A Couple of Incidental Still Lifes

I have made a couple of still lifes recently with which I ended up quite happy. Of course, I’m always aiming to like my results, but still life isn’t my usual thing, and, anyway, these photos were different because they had both been created to serve another purpose. Funny as it sounds, they are the incidental byproducts of a shift from Canon to Nikon. I’m not throwing up flags, taking up allegiances, or declaring a winner. My shift, itself, is incidental, too. The Canon was too heavy. The Nikon is lighter.

This transition required that I take test shots, some to test the Canon prior to sale, more later to test the Nikon when I received it. These two photos are from those rolls that were sacrificed to the cause. They picture objects that have a place in our house (or ‘had’ in the case of the fruit), because that’s all they needed to be. Pictures, successfully. I didn’t need to go far afield, I just needed to prove that the cameras worked.

The first still life is from the Canon F-1 which I can confirm, but for the light meter, still works. I looked around the house for a subject, and there was fruit on the kitchen table in a bowl, so I thought, “Why not? Fruit in a bowl!” Classic.

Fruit in a Bowl

* Canon F-1 New *
* Canon FD 50mm f1.4 *
* Ilford FP4 Plus *
* Developed in Kodak TMax *
* Epson V500 scanner *
* Photoshop CS6 *

This next photo is from the new-to-me Nikon which also happens to function as it should. My transition was coming to its completion, plus I had a new camera with which to play, so I was taking the time and having fun with the composition. The dry flowers sit on our kitchen window sill. I wanted a careful under-exposure of the flowers with no risk of any parts of them blown out bright, almost 18% gray but tending towards silhouette. What looks like the sun out in the background is actually a reflection in a window just behind the flowers of the sun shining over my right shoulder through another window. Due to this situation and to the intentional under-exposure, the sun provides both foreground and background light for the subject without erasing the finer details or tonal variation of either the subject or the blurred background.

Untitled

* Nikon FM2 *
* Nikkor 50mm f1.4 AI-S *
* Ilford Pan F 50 (expired) *
* Developed in Kodak TMax *
* Epson V500 scanner *
* Photoshop CS6 *

www.DavidStumpp.com

From Scriptoria to the Printing House, Closing Session

Closing Session, From Scriptoria to the Printing House

This was the final workshop put on by Martin Andrews and Alan May, both of the University of Reading, in Christ Church’s Library, 9 February. At the behest of the BBC, Alan built a full-sized, working replica of a one-pull hand printing press, like that used by Johannes Gutenberg, for the recent documentary, “The Machines that Made Us”, hosted by Stephen Fry.

Participants in this workshop learned about Alan’s research and building process, then learned about the practical use of this particular press, and were finally, each, allowed not only to print their own copy of a page of the Gutenberg Bible, but also to try their hand at casting a metal type. The press is now bound for Glasgow, but there are rumors of its return, and I must say, it does look very much at home in The Library.

*  Canon EOS 6D  *
*  Contax Zeiss Planar 1.4/50 T*  *
*  Photoshop CS6  *

Closing Session, From Scriptoria to the Printing House

Closing Session, From Scriptoria to the Printing House

Closing Session, From Scriptoria to the Printing House

Closing Session, From Scriptoria to the Printing House

Closing Session, From Scriptoria to the Printing House

Closing Session, From Scriptoria to the Printing House

Closing Session, From Scriptoria to the Printing House

Closing Session, From Scriptoria to the Printing House

Closing Session, From Scriptoria to the Printing House

Closing Session, From Scriptoria to the Printing House

www.DavidStumpp.com

The Lunchtime Portraits

The Lunchtime Portraits

Will Searby, Melodion player, busking on Cornmarket, Oxford, England.

This is a roll of Kodak Eastman Double-X 35mm black & white cinema film known for its fine detail in both shade and highlights and good depth of field in low light. It was made famous for its use in Schindler’s List, Memento, and the opening sequence of Casino Royal. This particular roll of film came from The Film Photography Project (FPP) which they purchased in bulk and have for sale as Cinema XX at the FPP Store. Michael Raso sent a batch across the Atlantic for participants of the FPP 2013 London Meet-Up back in August. I had only a medium format camera on me that day, so I didn’t get around to using the film until early last month. I found it to draw an excellent picture, very low-contrast, and well-suited to my preference for fine-grain. It truly lived up to its reputation for fine detail through a broad range of tones.

Developing Eastman, however, XX proved to be a nervous adventure of research and experimentation. There is not the abundance of shared processing knowledge for this film as there is for standard still-camera 35mm black and white negative films. I greatly appreciate the sharing of developing recipes, because film isn’t cheap, and I’d like to get it right on the first roll, if possible. I saw a few user recipes in my hunt, but almost no examples using T-Max Dev (the only chemicals I had on hand) and no one who was using TMax who had also divulged their processing methods. So, after having compared developing recipes across the variety of developers and pouring over the results, I compared the processing of familiar still-camera films with T-Max vs. those same still-camera films with the developers I’d also seen used for the Eastman XX. All this was in hopes of getting an idea of how to adapt a successful recipe to my developer, and I finally decided to try 7 minutes at 21 degrees (by then, to a great extent because that was the current temperature of my T-Max).

Whew! It worked.

*  Asahi Pentax Spotmatic F  *
*  Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 1.8/50  *
*  Orange Filter  *
*  Kodak Eastman Double-X Cinema  *
*  Developed in Kodak TMax  *
*  Epson V500 scanner  *
*  Photoshop CS6  *

The Lunchtime Portraits

Homeless on Cornmarket, Oxford, England.

On the Threshold of L-space | The Lunchtime Portraits

On the Threshold of L-space. A lunch break on the steps of The Museum of Oxford, once upon a time the Oxford Central Library.

www.DavidStumpp.com

The Lunchtime Portraits

The Lunchtime Portraits

This is one of the most dedicated street musicians I’ve ever seen (and heard). The old postal employee motto applies here. Through rain, sleet, and snow, I’ve seen this guy sitting out in the streets, playing, singing, and soaking his gear.

*  Leica M6  *
*  Canon 50mm f1.8 LTM  *
*  Ilford Delta 100 film  *
*  Developed in Kodak TMax  *
*  Epson V500 scanner  *
*  Photoshop CS6  *

www.DavidStumpp.com