Today I had to take an old Press Camera to the “camera hospital” to get a rangefinder alignment done, and afterwards did some shooting in Toronto’s King/Dufferin area with a Graflex Century 35, and the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone. The image below was taking with the Hipstamatic, and I really like how the selective focus worked out!
I love looking at the people on the TTC (and since I have a one hour plus commute to work each day, I have plenty of time to look!).
Today’s image was taken on Sunday morning on the TTC. It’s been awhile since I have seen so much of the pain and weariness that life holds for some people etched on a person’s face.
It has been quite awhile since I have seen non-expired colour infrared film available for sale. Black and white is easy to get, though not inexpensive, but not colour, so today I have a faux-infrared image taken with my iPhone using the Hipstamatic application. When I walk to from the bus stop to my office I pass large power lines and towers every day, and I am always struck by the lines and drama.
I am going to put another twist on Time-Warp Tuesday this week. The image below is not an old image; in fact it dates from just this past Sunday, when I was at the Beaches in Toronto. What qualifies it for Time-Warp Tuesday is that it represents a mix of old and new technology. First the old: the camera I used, my Mamiya M645J medium format, dates from the late 1970′s. The film format it uses, 120, dates from the first decade of the 20th century. Finally, the developer chemical I used to process the film, D-76, dates from the mid 1920′s.
The new is represented first by a couple of great iPhone Apps that had a part in the making of this image. First, since the camera is a completely manual model with no built in light meter, I needed something to calculate the exposure. Instead of bringing along a traditional light meter, I used a great (and free!) iPhone app called Pocket Light Meter, which takes advantage of the light meter built into the iPhone’s camera, and it did a pretty good job, better in fact than my “real” light meter as a matter of fact. The second app I used was in the dark room, and is called Massive Dev Chart; it combines an encyclopaedia of development times for various film and chemical combinations, with a specialized timer that makes timing the various steps of the development process a snap.
I think one of the greatest things about photography is the ability to mix the old with the new; you can go completely digital start to finish, or at the other end, use completely “obsolete” processes, like wet plate collodion. With the hybrid workflow, you can find your spot anywhere in this technology spectrum, using whatever fulfills your vision. These are exciting times.
I met an artist yesterday via a mutual friend. Her medium of choice is Encaustic Painting, involving the use of oil pigments suspended in melted beeswax. This technique is both ancient and challenging, and her studio showed evidence of mastery and enthusiasm. It seemed to me that the studio itself, covered with colour, was a portrait of the artist.
In addition to some black and white photos taken with my vintage Nikkormat, I also used my iPhone to capture some of the colour. My good friends Rob Lee and Katherine Matthews (also along for the visit) recommended the free Morelomo app, and as I love vintage/Lo-Fi photography I had to give it a try; I was quite happy with the results!
I’m having fun working on one project right now, a lo-fi iPhone project capturing the experience of my daily commute to and from work on the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission). I go the work early, and am normally on the subway by about 6:20 a.m. At that time of day, one does not see the rich latte drinkers, or other privileged classes of Toronto that for so many people form their only impression of the city. One sees the working class, an awful lot of diversity, and often, sheer fatigue, which I tried to capture in the photo below, taken with the iPhone 3GS camera, then given a vintage, lo-fi effect which I feel was ideally suited for the mood.