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Oxford: Remembrance Day, 2015

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

Last year I photographed the Remembrance Day ceremony is Oxford with only 35mm film so this year I decided to change things up and only use large format. There’s no sense in repeating things, right? After much deliberation I opted to use my Speed Graphic 5×4 and 7 inch Aero Ektar lens (aka The Burnett combo). Using a lens from WWII seemed somewhat appropriate and I need all of the speed I could get because the sky was very overcast and the light level very low. Once I had packed my camera bag I only had space for 6 film holders (12 sheets of 5×4 inch film) so that’s all I took. Some of my shots ended up with very strange looking focus shift so I think in my rush to set up I must have moved the lens from being parallel with the film plane. Overall I think this camera and lens combo is well suited to this subject and hopefully I’ll get a chance to photograph some more military parades when I’m not rushing so much.

[Tech info]: Graflex Speed Graphic 5×4, Kodak Aero Ektar lens, Ilford HP5 developed in HC110 1+31 for 5 mins.

Oxford: Industar lens test

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Here are some of the first test shots made with my Industar 210mm Russian large format lens. I bought this lens back in July last year but it took me a while to get it mounted on a lens panel to use with my Speed Graphic. Finally the wait is over. The light was fading when I made these exposures and they were made at the slowest shutter speed on my Speed Graphic which is 1/30th with the lens fully open at f4.5. I pushed the film a little in the developer to try to lift the shadows but there doesn’t seem to be anything there to bring out. I’m pleased with these results and can’t wait to do some more at a closer focussing distance. I made a few other shots which will follow another time – I left them drying in the darkroom.

[Tech info:] Speed Graphic 5×4, Industar 210/f4.5 lens, Kodak Plus-X Aerographic film, processed in Kodak HC110 1+31 for 6 mins.

Oxford: Magdalen College

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

This afternoon I visited Magdalen College to test out a new (old) lens I recently fitted to a lens board for my Speed Graphic and here is the first test shot made on Fuji FP-100C instant pack film. I also took some b&w sheet film with me and those shots will follow at a later time. The beauty of FP-100C is being able to bleach the black carbon backing from the back and ending up with an almost large format sized negative. This shot was made late in the afternoon as the light was fading and I used the slowest shutter speed on my Speed Graphic (1/30th) knowing that the print would be a little on the under-exposed side but also knowing that the negative gives you an extra 2 stops of exposure. It’s nice to get two shots for the price of one – the only instant film that does.

[Tech info:] Speed Graphic 5×4, Industar 210/4.5 lens, Fuji FP-100C instant pack film.

Neg

Print

Oxford: large format portraits

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Here are some large format portraits I made recently with one of my favourite camera, lens and film combos. The camera is from the 1940’s or 50’s, not quite sure, but I do know the lens was used for aerial photography during the second world war and judging by the condition of the paintwork it saw some action. The nice thing about this particular lens is the shallow depth of field and the way it renders everything with a beautiful smoothness but you can’t really appreciate the image quality in web resolution images.

[Tech info:] Speed Graphic 5×4, Pentac f2.9 lens @ f3.5, Ilford HP5 film processed in Kodak HC110 1+31.

adam

chris

dave

Photo shoot: Sarah

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

This set of images is from a lunch hour photo shoot I had with Sarah recently. At this time of year the midday sun is not very flattering for portraits so I have to work extra hard to find pockets of light where the quality is nice. Having a location where there are walls to bounce the light around can help and fortunately I have such a location not too far from my office. I previously posted some Fujiroids from this shoot but the colour of the light at this time of day is not very nice which is why I shot more black & white film.
Sarah was really great to work with and I’m very pleased with how these turned out, especially the large format shots on the bottom row.

[Tech info:] Top two rows: Pentax 6×7, 165mm and 135mm lenses, loaded with Kodak TMAX 400 (expired) film. Bottom row: Speed Graphic 5×4, Ektar 203mm and Dallmeyer 12 inch lenses on Ilford HP5 film. All processed in Kodak HC110 1+31.

Photo shoot: Peter

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

You might recognise Peter from the punting photo shoot I did a couple of weeks ago. Having recently finished his masters degree he’s due to leave Oxford very soon to do a little travelling so we arranged to make some pictures before he leaves. For these images I used a large format camera from the 1940’s with a lens from World War II that was designed for the US military to do aerial photography at night. It’s renowned for its shallow depth of field that has a very unique signature. I don’t get to use this setup all that often partly because of the size of the lens and partly because it’s difficult to use it if the conditions are too bright but on this day it was perfectly cloudy with the sun trying to burn through. I took 6 sheets of film with me and all of them are here below.

[Tech info:] Speed Graphic camera with Kodak Aero Ektar lens on Ilford FP4+ processed in Rodinal (1:50).

On the steps.

Take it to the bridge

Distinctive bokeh

I think the gloves make this shot

Wider shot

No jacket required

 

Experiments: Kodak barrel lens

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

I recently bought an old Kodak barrel lens (Kodak No.33 Anastigmat 4.5 7 1/2 inch) for an insanely low price and these are some of the first test shots made with it. From what I can tell the lens is from the 1920’s or 1930’s because there’s no serial number on it so it’s certainly pre-1940’s which was when Kodak started to add them on their lenses. There’s no shutter which is where my Speed Graphic 5×4 camera comes in handy because it’s got a focal plane shutter built into the back.

So far I’ve been quite rushed when doing my tests with this lens because I’ve only had time during my lunch breaks to do any testing and so far I haven’t quite found its sweet spot yet for achieving nice bokeh. These images were all made on Fuji FP100-C instant pack film (just like Polaroid) and for a change I’ve scanned the negative after removing the black backing with household bleach. The prints look very different to these.

a double exposure

This double exposure was an accident and I was a bit gutted when I peeled the print but it's grown on me.

This is Richard who works at Clements & Church on Little Clarendon Street. It's a new men's tailor that recently opened. This shot was at least 1.5 stops underexposed but the negative seems to hold a lot more detail than the print.

Radcliffe Camera

My first shot with this lens. I decided to pick a subject that wouldn't move.

Stone masons

These are stone masons working on St. Mary's tower. They were very patient and we chatted about photography as I set up the shot. In my rush to get the shot I miss-framed it.

Bird feeder

Bird feeder. Another very underexposed shot that was rescued from the recovered neg. The light level was low and I chose a fast shutter speed to freeze the moving branches.