Spot(matic)-on

PHOTO (London – March 2014 – Scanned from film, printed and framed – Banana for scale)

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I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, completely guilty - but it’s not like i’ve been inactive. Did some shooting here and there, been loving the x100s of course, developed some rolls and most of all printed some cool shots. Or at least I think they’re cool.

This one in particular deserved a frame in my opinion. Printing is indeed a big element probably close to anything else in Photography but we’ve really been used to be satisfied with just looking at pictures on our screens. I just hope I don’t cave in to buy a printer now, as I already got too much shit around in my really small home.

This shot right here was in the subway station in London a couple of weeks ago. I had just walked through that spotlight on my way to the stairs and thought “man the light here is amazing” but not much was happening but without even thinking why, i set the shutter speed anyways. As i approached the stairs i crossed path with an old man. Francesca and i were the last people to leave the train so i was pretty sure no one was behind us, so after the old man passed me by, i turned around, waited for him to get in the spotlight and clicked. I ran up the stairs because she was already up at that time and i remember thinking “1/15 of a second was a lot, this is gonna turn out all shaky, wish i had 400 film and not a 200. I could have pushed it to 1/30 or 1/60 and got a real good shot”. So imagine my surprise after i got the roll developed and scanned! (yeah, with my process scanning 4 rolls would have taken me forever).

Anyway, here’s the original scan. Very proud of this shot – not much going on but i think the surroundings and the light and the man are all at the right place in the frame so i really like it a lot. I almost never get so excited about a shot of mine, but i really like the feeling! :-)

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Mind the gap!

The gap between life in the south lands of Italy and the UK.

I confess. I gave into G.A.S. – big time! Here she is:

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Yeah… Big time! This is without a doubt my biggest purchase since I started (photography). Of course it doesn’t compare to the money I spent in time on my other gear  but as a one time purchase it literally shreds all the rest.
So what made me do it? I know, a few posts back I said I was fine, no need for extra gear and that 8 buck 29mm lens for my Pentax completed me… (And it did BTW! I shot 3 rolls and currently on my fourth here in London). But I really wanted something valid in my hands when I’m on my everyday-instant-result-shooting. And I’m done with big, clumsy, invasive and noisy gear that the world of DSLRs has made us used to. In the past few weeks I’ve been reading nothing but awesome reviews about this little camera and I really wanted to break away. Probably my last time in the southern Italy town-exploring conviced me. I was with my 1000d ( worthy warrior for several years) but felt very limited. I felt clumsy, heavy, and started to notice (by reading reviews of the x100s) all that I could never achieve with that gear. I know, it sounds dumb but I bind this some lucky (and heavily earned) combinations in my life right now that gave the economic possibility to make the purchase and I told to my self “Fuck it – I deserve this!” and went for it.

I’ve spent a few days shooting here in London with it (I also brought my Pentax spotmatic F which I will never leave in a corner if a trip comes along), I have yet to see the shots on my laptop buy to put it in Zack arias’ words “this camera sees in the dark!”

OK I’m out. I’m in a pub on my second beer with no bathroom break and I really gotta go – Talk to you later!

Home

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Move some things out of the way, and make just enough some space to make yourself comfortable.

Get back to what you used to like or at least you think you do. Tonight’s different or probably it just feels like it but some things change, not really for the best but a turning point nonetheless. You would’ve probably thought it was going to be more of a curve, a 90 degrees or even a 180 – like the ones you’re used to. Probably more a 20. Those kind of turns don’t really change things much, they just shuffle, but still it’s a different direction than before. Should you embrace the change? You learned you have to, rather than fight it. It’s still a change and you might as well accept it. You thought it would bring you back to the things you liked and appreciated: friends, love, company, time going by and appreciating. You might still have those things but you have to find them in this 20 degree turn that you find yourself into and nobody knows what happens besides you. You’ll have time to clear up and think about this or you’re probably going to slide with the turn, accept it and go on. Sounds like a plan.

Quick translation for future me – I was growing the dream to go back home, but reality (good business decisions) proved to dominate what I thought was my chance. So I’m going to stay down south for awhile, maybe travel a bit more, maybe find a better house, maybe learn to like this place a little more. It is my home address at the end of the day…

The picture pretty much sums up my state of mind right now – there’s still a lot to climb to get to the top.

Walk at the Beach

From a couple of weeks ago – a Sunday morning spent with the only goal of consuming an entire roll. Scanned film on my own (always wishing for better results). I should get one of these to a professional and see the difference from what I do.

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Bargain

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Rarely do I post anything that is not related to some thought process that I have going on for a while but this really deserves some appreciation.

16 euros (total) on a flea market in Martina Franca. A compact I had my eyes on for a while AND the m42 cheap-ass wide angle lens I have struggling to find for the last few months.

This will definitely settle my GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) for quite some time. Hopefully.

Those rare times when Engineering comes in handy

Times like these.

I finally understood where my bad scans came from, although it took me a little trial and error.

So basically I was getting this weird orange vertical lines on the edges of my shots. Here’s what I’m talking about:

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Worst thing was I had absolutely NO IDEA what it was coming from… And I was just about clueless on what keywords to give Google to help me out. I tried extending the the scanning area (thinking it was due to some sort of weird color balancing) but with no success, flipping the negative, I tried to find a sweetspot in my scanning cartridge – Nothing. And so I just thought I had a crappy old second hand scanner… Then i noticed that my negatives were always in sets of 4 pictures and the ones in the middle never showed this kind of behaviour… and then it hit me. The 4 picture negatives where coming from an entire roll that i personally cut up myself, therefore was completely winded. The edges at each cut were more distant to the scanners glass than the rest of the picture, hence the ORANGE (duh..) gradation of the negative itself (maybe..).

Anyway, end result is my scans are looking a lot better now. And also closing out the scan area around the picture itself helps the color balance out considerably. So….I’m scanning a lot now. And glad I can do it successfully.

Plus my scanner is so slow I can watch my sitcoms while I scan 16 pictures. Convenient as well!!