It’s been love at first sight: she was large and heavy but it gave me a feeling of solidity and undeniable power. She went home with her beautiful Sekor C 90mm f/3.8 lens, a Vivitar duplicator and two SDPro backs, (one for 220) but she felt a bit lonely and I proceeded immediately to add Sekor C 50mm f/4.5 and 180mm f/4.5. At that point, I was ready to fight a war. The only problem is that such equipment can fight mainly in the studio photography, because to use it outdoors things get complicated struggle. And so, the time has passed (almost two years), until a few days ago …
Today has been the World Pinhole Day. A day dedicated to the simplest forms of photography: stenopeic (Aka:pinhole) photography. Just a light-proof container, a tiny hole (such as that made by a needle) and the sensitive material (film, paper, liquid photographic emulsion etc.) and we can experience an image that materializes. Despite not having much time and not being able to find the most significant places, I also wanted to pay my humble tribute to this fascinating and ancient technique.
Yes, dear friends, it’s been a year since I published the first post of this blog! And it’s thanks to you that followed and helped it grow, that this experience has become day by day more enjoyable and exciting. It’s nice to know to be able to contribute, albeit in small part, to the preservation and indeed, to the spread of Analogue Photography. Getting readers from all over the world, and still rising, is a very satisfying element: a sign that I’m working well, in the right direction and with credibility. A small bunch of words and opinions, but many images that speak for themselves, so that readers can always evaluate the results and decide if and how these can be useful for him. A film / developer pair? An old camera? A lens you heard about? Here, maybe, on this blog you can find something of interest to you, written and photographed by an enthusiast, just like you, and exactly in the conditions of use that anyone can experience in his real life. Thank you, once again, my friends, to support me following this blog! I will do my best to always live up to your trust.
One of the fun things of film photography is the opportunity to experiment, and I take it widely. Some time ago, I saw on the web some images made with Ilford Delta film and as you may have noticed, I’ve started using it recently. The interesting thing about those images was the performance at high ISO obtained with a specific developer, produced by Ilford: the Ilfotec DD-X. After the first experiments with the Adox FX39, this time I wanted to start personally to test these features. So I loaded a beautiful Kodak Retinette IB (Type 045) with a roll of Delta 400 Professional and set the exposure meter to 800 Iso.
This time I want to talk a little about the Kodak Retina II (Typ 011). A camera (for the era in which it was built) high performance. Indeed, it was equipped with a coupled rangefinder and a Schneider Kreuznach Xenon 50 mm f/2 lens. What makes a bit special the copy in my possession is a small white triangle (which means not coated) between marks that identify the lens and which is present only in a small number of copies, produced in Germany during 1948 for the domestic market. Of course this is only a little curiosity that adds nothing to the value of the camera itself, if not from the historical point of view.
Okay, it was a bit of time that I don’t propose one of my “mixed salads”, in which I put too many ingredients … and therefore, risk bad results. Yeah, because when there are too many elements (with whom you have little or no experience) in the game, it becomes difficult to avoid mistakes. However, this time, I am definitely satisfied: everything went well, and each element has worked to perfection, leading to impressive results … as of course, you can judge by yourself looking at pictures.
Generally (and you can see it all in this blog) I prefer to shoot with film in black and white. Both from the point of view of personal expression and because I believe that is easier and cheaper to self-develop b/w instead of color. Occasionally, however, (you may have noticed this too) I like to take some color photos. I do not have so much experience in this regard, having only used the Kodak Ultramax 400 35mm and a couple of Fujifilm (Pro 400H and Reala 100) in medium format.
Not happen often, because I prefer to shoot in b/w film and develop it by myself, something certainly less complicated than the color and also for economic reasons (at least here in Italy the costs for lab-development of a color negative reached 8 € or more) , but when it takes …. it takes. At times a bit of color can not miss. Besides, I wanted to see how would the Holga GN work in this case.
There are many reasons (especially in the case of film photography) that lead me to prefer the black and white as a medium of choice. The main ones are precisely expressive. Eliminating the color variables, in fact, I can concentrate more on composition, I can pay more attention to the volumetric elements, to the alternation between light and shadow, to the almost infinite shades of gray. Probably, the b/w also helps in emphasizing certain elements that we can define as “emotional” of the picture. There are some nostalgic reasons too: many years ago, I began to approach to photography as passionate right through the b/w, developing my own films and printing in the darkroom. There are also practical reasons: to be able, in fact, develop easily (and cheaply) by ourselves is a major plus, to gain time and have more possibilities for action/experimentation to achieve the desired results. Continue reading →