A Clunk In a Forest of Clicks

This past Wednesday I (and about 50 other photographers) attended the dress rehearsal of a ballet in Markham (Actual ballet pictures will follow, once we get through a rather Byzantine approvals process). Most people in the room were shooting digital only, although I was shooting both film and digital. There was one other person there though shooting film, using an absolutely gorgeous Hasselblad 500C medium format camera.

At the Photo Shoot

As the ballet took place, the room was alive with the sounds of shutters clicking, including the sound of one shooter who felt he or she needed to shoot 8 frames per second to capture a dancer spinning. But every now and then, out of the din of digital shutters, CLUNK. It was the sound of the Hasselblad shooter firing her shutter.

It was a beautiful, authoritative, absolutely analog sound, and it was interesting to see other photographers turn their heads at the unfamiliar sound. Without trying to wax too poetical, the sound of the Hasselblad shutter firing expressed the soul of photography, more than the tinny little click of a DSLR shutter ever could.


Winter’s Here

Given we’re only a few hours away from a rather healthy snowstorm here in Toronto, I thought it would be appropriate to post a winter picture. The run off on the back of our roof has the knack of creating great icicles, and I’ve been shooting them a lot recently. I made this image a few days ago, using my Mamiya M645 medium format camera and 80mm macro lens on Delta 100 film.

More icicles

What an Image Can Hide

Quite often people talk about what an image can reveal, but today I will talk about what an image can hide. This is an image I created this past week by the Don river, using my Mamiya M645J camera, and Tri-X film. Except for the lamp post in the middle of the image, there is nothing to indicate that this is a polluted river in the middle of central Toronto, as opposed to some unspoiled wilderness somewhere else.

One experiment I plan to try this year is to take a water sample from this river, and develop a roll of black and white film with it; it wouldn’t surprise me if I get a recognizable image!

Another View of the Rocks

Time-Warp Tuesday: Just a Memory

Today’s image is from the summer of 1977, and I again go back to my grandparent’s acreage outside Truro, Nova Scotia. This old see-saw, like everything else there, is long gone. Only the silver in the negative seems to be immortal.

SeeSaw in Old Barns, Nova Scotia
I don’t remember if I ever printed this negative back in the 70’s, and certainly never looked at it all that closely. What amazes me is the sharpness of most of the image. My old Yashica TL-Electro was very much a budget model, a few rungs below the Nikon, Canon and Pentax classics of the day. But the 50mm f1.9 lens that came with the camera had a reputation for amazing sharpness, and that reputation was deserved.

Baring My Soles

Today’s picture (taken with my Nikon FM, using recently discontinued Fuji Neopan 1600) is an image of perhaps the most comfortable pair of slippers I have ever owned. My mother-in-law knitted them for me many years ago, and as the image below indicates, they are somewhat worn.:-) I just can’t seem to part with them though, as they are so comfortable, and do a great job of keeping my feet warm. I feel the same way about my film cameras, although they are are in much better shape than these old slippers.

Baring My Soles

Artificial Flavour

Today’s image was originally captured back in the fall of 2010. Originally taken on Ilford XP2+ film, I added the toning and the vignetting in Aperture using the Silver Efex Pro plug-in. I am quite happy with how the image turned out, but since I’ve been doing a lot of film recently, I still can’t help but have some mixed feelings, like I’m using artificial vs. natural flavours. Then there is the fact that using the plug-in is fairly quick; I spent about 20 minutes fiddling with the image, compared with what would have been required in the darkroom: two extra chemical steps, and likely multiple attempts to get the burn-in for the vignetting just right.

Dundas Square, Toronto

Am I cheating?