the frame out, wait about a minute, and…drum roll!

Keep the drumroll going….


Fuji X100 | 1/240 sec, f/4, ISO 400

You wouldn’t think this would be such a big deal, right? But when I first saw this print, I was completely and utterly giddy. Like, hop up and down and clap your hands giddy (not that I did that, but you know). The entire process felt more like forging a picture instead of just taking one. I was instantly hooked.


Fuji X100 | 1/850 sec, f/16, ISO 800

Suki wasn’t as excited.

The late afternoon light was beautiful, and what better way wind down the day than to go out on a photo walk with our “new” camera around one shoulder and digital camera around the other:

Outside the studio, we got little anxious with our first film cartridge and damaged a few frames trying to yank the tightly packed film out. At a little over a dollar per click, it’s not something we wanted to make a habit out of, but hey, you have to learn somehow.


Fuji X100 |  1/750 sec, f/10, ISO 400 (Provia Film Sim)

The Mission District surrounding Photobooth is such a great place for a photo walk. I took the above with the X100, and then took the same shot with the Land Camera 450:


Polaroid Land Camera 450 | Fuji FP-100C Color Instant Film

The super sharp, high-resolution, colorful digital file looks great, but there’s something really special about the instant print. These scans seem to lack the contrast of the actual prints, which look fantastic right next to my keyboard as I type this.


Fuji X100 | 1/140 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200

Here’s a frame that got jammed in the cartridge as we tried to pull it out of the camera. Even though the print didn’t properly develop as a result, I kind of like how it turned out. I think the damage gives it character:


Polaroid Land Camera 450 | Fuji FP-100C Color Instant Film


Fuji X100 |  1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 1250

Bridget tried mightily to get a frame of me taking a picture of her. She did great, but again, the frame jammed.

As the picture above (right) shows, we had to place our prints right on the ground as we stopped to take photos since we had no place to store them as we walked about. I think Suki stepped on one of them at one point. More character. =)


Polaroid Land Camera 450 | Fuji FP-100C Color Instant Film

Way to go Jonathan, ignore the shadow from your big head in the frame. That’s ok, I can just photosho–aw, wait a minute…


Polaroid Land Camera 450 | Fuji FP-100C Color Instant Film


Polaroid Land  Camera 450 | Fuji FP-100C Color Instant Film


Fuji X100 | 1/450 sec, f/2, ISO 400


Fuji X100 | 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800


Fuji X100 | 1/160 sec, f/2.5, ISO 400


Polaroid Land Camera 450 | Fuji FP-100C Color Instant Film

I was hoping the two cartridges we purchased would last a couple weeks. We ended up shooting both within an hour. Oops!

To think this beautiful camera has been sitting in storage for decades, a little box of fun that I didn’t even realize was there all these years. Well Mr. Land Camera, you have a second shot at life now. Let’s make pictures.

Written by Jonathan

September 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Suki’s Night Walks

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I take Suki on shorter walks during lunch, but we usually go for longer strolls at night. This particular walk was a little more difficult for me because I was hauling some camera gear on my shoulder while out on the town, but I wanted to get a nice night shot of Suki for my 52 week Flickr project. The image above didn’t quite make the cut as my selection for week 3 of the project.  I really like this shot of her, but the fact that it’s ever-so-slightly front-focused bothers me.

Someone on Flickr asked me if I took my latest shot of her using available city light. I was glad he asked, because that’s exactly how I wanted it to look! At this spot, there wasn’t nearly enough ambient to get this kind of image, so I used a couple of carefully placed, gelled speedlights to help me out.

At times I hear photographers complain that they don’t like the look of flash and and so they shy away from using it. I say they’re missing out! Perhaps when they’re referring to “the look of flash,” they mean the harsh, bare, unflattering light that comes straight from camera axis. But “artificial” light can be modified: softened, directed, colored, and controlled to achieve a desired look. Using it creatively opens up endless photographic opportunities that simply wouldn’t be possible by relying solely on the sun or the crummy light radiating from a street lamp.

So get to know your flash! It can take your photography to the next level.