Roll #53

I need a change of scenery. I can only shoot the same temples in the same town for so long. At least the seasons give me a little more variation:

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Roll #52

Shot a roll at Kanayama mountain earlier this week:

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Roll #51

Went to kusatsu hot springs in Kusatsu, Japan a few weekends ago and shot a roll of Provia 400.

This is where the spring water originates from, this part is the smelliest. The water comes out too hot to get in so it’s channeled into the wooden planks in the middle of the picture to be cooled and diverted into bathhouses.

Channels cool too-hot-to-lounge-in water from the spring source to the little pond below.

The cooling wooden channels.

From a different pov.

Spring water falls into this little pond from where the water gets diverted to all the spas and hotels in the city providing nice and hot spring water all year round.

Me on the way to a volcanic lake.

The volcanic lake Yugama. It’s absolutely stunning turquoise in person.

More volcanic lake.

Scenery around a lake near the volcanic lake.

More during the walk.

Sainokawara park. This is a forest with a stream thats partially snowmelt and partially spring water. The water is warm year round and pools in some places.

Our ryokan, a traditional japanese room with rice paper walls on one side and tatami floors. In the evening, housekeeping turns this space in a bedroom with mats. They provide the yukatas (robes). Awesome thing about this town is that everyone walks around in the robes their hotels give them, you’ll see people shopping for groceries and eating at restaurants in their robes.

Spring water runs throughout the town even to little footbaths like this one. All over town there are running public footbaths where a bunch of people stop to relax and dip their feet in scalding hot spring water.

Traditional performance where women cool the hot hot spring water.

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Roll #50

Either Fujifilm Neopan Presto 400 really sucks or my scan settings really suck. Either way, I had to post-process the hell out of these images to get them to come alive. Perfect scan settings can be difficult to figure out and the negatives seemed contrasty enough so I’ll blame my scanning job.

Here are a few from the roll:

I’m a beginner to black and white photography but I really get the sense that there’s a lot to explore with this medium. It helps make mundane objects come alive and makes otherwise flat images more interesting. I’ll be shooting black and white more often in the future. More to come…

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Roll #49

Amy and I went to Seoul, South Korea last week for a week vacation. As per usual, I lugged around most of my gear with me which included a Nikon F4, 20mm lens, 50mm lens, 105mm lens, and a SB-28. I only used one lens and shot one roll of film the whole trip. The lesson? Next time I travel, I’m traveling with the smallest rangefinder I can find. Discreet street and market shots would have been much more interesting and I would have shot a lot more. Anyways, here are a few shots from the roll:

My camera is currently loaded with Fujifilm Neopan 400 Presto – the first true black and white film I will have shot. I’ve shot with Ilford XP2 Super before, but it uses C41 processing and results in more sepia tones. It also bleeds color depending on the developer. I’m looking forward to my foray into B&W, I may not come back to color for a while.

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Roll #48

I’m done with sprockets, these are a few photos from my last roll of 135 film in a Holga:

Well there’s that. The next time I pick up the Holga, it’ll be loaded with 120 slide film or 120 black and white. For now, I’m going to be concentrating on shooting black and white in my 35mm camera.


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Roll #47

Most of this roll was used to experiment with my new┬áSB-28. I’m shooting film without a flash meter or a dSLR to meter with so perfecting flash will be a steep learning curve. Here are a few conclusions I came to based on the exposures (feel free to correct me if you know better):

-When the camera’s meter reports underexposure using direct flash with TTL in the daytime, the subject will be exposed harshly and the background will be underexposed (to the point where the afternoon sky is black).

-The bounce card has very little visible effect on the subject unless the camera aperture is on f/8 or wider using TTL in the afternoon sun.

-The bounce card can be utilized more effectively by setting the flash mode to Auto in the daytime. Set the flash aperture down two stops from the camera aperture for a decently filled in subject (e.g., if the camera aperture is at f/8, set the flash to think the aperture is at f/16).

-To get a good fill flash in the daytime, set the flash to Auto, then set the flash to think the camera aperture is two stops wider (e.g., if the camera aperture is f/8, set the flash to think the aperture is f/4).

-At night when the flash is the only major source of light and the flash is set to TTL pointing directly at the subject, try not to use an aperture any wider than f/5.6 (otherwise there’s too much flash power and the subject is blown out).

-Get a the cheapest Nikon dSLR and figure it all out in an hour as opposed months.

Here is a shot with and without fill flash:

The above photo is without flash. Here I’m side-lit and you can’t see my eyes at all. I’m also underexposed relative to the background.

Here I have direct flash lighting up my sweaty mug. My face is now well exposed relative to the background and more prominently a subject. While the light could be softer, it doesn’t necessarily look unnatural – it looks like I’m front-lit by the sun.

Lighting guys always emphasize taking the flash off the camera and never using direct flash, but I think that level of perfection is more relevant to studio work and paid professional work like weddings. I have no intention to do either. I just like to shoot while hanging out, walking around or traveling. So for me, the flash stays on the camera.

Here are a few shots from a morning at the park a few days ago. All pictures with me or Amy in them are shot with a fill flash:

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