Cheltenham at Dusk

A misty rainy day today left the sky a washed out white, and the constant drizzle was less then ideal for my walk after work with camera in hand. I took a stroll down Cheltenham beach in Devonport from dusk to dark looking for some interesting images. Again with the Ricoh, I used my mini tripod, found some semi-sheltering foliage and took some 30-60second exposures with the lens stopped down. I love the effect long exposures have on the ocean, or moving water. As the sky was washed out I decided to convert the image to B&W in post processing, and cropped the image to give us more of a panoramic feel.

My new-old Juipter-8 arrived in the post today. It looks and feels pretty good, so I will hopefully give it a test out on the nex some time later in the week.

New Life

Walking along a small bush path I came across a fern with a number of seedlings growing from its leaves. From memory I don’t recall ever seeing this before. There were a number of similar ferns around, but this was the only one with seedlings on it. Getting up close I caught this image. Its not crystal sharp, but I like the softness of it combined with the limited colors and dark background.

Beyond the Mangroves

Walking down some lesser known streets (to me) on the North Shore, I came to a dead end at Charles Street. It had a great view looking over at the Harbour Bridge (almost directly to where I took my night shots of the Bridge several weeks back). Armed with the Sony Nex and Jupiter-11 at f4 I got down to the height of the small mangroves and followed the water track to the view of the bridge. Aside from being straightened and cropped slightly, no other post processing.

Air Brakes

We had some more great weather today, so after some tidying around the house I managed to go for a several hour walk. I brought along my Nex 5N and two of my old legacy lenses – the Industar 61 and Jupiter 11. Todays image ‘Air Brakes’ was captured on the Jupiter 11, a 135mm soviet lens, which equates to about a 200mm lens when coupled with a APS-C sensor like that on the Nex. For the price, its a nice old lens that I have spoke about before. I think I will take it apart and re-lube when I get some time as its a bit stiff to focus, which makes all the difference when focusing on moving targets.

In post editing, I did crop the photo, both to remove a branch in the left, and also to give a larger shot of the bird. Shot in .jpg, I wish I had been also saving in raw as it would have given me some more detail to play with.

I have a Juipter-8 on the way from Ukraine also and cant wait to give it a run on the Nex (and some 35mm rangefinders) as I have read some positive things about it, most suggesting its a better lens then the Industar 61 (which I like anyway).

Friday Sun

We have had a lot of dull cloudy and wet days these last few weeks, so it was a refreshing change to get a clear sunny day today. Fingers crossed it holds for the weekend! Although I am now carrying one of my Rollei 35T film cameras with my in my bag, its been nice to leave it sit and get back to some digital shooting. Between the weather, long work days and wanting to shoot film, I’ve been ending up diving into archives more and getting out less (Which is not as enjoyable as getting out there to get shots).

Friday Sun was the result of a stroll with the Sony Nex 5N and its pancake lens. Using its built in HDR setting, something I need to experiment more with, I caught this lazy shot sitting on Mt Victoria in Devonport on Auckland North Shore.

Into The Air

Taken on my Fed1 35mm rangefinder, I chose todays image because it really felt like it was taken on an old camera. This is the only shot I got when in the plane over the weekend, and with a estimated exposure in harsh lighting (above the white clouds) I do quite like it.

I did a bit of research into my Fed1 when I originally brought it. Its dated ~1951, making it pretty old. I gave it a quick CLA and am impressed how well it functions. Compared to many newer rangefinders and SLR film cameras, they are very compact cameras – especially with the collapsing lens – it literally can fit in a trouser pocket.  A soviet copy of the Leica II, they are in function close to identical. Its often regarded that they are not up to the same manufacturing quality, but to be honest, they are still pretty good if cared for, and dont have any plastic parts, so really are better then a host of later cameras anyway.

All that aside, I find it enjoyable to shoot with such an old piece of machinery that was precision built. In its ~60 years of life one would imagine a camera has seen a lot of sights and has its own story to tell. It also reminds me how easy we have it now – the Fed’s lack of lightmeter, dual composition windows, manual everything…

Face 2 Face

Meeting up with a friend after work, my main goal was to finish off the film on the Fed1. Strangely with film, I find the 36 exposures too many – yet with digital it would not be enough. However, being I have a number of the 36 exposure sets left I also don’t want to waste film. To cut the story short, I finished the film in the Fed and got around to developing it tonight also. Considering I was guessing the exposure, it looks like I had success. I’ll scan and post something in the next few days hopefully.

As I was walking around in the CBD I came across todays piece of street/wall art. Mostly peeled off the wall, I loved the two faces left looking eye to eye. For some reason they reminded me of the movie Tron (the original) – their masks suggesting some future world (in which we need to wear masks!?!) Armed with my Samsung Galaxy I got up close and snapped the image. At home in post on Gimp, I desaturated, fixed/altered the white balance, added the blotchy boarder and slightly pushed up the contrast.

Fenced in Forrest

An old 35mm from the archives (cropped and post edited). I remember taking this image and being amused (and worried) about the trespassers warning sign. When you go close up, it looks like the trespasser is being shot… I decided not to venture further into the ‘Fenced in Forrest’.

Photo Sketch of a Memory


Todays image is a bit of a recreation from when I was around 7 years old. I was walking home, through a graveyard after sunset one late summers night. Memory serves that it was a mild/cold evening, and particularly quiet.  As I walked past a certain part of the graveyard, one of the taller gravestones had a weird red shining light on the top of it, glowing enough so I could make out the surrounding graves. As a small kid, I found it pretty scary and took off home at a quicker pace.

Ive since visited the graveyard many times, and always stop to look at the grave with the glowing red light. Its solid concrete…

I don’t have any explanation for what I saw, but it sticks firmly in my memory to this day when I pass graveyards.

‘Photo Sketch of a Memory’ is an image of the very grave. Working in Gimp, I gave the image a sketched B&W filter and then inversed it, upping the contrast. I then transformed the concrete light into a red glowing light, not unlike that in my memories.

A Broccoli Was Born

We flew back to Auckland this afternoon, welcomed by dark clouds and rain, the long weekend was over. Just before landing, above the rain clouds, there was a marvelous potential shot looking out across a cloudscape. I pulled out my Fed (also hoping to finish my film), but was warned by the flight attendant I could not use my camera. In the short moment I had, I tried to explain it was 1. not digital, 2. not electronic (not even a lightmeter battery), so 3. not breaching any of their digital regulations we felt she was suggesting. My lesson from today was not to have a front seat. Never mind!

In the small flat we live in, I built some plant boxes to grow some vegetables. Growing up we always had fresh veges from the garden, and I only recently tried my hand at green fingers growing. Earlier this week when heading off to work I spotted the first of the broccoli heads starting to sprout…all very exciting from a Jr gardener perspective. Armed with the Ricoh, I got up close and took this shot of it popping its head up.

Shooting mostly with film over the weekend (apart from my WordPress mobile phone images) was fun and relaxing. I’m yet to see how it all went, but thats part of the excitement we loose with digital. As many others state, I took some more time setting up the image, whenever possible, and had to really think about exposure and aperture values as I didnt have a lightmeter. If I manage to finish the film this week, I’ll aim to develop it next weekend.

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