Lake District – 1st Set – Cat Bells

Lake District – 1st Set – Cat Bells

I usually post my pictures here from single rolls, and that suits me pretty well considering I’m still going through developing and scanning them. I think I’m half way through.

Noteworthy is the fact I decided to also develop in color (huge step up as it used to scare the shit out of me). But that’s probably going to be another post.

We left Italy early on April 25th directed to Manchester, spent the night and then hopped on a train the next morning directed to Kendal, which is where we picked up the van.

After our first night, we headed straight for Keswick to tackle our first mild climb with Cat Bells.

The climb was pretty easy (compared to what we did the next day) but overall very enjoyable. Unfortunately the set of filters I ordered from Amazon did not show up in time for this trip (the one time Prime fails me) so I had to play with what I had. My friend luckily brought some of the spare filters he had and so I ended up using a red plus a graduated and got some really cool results.

It’s amazing how your taste and preference can change over time… I used to dislike landscape photography and now I’m getting more and more interested… but whatever, I’m not going to question this too much. I also brought along the Yashica 124G, got the Ektar roll developed and it came out pretty good).

With this trip in mind I also bought a Kiev 88 right before leaving, only it was too heavy and I’m glad I left it at home preferring the lighter TLR. Another addition to my arsenal was a good little tripod from Amazon (not by amazon) which turned out to be really handy. It allowed me to take a shot like the one below , which I’m actually very proud of.

Notes: All pictures shot on Rollei Retro 80s. Some with the Nikko F2 35mm, others with the 70-200mm.

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Damn

EDIT: This post was a fart. I thought I had hit “publish” on this post but apparently I didn’t. This was a couple of weeks ago… Here goes.

It’s been a month and a half since my last post?!

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Ok I have to admit I’m not really feeling it lately…But there has been so much this place has been missing out on. Last time I wrote I don’t even think I had planned my Lake District trip, and now it’s been almost a week since I been back!

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And before that, after several failed attempts at purchasing a Zenza Bronica, I ended up with a Kiev 88 (might have some leaks but still I’m having a blast with it). And before that was the Nikon 70-200 zoom lens.

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So I got to my lightroom after about a month and didn’t remember anything. I just remember last time I disconnected my portable ssd I didn’t eject it… and of course it got corrupted after which my mac would not read it as usual. And this alone is REALLY pushing me back to windows. Damned the day I got influenced by hipsters!!

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I popped in the Windows laptop an lo and behold it got read but asked for a fix. A little hesitant I put it back in the mac hoping windows had relabelled it automatically but it was again a no show, so for the fix I go. No it does work in the mac but apparently windows replaced the damaged files with CHK files. With the time passed I can’t even figure out IF I’m missing something, however lightroom was quick to remind me. Looks like a total of 4 folders with 4 rolls are missing.

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I searched a little bit online, but just wasted time and then I thought:”FUCK IT”.

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This is one of the reasons I’m on film. My pictures are all still right here, right behind me placed neatly each in their physical folder.

Take that digital.

NOTES: All shot with the Yashica 124G on CN200 from Rollei in Ostia, Rome on March 2018. Oh and all edited on my tablet, posted from my shitty mac.

Waking up to snow in Rome

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I have a hard time taking vacation and always have. It always leaves me with a sense of coming up short on my responsibilities, and this led me to accumulate over 70 days and countless hours in my vacation bank. This year I’m trying to change that, and what I’m starting to notice is that sense of coming up short, is replaced by a sense of satisfaction as soon as I update the calendar with a holiday.

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This is all direct towards introducing some of the pictures in this post, which came about when I decided to take Monday off a few weeks ago, to coincide with a relatively heavy snow that fell upon Rome the night before.

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I woke up to something that was only witnessed here 6 years ago and maybe in the 40s. I went to my balcony and everything was white. What a day to not be at work! And probably something thousands of other people thought when I realised how crowded the park next to where I live was.

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I opted (of course) for a roll of Rollei Retro 80s which went without any second thought straight into the Yashica 124G. Have I already bragged about how cool it is…?Yeah I think I did.

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And that was most of my morning, trying not to fall over (a miracle for me) and damage the Yashica or the F3 I had in my backpack.

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I found my surrounding so unusual to be fascinating and I could not help myself but stay in awe at how the trees looked. I think I shot a couple of rolls there, but these are all from the same roll. And even though they are not that great, I am really proud of them.

And even what would have otherwise been a boring shot, the snow made it kind of dreamy.

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Notes: As stated above, all shot on Yashica 124G and Rollei 80s in February 2018. Developed in Rodinal 1+25. 

Day at the beach

Never would I thought moving up to Rome I would title a post “Day at the beach”… But last week I woke up Saturday morning, took the car for a spin and 50 minutes later I landed in Ostia.

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Ostia – March 2018

The cool part about this was that it really woke up all the feelings I had on my usual weekends down in Puglia.

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Ostia – February 2018

I brought both my F3 and the Yashica 124G. Ended up leaving the F3 in my bag the whole time. All these shots were made using the external light meter I got in Germany last month at a thrift store for 2 euros.  Best bargain ever as all these shots turned out fine.

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Ostia – February 2018

These were 3 of only 6 shots I took from a roll I was finishing off, and then shot 2 more color rolls. We’ll see how those turn out in a few days.

Notes: Shot on Rollei Retro 80s

A completely biased review of the Yashica Mat 124 G

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Bad Salzuflen – February 2018

Ok so this post (2 days in a row?!) is to officially introduce to this blog my wonderful Yashica Mat124G. I fucking love this camera and it has single handedly reignited my passion for film. It’s crazy because as soon as I came back from Vietnam I got a Nikon F3 with a Nikkor 35mm F2 lens, and THIS is the camera I never do a photowalk without. Luckily my Ona Bag fits both perfectly.

I found this camera at a Naples old-used-shit festival (otherwise known as Bidonville) which stops there 2 times a year and I have the weird feeling I tried to purchase the same exact camera off of the same damn guy at least twice before. These market people go to the same places, and I like to think he never was able to get rid of it. Every time it was the same damn price in different places, 150euros. So I tell him “I can’t go more than a hundred” to which he just told me to get lost. I pointed out it was the closing day and shop was about to close. He said not under 120. At that very moment the Napoli game was on the radio and we got a penalty kick. So the whole place just stalls. Napoli kicks, Napoli scores! We’re both happy and I tell him “c’mon, we’re done here for the day. One hundred”. To which he goes “Alright 100! But just because Napoli scored!”

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Bad Salzuflen – February 2018

And that was it!! (Not to mention that same day I bought two Olympus Mju for 5 and 7 euros. But that’s another story…)

The lens on this is way sharper than I would have ever thought. These shots are not really reflective of an everyday situation as they are all long exposures, 20 seconds up to 52 at F8. But nonetheless there is really nothing to say in terms of sharpness and detail rendition. Shutter button is a little groggy and has got stuck at under 0 degrees condition, but the shutter cable has been able to fix that.

The view finder is a joy to use and the magnifying lens that flips up does help a lot to get the focus just right.

It’s a little on the heavy side, more than you would like, but it’s such an enjoyable camera that you really don’t notice it at all.

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Bad Salzuflen – February 2018

Heads turn when you walk with this thing around your neck. A lot based on what my girlfriend told me. If you’re into that. I didn’t notice it but I think it’s funny.

I’m a really bad reviewer. I’m not able to be objective at all and not let my love for this camera get in the way. I can understand how one can see it as a display camera, but I can’t help bringing it along since I started using it. And the detail you get on a 6×6 negative is astonishing if all you ever shot was 35 mm.

So here are some more shots in daylight. The next one is at F3.5 and you can appreciate the depth of field you are able to get. Not a lot, but noticeable.

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Rome – February 2018

I shot these in the park near my house (I think it was my first roll). I initially thought the light meter was broken, but later discovered that it only opens when you flip the viewfinder (smart) and it worked wonderfully still.

I looked at the prices for this thing and for the condition, worn but perfectly working aside from the groggy shutter button which actually does his job just fine, it was a real bargain.

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Rome – February 2018

So all in all, I would really recommend this camera as an entry to medium format. Cheap, easy to use and you may be lucky to find one that still works. I didn’t get any accessories with it (no lens cap and no cover) but still.. I’m so excited to shoot this again, I got some rolls of color (to be developed) and today I got a couple of more FP4, cheaper than HP5 in 120 format, and I think it’s gonna be my go-to film for it. Maybe Rollei 400s but only if I have to shoot daylight as I don’t know any reciprocity information for it. But that subject is going to be for another time.

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Rome – February 2018

Notes: First three shots shot with Fuji Acros developed in D-76. Literally NO GRAIN at all. Metered with my Android phone. Last three shot with Rollei 400s developed in Rodinal metered with in camera light meter. 

Single shot

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Roma – February 2017

It is, as usual, a strange time.

I thought the Vietnam trip would’ve left me a bigger and more lasting good feeling, but it only lasted probably a week. I’m kinda zombieing to work everyday and trying to keep active on my personal things when i get home.

I recently made a commitment to myself that I would not let a day pass without being productive on something, and so far so good. It’s either been scanning, darkroom prints, developing, cleaning the apartment, the dishwasher being fixed and so on..

I have been looking at my recent pictures and among the 7-8 color rolls I shot in Vietnam, I gotta say they all pretty much suck balls. Colors are off, shots are out of focus most of the time and i’m generally unhappy with the choice of snaps. However… when i switch back to my black and white… Now i kinda like those! Even today, browsing through them for the n-th time, i’m finding more pictures i like.

Before posting them here though I want to work on their sequence and on finding one that can actually tell a story. I already posted Saigon, I got Hanoi and Sapa to go as batches.

I think the real winners of the trip were actually the Instax minis. Those we shot roughly 50 and those are all going on the wall.

I feel like I should have more pictures for so many words. Because I also want to talk about discovering the F3, falling in love with the Yashica 124G and medium format. But maybe for another time. But the picture I chose reflects how I feel lately. I’m the guy standing and in front of me are people blindly passing on like robots.

Hot Hot Hot Summer – Milan 2017

These pictures are in extreme contrast with my current environment.

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Milan – June 2017

Outside the temperature is around the -2 deg C. I’ve been in Germany since Friday for work and tried to make the most I could of my time spare here.

I was expecting to work the weekend and for reasons i’m not going to get into ended up having a day and a half all to myself. In light of the chance, i brought my two cameras of choice at this time. My blazing “new” F3 and semi-new Yashica Mat 124G. The first i only took out to test the light meter (i’ll get into that later, maybe), the latter has been my weapon of choice.

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Milan – June 2017

From a weather perspective, Saturday was a full blown shitty day. Rain all day, I drove around without a destination around lake Bodensee but didn’t have the slightest chance to take the camera out. Seriously, it never stopped.

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Milan – June 2017

So I was left with Sunday – woke up early (as i usually do lately) – and went to the pier.  Shot a roll of FP4 around there, loaded a CN200 roll and took the car and drove east along the lake. Almost completed the roll with 2 shots left.

Now I know – it’s not a lot. But still… I’m ok with it. There’s actually one shot still left.

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Milan – June 2017

Saturday was however good for one reason. I found an old Gossen Sixtar light meter at a thrift store. Initially 10 euros, but when i asked to see if was working the lady opened the battery compartment to show all kinds of corrosions…. so two euros. DEAL!

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Milan – June 2017

During lunch i moved the battery from the yashica to the light meter and lo and behold.. it works!! So that’s been my companion for the rest of the weekend..

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Milan – June 2017

Unfortunately i wasn’t able to find the reciprocity failure corrections for the Role film, so i did hesitantly shoot 1 picture at night (cause that’s all that i’m left with after work) and i still got one in the barrel…

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Milan – June 201

I did go running (twice!!) this week which surprises myself considering i haven’t been out in more than a month..

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Milan – June 2017

So that’s my week so far. A lot of beer, film and pictures, Hop Along songs, a black Mercedes E200 that parks on its own and with a sucky bluetooth, fucking cold weather, bad food, running and work.

NOTES: Shot during (you guessed it) a business trip in Milan back in June 17. Only an afternoon at my disposal but managed to burn through a roll of Fuji Across (literally NO GRAIN). Spotmatic F – swapping the 35 mil 3.5 with the 50 mil 1.4.