Mirror, Mirror

If you stand say five feet away from a mirror and focus on your reflection with a  manual focus the lens will focus not to a distance of five feet, but rather 10 feet. Even though the mirror is a flat two-dimensional surface, optically the virtual space behind the mirror must be accounted for. I remember being amazed when I learned this fact many years ago. Mirrors have always seemed otherworldly to me.

This image is a reflection in a polished metal sculpture in downtown Toronto, and is a heavy crop from a much large frame. For me it still has the magic of a mirror though.

Reflection in sculpture

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Unstuck In Time

In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse Five, the main character Billy Pilgrim has come “unstuck in time.” He jumps around forward and backwards in a nonlinear fashion. It struck me the other day that being “unstuck in time” is the phrase that best captures what I am trying to do photographically; using a mishmash of techniques and materials from almost every era of photography, capturing modern subjects in vintage-looking retro-styled images. I like to pay homage to the various eras of photography, but I refuse to be help captive by the purists of the present or the past. Like I’ve said before, I want it all 🙂

The image below is another case in point; a thoroughly modern young woman, captured by a film camera older than she is by at least a dozen years, the film then developed and post processed using digital technology for a look that hopefully refuses to be pinned down in any era.

Quiet Intensity

“Can You Still Get Film For That Camera?”

When I tell people I still shoot film, and show them a film camera (normally a medium format or 35 mm camera) I often get the question “Can you still get film for that?” and people are surprised when I tell them that getting film is no problem. A case in point is two films I tried out this past weekend, Fomapan 100 Classic, and Ilford SFX Extended red sensitivity film.

The image below was taken using Fomapan 100 Classic. This is a Czech film, medium speed, with a classic tonality and grain structure. I developed the roll using the classic Rodinal developer for extra sharpness and definition. I’ll becoming back to this combination a lot!

Trestles in Riverdale Park, Toronto

The second film I tried for the first time this past weekend was Ilford SFX film; not quite an infrared film, but with an extended red sensitivity, which when coupled with a red filter gave a lovely almost porcelain look in the skin of the model in this image (NSFW). No post-processing was required for this tonality, and this is another combination I’ll be going back to in the future!

A Scene From A Play

When I asked accomplished actress Andrea Brown to participate in my Women and Cameras series she did express the concern that she did not have any modelling experience. I don’t think she had to worry 🙂 As the shoot progressed, we developed the idea of parodying the concept of the ideal woman as espoused by women’s magazines of the 50’s/60’s: emancipated, but still having to look perfect while exercising their freedom. A bit of a contradiction. Andrea was able to construct a character on the spot, and so each frame was like a scene from a play, as she applied her amazing acting skills.

Andrea Brown and the Detrola 127 camera

Everyday Item

I’ve walked past this fire hydrant many times on the way to work, and always found it interesting, because of its texture and symmetry. I took this picture with a Pentax ME Super 35mm SLR and 50mm f2 lens, a combo I got on eBay for not much more than the price of a couple of disposable cameras! It is the beauty in my recent Beauty and the Beast post. It’s a lovely camera to hold and use.

Fire Hydrant #1

Smiling

Last Sunday I had two photo shoots: one for the Women and Cameras series (more on that shoot later this week), and one just a straight shoot with a young model looking to build her portfolio. Today’s picture is from that second photo shoot. Like I said in the flick image comment, I’ve shot more than a few smiles this year, but I think this is the favourite smile I’ve captured so far.

Smile

Understanding

Today, another picture in my Women and Cameras series, but with a difference: up until now my subjects have all been either models or friends/acquaintances. Today’s subject Natalie not only is a photographer in her own right, but also collects and uses vintage cameras (as does her fiancé!) The camera featured in the image below, a Yashica 124G Twin Lens Reflex is one of three of her own she brought to the shoot.

Just by the way she is holding it, and looking at it, she is clearly showing that she understands the image-making potential of this fine camera, and the magic of film.

Natalie and her Yashicamat 124G