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A journey continued

21 Jun

A journey continued

by two fast extinct media

the larger version is by ipernity, the world’s best photo sharing photo site

 

Minolta SLR
Kodak Ektachrome 100G
expired 2005, used June 2013, excellent

Lundenburg (Břeclav)
Southern Moravia

 

Lundenburg or now Břeclav is located 25 km from Mikulov, old Nikolsburg or Nicolsburg and is the main train station in the regional with numerous international trains passing through and stopping by, like the one from Moscow to Nice. so if you come by train that is likely where we’d pick you up unless you go directly to Mikulov, in that case you’d take a regional train – something like this vehicle but consisting of two or three cars with a locomotive, and then we’d pick you up right in Mikulov.

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Film or Digital

20 Jun

What’s better? That’s a stupid question.  Because to me the answer is obvious. That is film. The film is however a dying format. I switched from digital to film in 2008 after almost ten years of shooting digital. My first camera was a Sony Mavica that used quarter 3.5 inch floppies to record images. I guess those 3.5″ magnetic disks were called floppies due to inertia, their 5.25 inch predecessors were indeed floppy like a rabbit’s floppy ears, but they themselves were rather rigid. Though not a scientific test, this shows a degree of difference between digital and film, or wait, between digital and digital since of course film becomes digital when it is scanned. I myself prefer film because in my opinion nothing beats the translucence, the breathtaking tonal depth, the glory of a real analog transparency.  But when scanned it loses most of its luster and I’d say that digital without any intermediary, as in the image taken with a Sony A900, is certainly not worse, perhaps even better, than a 35mm color slide.  Of course  we are talking about display of an image on a computer screen, not the right way to see a photograph   (I believe that transparencies should be projected or looked at through the light while black and white photos optically printed on black and white photographic paper) but as far as computer screens go, the “original digital” is in no way inferior (perhaps better) that the digital image created with intermediary of 35mm E6 film and a cheap scanner.  I am going to shoot film though. As far as it is impracticably possible.

direct digital, Sony Alpha 900

direct digital, Sony Alpha 900

Kodak Ektachrome 100G, color adjusted, digitalized with Canon Canoscan 9000f scanner, No correction

Kodak Ektachrome 100G, color adjusted, digitized with Canon Canoscan 9000f scanner, No correction

Kodak Ektachrome 100G, color adjusted, digitalized with Canon Canoscan 9000f scanner, Photoshop autocorrection

Kodak Ektachrome 100G, color adjusted, digitized with Canon Canoscan 9000f scanner, Photoshop auto correction

It might become impossible at some point. With Kodak out of reversible film business altogether, and only Fuji left that makes E6 film chances are it will disappear in the nearest future. In fact it is already extinct in most of the world. Black and white film might hold on for a little longer, though 120 format is already in short supply, but with really, really only Ilford and neither live nor dead Foma Bohemia left around, the chances of film surviving seems to be slim.

Unless. Unless.

But that’s another topic.

The picture in the picture is that of gorgeous Romanesque church in the small town or rather hamlet of Kirchstetten, famous for its baroque palace (now for sale by the way )  in beautiful Weinviertel of northern Lower Austria, only 17 odd kilometers from my place in old Nicolsburg or Nikolsburg,  now Mikulov, where if one needs accommodations one can stay a night or two at the pension Mikulov or Nicolsburg.

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Agfachrome 50 RS – cold stored, still excellent

19 Jun

Agfachrome 50 RS - cold stored, still excellent

Mikulov
on the grounds of the park in front of the Schloß Dietrichstein, film – Agfa Agfachrome 50 RS – absolutely perfect, expired 1996 or so but shot as is (ISO 40) and the colors are vibrant and rich, not much/any worse than Velvia. As far as I am concerned they killed the E6 process and perhaps color film in general, so I’d keep shooting while I can.

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Foundry Avenue

18 Jun

Foundry Avenue

Liteiny Prospekt
St. Petersburg
Night
Horizon panoramic camera
Polypan/Omnipan
Rodinal

Skies reflected in Ektachrome

18 Jun

Again Ektachrome  100g, expired in 2005, exposed June 2013. Processed by Rossmann pharmacy (I suspect by CEWE in Germany). This is a regional commuter one car (or one wagon) train that runs between Břeclav ( Lundenburg) and Landshut (czech-ified Lanžhot) in Southern Moravia.

Landshut train

Landshut train

Less but more (frequently) – expired Kodachrome 100G

15 Jun

I am now busy with running a proper bed and breakfast or rather a very small six room hotel in Mikulov, Czech Republic and consequently I have very little time for anything else. Especially for writing articles for this semi dormant blog.  So what do I do? I still take pictures now and then. So I thought of transforming this blog from one with lots of words, written and posted infrequently to

Nikolai, child portrait, flower, Kodachrome 100G

Poppy, Nikolai and Kodachrome 100G

something of a photographic diary, but one a diary in fast defunct anologue or analog format because, yes, I shoot film. I also shoot digital now and then, mainly with utilitarian goals in mind, as if when I need to get a picture of something fast, but for digital imagery I think I’ll put another blog that would only be dedicated to digital photography.

I have a small stockpile of Ektachrome 100G. The film expired in 2005 was exposed this summer, in June 2013, as ISO 80 and apparently it is still perfect. Here in the Czech Republic, at least at one drop-off pharmacy location in Mikulov,  one can develop E6 slide film for the equivalent of… 2 euros. That is cheap. Even in Russia, in St. Petersburg, with a very competitive conventional analog processing market, the price of developing E6 film is about 7 europs whilst regular negative C41 costs the equivalent of just 1 or under 1 euro at the really cheap location (and only for 135 format film). In the Czech Republic, at least at that store chain, the situation is precisely the opposite – negative film processing costs a lot, actually it is incredibly expensive (the equivalent of EUR 5  per roll in local currency) whilst slide processing is oddly cheap and fantastically good. Such low prices are either a result of somebody’s oversight or some other fluke of nature or commerce, in any case they won’t last long.  So I’d be shooting color (or colour) slide film for a while. I’ve got quite a lot of it stockpiled. Mostly hopelessly expired. But as this digitized picture shows the film is still perfectly usable, even good, in fact in my opinion the way colors are reproduced are just perfect and the digital scan does not do justice to those beautiful slides.

 

I also published this image on the ipernity.com – the greatest photo sharing platform.

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A spontaneous digital detour

3 Jun

A spontaneous digital detour

Mamiya 645 Pro / Mikulov, Nikolsburg

I apologize to everyone for two things. First I did not write anything in this blog for a very long while because I am tied up with a million of other things like I am opening a bed and breakfast and all photography for the site (as well as for other sites I did) is my own. Check it out at www.nicolsburg.com  – cheap, clean, tiny six room hotel with no personnel to speak of but many extras like free coffee, wine and opportunity to borrow analogue cameras from me to shoot the town or the surrounding countryside.

I had like less than an hour of spare time today (now you understand why I stopped blogging) and took the kids and my recently acquired Mamiya 645 for a drive followed by a short walk.  I only had an hour.

Mamiya was supposed to shoot black and white landscapes. I did shoot a few. As I set it down on a cheap tripod, with the Nikolsburg castle (Schloß Nikolsburg) and the Heiliger Berg in the background the temptation to take a portrait of the camera was irresistible. The light was soft and warm (the day itself was anything but), I walked down to the car, grabbed the digital camera which is there just in case – a Sony DSLR with a 1980s Minolta lens screwed on – and took the picture which I thought would be useful on the website for my B and B so I reduced the size for web use (full size image is of course on file). Analog on digital. I prefer the other way around but web use I find digital is easier.

Now with flickr dead join me and other photographers, on ipernity.com, it is better than the old Flickr never mind the new one.

I promise to be back with the analogue stuff.

Retinette 1b and Porst Happy

20 Mar

Two more articles added to the Photo Encyclopedia

Kodak Retinette 1b

and

a piece on Porst Happy, a wonderful Diana clone

Porst Happy is a genuine early Diana camera, distributed by Porst, a German distributor of camera equipment and photographic suppliers, a mail order house and a retailer that operated from 1919 to 1996.

A guilt-free sort of photographic experience albeit somewhat expensive for most people due to outrageous costs of new 120 format film (in most places). I put it up for sale on Ebay, but if it won’t sell then that won’t be a big deal: I’ll just keep the toy for occasional (and intentional) wastage of film.

PorstHappy_3_web

 

Porst Happy is a conventional early model Diana camera, branded Porst for distribution in Germany. The camera allegedly dates from the year 1953, but I believe that to be an error, and the camera dates from 1963, it has synchro contact and a flash hotshoe.

Porst_Happy_04 Porst_Happy_03

1/50 seconds – all plastic Film used 120 Focusing with a distance scale 1.2 meters to infinity Focusing scale is in meters and feet Three apertures (symbol settings of sunny, cloudy, very cloudy, I assume the equivalents of 16, 12, and 8) The camera is suitable for taking multiple exposures.

Porst_Happy_02

Porst_Happy_01 Peter_118_Porst_60001 Peter_118_Porst_20002_small

Apologies

19 Mar

was kept away by a few crazy things, but started a Photo Encyclopedia in the mean time, so far you can either edit or post new articles in English or in Russian, but if you wish to add a language, say Polish or Japanese, then let me know, I’ll install a new language version.

I also designed a provisional log but would appreciate if someone suggests a nice alternative.

Photo Encyclopedia

 

 

Are you photo mad – OMG my Zenit just crashed

1 Feb

I am probably because I think of all the wrong things.

Like today I saw the news headline

A Zenit-3SL falls after engine failure.

I really had to click the link to see what happened with that poor Zenit-3SL. Oh what disappointment. That was a different of a Zenit altogether, not the right sort of Zenit 3.

Not this one