Iceland Stopover - Landscape Photography

I recently had an opportunity to spend 2.5 days in Iceland, on my way back from a trip to Europe. Overall, it was an amazing experience. So much to see. Beauty of Iceland is like no where else I have been - fusion of ice, fire, water, wind and people - wild and beautiful. The winds and rain were strong on the day of my arrival, and most of the next day - so there were not that many opportunities for sunrise and sunset shots. The next day was slightly better. I mostly focused on capturing what I could, traveling in the car - first day to the Snæfellsjökull Peninsula and the next to the south coast - up to and including the beautiful Skógafoss Waterfall. On the third day, I had a chance to sample some Reykjavik cuisine and traverse the city streets with my Nikon FA (see separate blog post for those photos).

Regarding the gear, I primarily photographed with a weather sealed Pentax K-1 and 24-70 f/2.8 WR lens as well 100mm Macro WR lens. This provided me with the highest level of flexibility, considering the conditions. Many photographs were taken without the tripod, using the amazing image stabilization in-camera, giving me a chance to shoot extended shutter speeds (around 1/8th of a second) while handholding the camera.

Attached also is a youtube video which shows off some of the places and attempts to convey the overall feel of the place.


Breda on Film

A small selection on black and white photographs taken during a rainy afternoon in Breda, Netherlands. The rain creates reflective surfaces, it causes people to behave slightly differently, it brings out the umbrellas and empties out places which are usually full. For me, this is what this small photo shoot interesting. Taken on Nikon FA with 50mm lens, Fuji Acros 100 film and developed with EcoPro Developer at 1:1 for 9.5 minutes.

Reykjavik on Film

A small selection of photographs taking during my short visit to the capitol of Iceland. The city has a very natural and easy going vibe, excellent food, good stores, and is easy to walk and navigate. The photographs were taken on Nikon FA with Fuji Acros 100 film @ EI160, and developed in EcoPro Film developer at 1:1 dilution for 9.5 minutes. Most exposures were taken at f/4 or f/5.6 due to low light.

Ft Worth Texas

A collection of colorful and moody photographs from my recent visit to Ft Worth. These were taken with Fujifilm X100F, a new addition to my camera collection. I wanted to work on conveying the mood and feeling in these photographs, so some are slightly under-exposed or saturated to go along with “what it felt like”. Traditionally, we tend to be told everything in the photograph should have detail. Sometimes, it seems like detail in certain areas of the photograph only distracts from the subject. For some of the photographs, the “need for detail” was overcome, and replaced with what I hope is a sense of place and mood.

Russell Military Museum Photo Trip

Taken with Hasselblad 500cm, Zeiss Planar 80mm, FujiFilm Acros 100 and developed in Xtol 1:1 for 10 min @ 24C to start. Scanned on Epson V800.

Illinois Beach State Park - Mid Century Modern

A series of photographs taken on Graflex Speed Graphic with Nikkor 135mm lens and Hasselblad 500c/m with Planar 80mm, hand held all at 1/125th of a second and f/11 for the Graflex and around 1/60 f/5.6 for the Hasselblad. 4x5 images were photographed on film using for Tmax 400 developed in Eco Pro (Xtol) 1:1 developer for 9.5 at a starting temperature of about 85F while Hasselblad photographs were on Delta 100, same processing. The images are of an abandoned structure on the State Park beach and a few of the surrounding area. The building is likely meant to represent a boat, and it was likely used by local beach goers as a locker room, shower facility, and a places get a quick bite to eat, back in its heyday. I liked the architecture and slightly creepy feel to the images. These would likely make an interesting background for some portrait photography as well. Hope you enjoy!

Nikon N80 50mm f1.8D First Impressions

I wanted to get a modern AF film camera to try as an alternative to older manual film cameras and see what differences it would bring in everyday shooting situations. Being I started my new photographic journey with a Nikon D7000 which I sold several years ago, this camera was like coming back home. Nikon is the master of making amazing well designed ergonomic grips, and it cannot be under-stated how nicely the camera fits in hand. The weight is just about about perfect with the 50mm lens mounted, and it all seems very natural. Nikon has, what seems, just about everything a modern film photographer could wish for - in a modern auto focus camera - full manual, aperture and shutter priority modes, program mode, decent 5 point auto focus, very good modern 3D matrix metering, center weighted metering, spot metering, DX ISO setting with manual over ride, VERY quiet operation (actually, this one thing I was very impressed at), ability to rewind film more slowly, and some other goodies you can explore yourself (like bracketing). The camera is not weather sealed, and it may be a feel a little plasticky, but manages to feel fairly solid overall. This camera is AN AMAZING BARGAIN - I paid $20 for the body and $90 for the lens. If you just want to photograph, and are not as concerned about eye candy, this is the one!

Included sample photos were taken on a VERY GLOOMY day with little light, and all exposures were spot on. Kodak Tmax 400 developed in DD-X 1:5 (yes, I ran out of dev, so strange ratio!) at 9 minutes (should be 8 at 1:4). Scanned on Epson V800 and processed in Adobe PS.

Graflex Speed Graphic Large Format Camera Review

Well ….after over a year of ownership, and all kinds of “fun” I thought it was time to share my camera with the world. Hope you like it! Sample images included.

Lunch break Speed Graphic Adventure - Video

I ran out at lunch one cold January day to try and give my Speed Graphic a go without a tripod. I have never tried this before, as usually larger format cameras, including 4x5 cameras are mounted on a tripod. However, this was known as a “press camera” and it was hand held and carried about by brave and strong photo journalists as a matter of course. So, I thought …”hey!” …let’s try! It did not disappoint. I was able to take 6 images in less than 20 minutes, and it seemed natural and not very hard. I will definitely do it again! I used Kodak Tmax 400 speed film, and left the shutter speeds at 1/125th of a second (setting B5 on the Speed Graphic) so my apertures ranged from f/8 yo f/22. Film was developed in Ilford DD-X 1:9 solution for 12 minutes with 10 seconds of agitation, and film was scanned with Epson V800.

Contax IIa Rangefinder Camera Video Review

In this review, I take a look at the iconic Zeiss Ikon Contax IIa rangefinder made in Stuttgart, West Germany between 1950 and 1951. My copy was recently CLA’d and it comes with a nice Zeiss Opton 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar T as well as Zeiss-Opton Biogon 35mm f/2.8 lens. I have taken photographs with both, and the lenses render beautiful, old school, contrasty and sharp images (examples photographs below were taken with Rollei Retro 80S film, which I find provides ample sharpness and detail). I like the camera because it sits well in my hand, is fairly light to use (actually, the manual calls it “miniature”), it only contains the necessary elements for photography, and is a fun to use. Even though their prices are less than Leica, they are considered by many to have been “competitors” during that time, and the mechanical construction is superb. A good CLA of any of them should bring them to the point where they can continue to be used for decades to come. Some Sample images included below….