Hello? Anyone still here?
With the suicide of Instagram due to their new term of use, I’ll once again be more active here on my own blog where I know I own the content.
Sorry for the long absence, I have had a lot going on in my life the past 18 months or so, but now things have settled down again.
I’ll fill you all in on more of the details in future posts.
All but one of todays photos were taken with the venerable Kodak DCS Pro Back 645M. It’s a discontinued image making monster capable of producing some of the most film-like files I have ever seen come out of a digital camera. It’s not the fastest camera out there. In fact, it’s downright glacial in its pace of taking photographs. But this causes me to also slow down in my image taking, and gives me pause to think about what it is I am trying to capture. I’m sure the great medium format Mamiya glass adds a lot to the image quality, but the sensor of the Kodak back itself must be given due credit.
For those of you in the local Yokosuka/Yokohama area, you may be interested in a photo club I recently started. You can check it out here: www.meetup.com/YokoYoko/
This new photo club will not be taking the place of the Tokyo Camera photo club I have belonged to for years. Rather, it is a way to get people on the Miura Peninsula/Yokohama area who are interested in photography together without having to make the trek up to Tokyo.
We have had two meetup events so far, and any member of the club can organize a gathering. So if you are interested, then sign up and plan a day pf photo shooting.
Yesterday I decided to do a photo-walk around Yokosuka. Partially to enjoy the out-of-doors after being kept in from the previous days typhoon, and also to put some of my older rangefinder lenses through their paces with the M9. I was also inspired by some vintage images of Yokosuka that I was recently browsing on Flickr. So I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see if I could reproduce something with a similar look.
My two lenses for the day were the Canon ltm 28mm f2.8, and Canon ltm 50mm f1.2. And as you can see, they are not the most technically perfect of lenses out there. They are soft in the corners, and color fringing is readily apparent. But I imaged that they would fit the bill for the type of images I was trying to create.
I’ve yet to devote the resources to buy a stable full of Leica lenses, but of the more modern glass that I do have (Konica, and Voigtlander) all perform to a much higher technical standard than the older Canon Leica thread mount lenses that I used for this exercise.
But sometimes the best tool for the job is not the best tool that you have, but rather the best tool for THAT SPECIFIC job. So what lenses would be better to reproduce the look from 40 years ago than some lenses that were 40+ years old? And truth be told, they did perform admirably, with regards to both sharpness and resolution when stopped down.
The shots themselves are nothing special. In most cases I tried to keep to subjects that were independent of time. And in honor of the old glass I was using (1950’s to 1960’s vintage) I decided to process them using a “yesteryear” type of filter in Lightroom. This gave them a yellow’ish washed-out look, common to old film images. Right out of the camera the images have a much more natural look, as would be expected from the M9. But I thought this treatment would better convey my idea.
Was it a success? I have no idea.
I like the effect, but I have no idea what others may think about it.
If you do have some thoughts about it, please take a minute and jot down your thoughts in a comment.
Today I woke up a little later than usual for a weekend. between 4 a.m. conference calls, and splitting my time between two jobs for the months I have begun to feel a bit “stretched”. Add to that some Cool japan shooting that went a bit later than I thought I would last night and it all equated to a later than usual morning for me.
Since the weather was good, I had initially planned to hop a train up to Tokyo and do some shooting, but since I had gotten a later start than I intended, I decided to restrict todays photo shooting to a walking tour of Yokosuka. I had no real destination in mind. The only really “plan” was for me to see some places that were new for me.
After living here for so long you would first think that this may be quite a challenge. But given the fact that this area is so hilly, once you get off the main roads that run through the valleys you find yourself in a veritable maze of foot paths and winding side streets. Parts of it look to be right out of an Escher illustration. The tops of the hills are especially nice as the sounds of traffic fade away and you get a bit of a breeze.
It was quite surprising to see just how many of the houses are only accessible by foot via narrow paths and winding stairways. It’s kind of like a lot of little isolated quiet islands of old houses surrounded by a sea of traffic and newer construction.
I didn’t go too far, just up the hill from Yokosuka-chuo station, then North over a hill or two and then down to Shioiri station with is the next stop up the KQ line. But what my photowalk lacked in length, it more than made up for it with beauty. Nothing too earth chattering, but peaceful nonetheless.
I’ll be sire to do a lot more of these local photo-walks. I think there are still a lot of layers left to the onion that is Yokosuka, and I intend to see more of them.
Todays gear consisted of a Mamiya ZD SLR with two lenses: 80mm f2.8, and 45mm f2.8.
At the end of May Saori and I took advantage of a beautiful day and spent a few hours exploring Sarushima, or “Monkey Island” which is about a mile off shore from my apartment in Yokosuka.
If you want to learn about Sarushima, just open up the first photo for today and you will be able to read the information sign that is on the island.
The week previous we had spent a Saturday on the island for a barbecue party with a group from the photo club. But at that time there was no chance to do any exploring, as we were busy cooking, eating, and drinking. So on this day we made a point to walk the entire island. It’s not too hard to do and you can see thee entire place in a couple of hours, and that’s if you go really slow and check out all the interesting corners and ruins.
My camera for the day was my trusty Epson R-D1 with a 28mm f2 CV Ultron, 15mm f4.5 SWH, and 50mm f1.5 Nokton. The 28mm was used for most of the shots. Saori was using a Sigma DP2, which after its most recent firmware update has turned into quite the usable little tool. Sigma really did their customers a service by improving the speed and accuracy of the auto focus system in their recent firmware update. The DP2 is no longer a great image maker thats a pain in the ass to use. Now its a great image maker thats usage is very transparent to the image making process. This still does not keep me from lusting after a Leica X1 though… 🙂