Archive for January, 2015

In To The Woods

Minolta XG1
MD 50MM F2

 ONE 1

Stephen Dowling advices to always carry a b&w film with you because “…on even the sunniest day, you should always have black and white film to hand. Mono captures mood and tone in completely different way to colour – and in some lighting conditions will give you much better pictures. Even in blazingly bright weather, you’ll find pictures that will suit black and white far more.”

Read the Article:52 Photo Tips #3: Always carry black and white film.

  TWO 2

Heather Munro shared photos of Stolpersteine — literally, “stumbling stones” — which are the work of artist Gunter Demnig, who since 1993 has been placing the small memorials in front of the buildings where Holocaust victims once lived or worked.

Bruce Robbins asks all of us 2015: The Year Film Fought Back?”  
“Thanks to the film users who took part in this survey, we have confirmed what we thought, which is that the recent growth in film sales can be attributed to the new users coming through.”

 Read the Article:2015: The Year Film Fought Back?

I wanted to share with you the story of  Nelly’s (Elli Souyioultzoglou-Seraidari) (1899-1998), a Greek female photographer. I thing she was a great photographer that captured the innocence of pre-WWII.
1929,Nicolska Dancing Parthenon
1929,Nicolska Dancing Parthenon

1929,Nicolska Dancing Parthenon

1929, Mona Paeva (Russian Ballet Dancer)

Nellys,Life Magazine Cover 1940
Nelly’s Collage, Old Sheppard Vs Zeus
A native of Aydin in Asia Minor, Elli Souyioultzoglou-Seraidari–better known by her professional name of Nelly’s–was first influenced by German trends in photography. The two main characteristics of her work, and indeed of her life, were freedom and movement.

She owed her pictorial technique and her classical sense of aesthetics to the influence of her German teachers, Hugo Erfurth and Franz Fiedler. However, in 1924, after establishing herself in Athens and opening a photography studio in Ermou Street, she adopted a more Greek-centred and conservative approach to her work. An early interest in portraiture, maintained throughout her professional career in Greece and the USA, provides us with rare pictures of interwar Athenian society, as well as an important source of information on America’s Greek immigrants. From 1927 until the outbreak of World War II, Nelly’s travelled throughout Greece, documenting the entire panorama of Greek life. As a Diaspora Greek, Nelly’s view of Greece tended to be somewhat “idealised”. Her photographs appeared in official tourist publications that were circulated abroad, and contributed to creating the earliest visual symbols of Greece’s “philosophy regarding tourism”.

She systematically depicted the ancient monuments and archaeological sites of Greece. Her experiments with natural light and her photographs of ancient temples, demonstrating their interrelationship, are true masterpieces, bringing to mind the work of Erfurth’s German student, Walter Hege. Nelly’s photographs of dancers in Germany and, above all, on the Acropolis (1923-29) demonstrate exceptional thematic cohesion and identify her as one of the leading dance photographers of the interwar period.Having gone into self-imposed exile in the USA following the outbreak of World War II in 1939, she added advertising photography, colour photography and photo reporting (New York streets & Easter Parade) to her range of skills, although she was not overly influenced by the trends of contemporary American photography. Nelly’s died in Athens, after a lifetime of passionate dedication to her art. She left a body of work, which remains exemplary from both an artistic and a technical standpoint; it represents a valuable legacy to the photographers of today.


Further Reading.

 Today, I really wanted to get out and take some photographs. I had loaded two film cameras and my new EPL5 was ready from last night. The weather was not my ally, it was rainy ,low light with wind. But no despair I had to try taking some shots, so later in the morning the weather seemed to calm a bit (only a bit ) and I was able to take some shots with my Olympus OM-10,with its manual adapter. I had loaded a roll of Kodak ProImage 100 colour film that I bought in bulk from Malaysia.
After I took some shots the weather started to deteriorate so I returned and since i was eager to see that I had accomplished I wanted to try develop a colour film in B&W Chemistry I had read that It could be done.
I did a stand development in Rodinal 1:100 and I plan to do more testing in 1:50 and in 1:25. The results were a really dense looking negative that only under light showed an image. After scanning it I had in my hands some images that for sure where usable. I scanned as colour negative and then in LR5 turned into B&W. A bit sharpening and some contrast and highlight manipulation. Some of the results are following. I know that the weather was awfull and the shots where taken under pressure so I have higher expectations for the future testing of this film in B&W chemistry and in C-41.

That is a 1:1 ,half frame crop of the negative scan.

Ansel Adams.No need for any introduction, one of the giants of photography.

I recently saw a documentary about him in YouTube “Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film 2002″ and i wanted to share it with you. It might give us some inspiration for this weekend, if not for our entire life.
I also stepped over a series of videos uploaded from Getty Museum in YouTube about Ansel Adams.
But what sparkled even more my interest was the video titled “Ansel Adams: Climbing Half Dome, Yosemite” . The climb towards the taking of his well known photograph , “Monolith, The Face of Half Dome.”
The Story Goes like this…

On an April morning in 1927, Adams undertook a difficult four-thousand-foot climb through heavy snow to the granite outcropping known as the Diving Board, where he set up his 6 1/2 x 8 1/2-inch view camera, inserted a glass plate, and waited for the light to fall directly on the sheer granite cliff.
He made one exposure with a yellow filter. Then it occurred to him that if he used a dark red filter, both sky and cliff would register darker in the finished print than in the actual scene. He changed to the red filter, with this dramatic result. He described this episode as his first “visualization” — his attempt to express the emotional and aesthetic feelings he felt at the time he made the photograph. Adams considered it a seminal moment in his development as a photographer.
Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, 1927, Ansel Adams
Photographer Levi Bettweiser is the man behind the Rescued Film Project, an effort to find and rescue old and undeveloped rolls of film from around the world.

It is reported that he found 31 undeveloped rolls of film shot by a single soldier during World War II.

Bettweiser stated that he found the film rolls in late 2014 at an auction in Ohio. About half the rolls were labeled with various location names (i.e. Boston Harbor, Lucky Strike Beach, LaHavre Harbor).

Bettwieser says that although many of the rolls were too damaged to develop, the majority of them resulted in usable prints, and he still has one larger format roll to develop that requires special supplies. Staring carefully at so many photos may have also resulted in an additional discovery. Bettwieser noticed a single unidentified soldier seems to appear in several different shots, and he suspects this may be the photographer who lent the camera to others in order to get shots of himself. You can scroll through dozens more photos over on the project’s website.

Add caption
Courtesy of  the Rescued Film Project

Courtesy of  the Rescued Film Project

Courtesy of  the Rescued Film Project

I doubt 70 years later my long lost memory disk would have survived ;).

I love shooting FILM I love how it looks ,I love how it feels,i love how it smells. I havent tasted it yet 🙂 so I dont have an opinion.
Film is a medium that is around us for over a century and we can have it around us for at least another hundred years.Not because we have to but because we love to. Film photography can help you slow down take a breath and thing don’t just click.You discipline yourself when you shoot and you thrill yourself when you get the results from the lab or self-develop the roll.
For that reason I would like to say thanks to Matt Stuart from In-Public for sharing this short 8-minute film about the resurgence of film photography.

So just go out and try film along with your mobile can,your DSLR or mirror less. Have fun, be creative.

A few months ago I bought from ebay an old amazing Olympus Trip 35. It was in excellent condition with  new brown leather skin,cleaned and new seals for 55 euros.I surely know that it was money well spend.
Shot with :E420 & OM to 4/3 adapter
OM MIRANDA 28-70mm f3.5 MACRO MC


This camera is a fully-automatic viewfinder camera made from 1968 to 1983 during which time over ten million units were sold. The Trip name was a reference to its intended market – people who wanted a compact, functional camera for holidays. During the 1970s it was the subject of an advertising campaign that featured popular British photographer David Bailey.
Shot with :E420 & OM to 4/3 adapter
OM MIRANDA 28-70mm f3.5 MACRO MC
Shot with :E420 & OM to 4/3 adapter
OM MIRANDA 28-70mm f3.5 MACRO MC
Shot with :E420 & OM to 4/3 adapter
OM MIRANDA 28-70mm f3.5 MACRO MC
Shot with :E420 & OM to 4/3 adapter
OM MIRANDA 28-70mm f3.5 MACRO MC
It has over the years achieved a cult status with many loyal followers. This is a cult camera because it’s awesome: Small, well built and simple, with a great Zuiko lens and No Battery is needed.
Here are some sample shots from this little beauty.

If you want a small in size camera,easy to use ,capable or razor sharp pictures for a small fee you should consider buying an Olympus Trip 35.Its fun to shoot, easy to carry around and will never let you down. Ohh and you will never need a battery.Note: Always keep on the lens cap when you dont use or store your camera or the selenium cells on it will deplete and the metering wont be accurate.

Here is a link to the camera’s owner manual.
For a great detailed review visit Ken Rokwell.
The original advertisement on TV with David Bailey.

And a video walkthrough by DarkroomInUse.

I love film SLRs when I find one that still works, I want to have a go with it. When I found an old 1988 Minolta Maxxum 3000i body for 10USD I didnt hesitate at all. I know its all plastic, It fully automated with no manual mode. Its a big SLR with Autofocus ,point and shootish bulky camera.Some would say its ugly and only good as a paperwight for nerdish film lovers.

Its a clumsy, dark device with a surprisingly few bells and whistles. A power button, a switch to choose between automatic or manual focus, and of course, the shutter. Advancing the film is completely automatic, and the clever DX system of the Dynax 3000i recognizes the ISO value of your film, so you don’t have to set it yourself.

The camera ergonomicaly speaking is comfortable its basically a straight forward point-focus-shoot experience. Its not heavy but also not lightweight. If you press the shutter button halfway it focuses automatically.

Saint Nikolas Church,Piraeus

Although it was a Cloudy Sunday I mounted a Minolta AF 35-80mm F/4-5.6 shutter cap and  took it out to test it with a roll of Lucky SHD 100 B&W film.

Saint Nikolas Church ,Piraeus

It is good all around film camera that you can get dirt cheap,which is capable of taking nice photos and that you have nothing to worry about when using except framing your shot,point and shoot. Yes it lacks the retro look and its not descreat.It could be a nice gift to a young kid getting into film photography.